Sunday, August 27, 2006

Bea’s Journal (1)

Bea married Paul June 16, 1944. She would wait three years before having a baby. I remember her always saying she wanted to be "sure."

Bea writes, "In my late 20s, I tried to sublimate my maternal instincts in a career. Then, at the age of 37, my joy at last to have a beautiful baby girl knew no bounds."

The above passage comes from a 1980 letter. Bea goes on to explain her distress when Paul rejects the baby - me. Being a charmer, I won him over, but how hard that period must have been for my mother! A year later, she started a journal.

“Wellfleet, August 12, 1948. The decision is to write, write, write, anything any day, as much as I can.

Here everything fades in the sun, even time.

I saw a meteor flashing through the sky. It seemed incongruous that there was no sound. A flash in silence, a trail of light, and it was gone.

I looked at Mars through a telescope. Such varied, sparkling light – not just red.

The beauty of the physical world around us is great, but, when its harmony is confronted with a great lack of harmony in ourselves, the feeling is painful. I remember the island of Cythera at sunset, sixteen years ago, when I regretted that my companion could not share with me what I felt. Now I see the lack was also mine. But how we long for a sharing of such experiences.

People are the whole sum and substance of life. Only people matter.

I write now out of pain. But why should I be reluctant to put it down? It seems an acknowledgement of failure. There is the guilt.

Other people sometimes write out of pain, though they may not say so. Too much pain alienates other people. They wisely know the other one is not enough there to see and appreciate them.

I know many people feel pain in the present world. I wonder in what ways theirs is like mine.

That is the advantage and disadvantage of a journal. One can write without considering the censors. But, unless there is a respect for the censors, there is not enough control.

If a person came to me and said, ‘I am in agony,’ how would I react?”


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