Wednesday, July 23, 2008
This week’s chapter in the Summer Book Club reading of Gift from the Sea is “Double-Sunrise”.
Graphic purchased from The Vintage Workshop; modified by me
Dawn is my waking moment, that fleeting border of time suspending the world in past, present, and future. Night’s darkness is fading and day is quietly emerging. This is the in-between time—it is beautiful and perfect. This moment…
“...is free of ties or claims, unburdened by responsibilities, by worry about the future or debts to the past. And then how swiftly, how inevitably the perfect unity is invaded; the relationship changes; it becomes complicated, encumbered by its contact with the world.”
Although Anne Morrow Lindbergh is actually speaking about relationships with people, it is also an appropriate description of my waking time. Starting a new day is a type of relationship and I relish its perfection.
But the inevitable happens, time moves on and the outside world begins to color our day with its own needs and wants. My perfect dawn cannot endure in the overly-bright light of the day’s sun as the temporary connection with the night has gone. And I change and my world is transformed.
And so it is with people. The gift Anne Lindbergh received on the beach of a whole shell, both parts tenaciously clinging to each other, reminds us of the fragility inherent in relationships. It’s a delicate connection.
Sunrise by Claude Monet, c.1893
As the author explains it, a newly-formed love rapport is a perfect little world all on its own and we find a sense of identity in that connection. Anne Lindbergh asks: “But can one actually find oneself in someone else? In someone else’s love?” Inevitably, like the two-halves of the shell, that fragile connection is threatened.
We mourn the loss of new love’s magic and wonder how to regain it. Much as in the previous chapters, Anne Lindbergh tasks us to find our true identity as individuals, as women. To do so means we have to let go part of ourselves in order to find ourselves again. “Only a refound person can refind a personal relationship,” says Lindbergh.
But we’re cautioned to “…accept the fact that no permanent return is possible to an old form of relationship.” However, Lindbergh comforts us that this change in the relationship “…is not tragedy but part of the ever-recurrent miracle of life and growth”.
Joseph Mallord William Turner's The Blue Rigi: Lake of Lucerne, Sunrise
The light outside my window has now evolved into a more vivid brightness. I am no longer in the between-world I initially felt upon waking. It’s time to take action and embrace the transformation of the day and myself. As our intrepid author puts it, “Life must go on”.