- repose- function: noun
Source: Merriam Webster’s Online Dictionary
My recent vacation is best as entry number 3, and this freedom from activity and normal life imparted a much needed dose of patience and renewal. The word repose is fresh in my mind because I toted along Wallace Stegner’s Angle of Repose for reading. I was worried, at first, that this work, while beautifully wrought, would be too serious, too complex and require a concerted effort to really appreciate. In fact, this book was a wonderful retreat, a tight, well-paced story perfect for long mornings on the screened in porch sipping coffee. I will do a full review later this week. Suffice to say this book has climbed high on my best books list, the portrait of a woman in the American West reminded me of Willa Cather works in some ways – the landscape as character. More on that later.
Captiva, Florida is an island on the Gulf coast about twenty miles away from Fort Meyers. The area is known for the large numbers of shells that decorate the sandy beach, new specimens wash up with the morning high tide and lay in wait for those who trespass on the cool, hard packed sand. We found the known species – starfish, multitudes of different kinds of clams and mussels, bay and rough scallops,and the occasional oyster with the distinct dark, bumpy surface poking through the sand. We also found the unknown marvels – a kitten paw, the florida prickly cockle, and the cut ribbed ark. We sifted through different variations of broken conch, but never found one intact. Yet, the small conch shells we found, with the distinct swirls tumbled into new forms by the force of the water, were beautiful and something to marvel about.
What a wonderful place for repose. The white sandy beaches, the cool and gentle clear waters of the Gulf and the waves that lapped the shore, without being rough and too loud, was the perfect backdrop for pondering my own little stamp of the world, my own goals and ideas. I thought much about my writing, about my future. Sitting on the beach, hidden under a large hat to shield my fair skin, I thought about my new novel and had all the joy of plotting out new character’s histories and motivations. I love learning my own character’s deep, dark secrets. It was in the reverie that I realized, with a fair amount of bewilderment – I am a writer. No matter what. If I get published, whatever happens to my first novel – this is my truth. I don’t want to do anything else, and I have that compelling urge to continue to weave stories together, to put those words down on paper. What a beautiful thing, really, to still want to invest yourself, push forward with hard work despite the uncertainty of rewards.
I am still going to search for an agent and send out my short works to journals and magazines. I will still seek the reward and recognition, but I don’t need it to keep going. This writing thing is deeper than that, and while this is a simple revelation it gives me that renewal I need to keep going. I am following my passion. That is all I can do and hope for the best.
I was going to post some photos of the beach and the shells, but technology thwarts me again. I can’t find that little camera connector cord! Ah, I will look tonight. Maybe some photos for tomorrow. Something to look forward to.