Tuesday, August 10, 2010

It is dark, dark outside, the last night on the lake. Doors and window open, everyone in bed. Wind cool (for a change -- hooray!) and rain possibly moving away... quiet, quiet. This is it, the last night, and I'm typing in the dark (bad for the eyes) because that's the considerate thing to do. I've had one too many glasses of wine to be sharp, so there are undoubtedly important insights to be mined from this moment that I'll overlook. Still. The silence --- Ah! the silence! -- is a beautiful thing. I love my family, I do, but they talk talk talk. My son because he's six, and my husband because that's just how he is, constantly verbalizing.

OK - husband asleep. I close his door and turn on the overhead light. I wish for a floor lamp but you can't expect everything in a cabin by the lake. I'm easily seen from outside, I know, but it shouldn't worry me. It's a reasonably friendly environment after all.

Last night there were some pre-teen boys running around the neighborhood, making noise, goofing off, at around 2am. I was slightly annoyed, but mostly I smiled, remembering what it was like to be that in-between age and turned loose of a night. They were apparently picking on some girls in the area...maybe a family here for the week, extended family, girl cousins, the kind you might be attracted to as a young boy though there's no real danger of relational tension since you're family and you lovingly loathe one another. Pranks, and the innocent vulnerability of kids finding their way, being alone at night (scary! exhilerating!) and being "naughty," that primitive walkabout period in a young person's life. I miss those days. We were trapped, of course, thinking the answer would be to finally move away from our parents. Later, you realize that the sense of enclosure you feel is your connection to other human beings. And that you need them, even though there are times you'd rather not.

I have just eaten my second Pearson's Salted Nut Roll of the day. A wholly vacation-oriented choice. Ordinarily I don't touch the things.

So... I feel some pressure here. It's the last day of vacation, and I wonder how much revitalization I've stored away -- wonder if I'm ready to go back. Wishing I had a plan of attack, wishing I had a wall behind my back and a clear direction forward.

I hear an anguished groaning cry in the distance, which gives an air of Halloween to this night, though really it's just one of those dumb kids playing dramatis personae.

My lips are salty.

I want to say I've recovered fully from the past year and more, though it's not altogether likely. Want to be able to say that the exhaustion, demoralization, struggle, confusion, anger, longing, shame, sorrow have all materialized into something certain and destined and reconciled. Want to say that the great glorious wonder of all that is beautiful and found in my life and work is clearly present in my mind to balance those other feelings. Want to say that my questions have been answered. In a mere four nights at the lake it's damned unlikely, I'll admit, and it wouldn't make sense to stay here and wait for enlightenment even if I had the luxury.

It will have to be enough to say I walked in the sand...

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