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Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Lost at Sea

Napped a bit under this old pine tree at Great Pond. Photo taken 4:59 p.m.
The magic of the pond is that you sleep so well at night.

When I'm not luxuriating in a book or lying by the pond or biking on the path, when I face the emptiness of just being me, I feel lost. Even by this beautiful sea and these tranquil kettle ponds--or maybe especially by this beautiful sea and these tranquil kettle ponds, when I have more time to ponder the sand passing through the hourglass.
Who am I, in the summer of being 53? Where is the young woman who first stared back at me from the medicine chest mirror at the family house on Wonderstrand Way?

She was unsure of some things [boys] and bullheaded about others [writing]. She was 19, had just finished freshman year of college. She polished her nails, conditioned her hair, worried about the pimples she had and the boyfriend she hoped to have. She was afraid of scary movies and when she borrowed a creepy novel from Michael, her next-door neighbor in Dumont, and read it in bed at the Cape house, she had nightmares about a demon walking up the wood basement stairs. After all, she was alone in the house with her mother.

Now I look in the mirror and see some things I want to change, some I'd like to keep. I notice confidence where shaky self-image was, but creases and sun spots in place of pimples. I see a gap from a missing tooth, awaiting an implant, many extra pounds, some big dashed hopes [marriage is hard work, not a fairy tale] and some nice accomplishments. I see a mother who has reveled in watching two baby girls grow [one on loan from another mother], been exhausted by their energy, tried hard to pass on good values. I see a woman who has had to stare down dark times--deaths, illness, loss, heartache, criticism, failure. I see a writer who waffles, shifting dreams around on the platter of life. I see wisdom, wit and charm in a flawed person who has so much room for improvement. I see someone who can't find the time to fill in her eyebrows and comb on mascara. I see her blue eyes, but they look more like gray now, and don't sparkle as much. By this point in time, 34 years later, they have seen more--both beautiful and ugly--than that young teen ever expected to see.

But I see her heart, if I remember to look. Her good heart, her true heart. I do still see that.

Writing this at scratched, worn wood table in the front room of the Eastham Public Library--I stashed my laptop in the hot-pink Jansport backpack when we biked to Great Pond. After swimming and sunning, I sent H. and Punchy biking home, and came over to blog a little. So many vacations, H. and I have spent some hours here in this room. One year I was writing about credit card debt for a website; another, about how to go to Disney and stay on Weight Watchers; and once, I was editing an essay about my times on the Cape with Dad. 

I got here to this table just in the nick of time. The library is closing! The librarian told me the front will be preserved, but the back will be expanded and modernized. And the week of August 18, this library on Samoset Road will close its doors until the new ones open in 18 months to two years. Trailers will serve as a temporary library at Town Hall. 

TCOY
  1. Biked to pond, about to bike back now.
  2. Ate some Fritos with a sandwich near the Eastham windmill, on the green. Felt sad, thinking about some missteps with old friends. Allowed myself to feel the feelings--and to throw out half the bag of fattening Frito Banditos.
  3. Took this time to blog and soul-search.


6 comments:

  1. Thanks Kim. Have been thinking of you and your family. Hope all is good. Love Alice

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  2. Alice, I love this, too. And you are wrong about one thing… your eyes still sparkle plenty! That's what makes you Alice. Love, Lin

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    1. Lin, thank you. What a nice thing to say love Alice

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  3. This is wonderful writing, and I'm glad you allowed yourself to see the good things. I really can't wait to finally sit down with you one of these days, not just to pass on some clothes for your little Punch, but to hash out some of these thoughts on writing, career, etc. I feel like it's one step forward, one step back, and it's frustrating.

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  4. Hi Eileen so good to hear your voice here. I know, I am eager to see you, too. Do you want to write down a date for September? Thank you for your kind support. Sometimes I feel awash in sadness and uncertainty. I guess that's how I'm wired, not sure. Would love to talk about writing with you and am impressed with your successes re family and words. Love to Pete. Love Alice. Ps and thank you for saving the clothes for punchy!

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