Sunday, August 23, 2009

Weekly Post

It must be my personal nostalgia of back to school combined with Ezra starting pre-school tomorrow (sigh) that leads me to the decision to make a Fall Years resolution: I will blog weekly! There it is, in print. According to that Harvard study that everyone likes to quote at motivational seminars and business meetings, if you put it in writing, you have a much higher chance of achieving your goals.

Yeah, but how does that apply to a blog, which is all in writing? I mean, every time I write here I'm putting it in writing.

Okay, I do get it. No need to clarify for me.

So here's the official post.

Today I talked to two strangers at the beach. The first was a woman with a cast on her arm in a tiny bikini, who conveyed by her movements that she was not the least bit shy about being in so little material in such a public place. I, on the other hand, had to make an effort not to think of my two piece on the same stretch of beach as the swank 15 year olds with tight and smooth lines I had mistakenly assumed would always be with me.

The fact that this was even a subtle undercurrent tugging at my thoughts annoyed me. Yet it was there. The woman with the cast on her arm, seemed to be about my age. I decided she was from a foreign country--Italy, perhaps, or someplace where people are simply comfortable with their bodies for what they are.

She waded into the ocean, her arm lifted above her head to keep the cast dry as I played with my friend Lyske and her three year old daughter Nina, who balanced on a little mermaid boogie board.

As I swam out of the water, I was standing next to the woman.
"I bet you want to go swimming. It must be hard to stay out of the water on such a beautiful day." She smiled, but clearly did not understand all of my words.
"Do you speak English?" I asked.
"A little bit." she said.
""Where are you from?"
Aha. I was right about the foreigner part. Turns out she is here on vacation for two weeks doing an English language course and broke her arm the first week. What a bummer of a vacation. She was from Madrid, a city I never made it to during my week in Spain five years ago. Her sense of calm made sense, and I wanted to pry the secret from this stranger, who's body reminded me of my own, except the cast.

And yet, the answers appeared of its own accord. Had I broken my arm in a foreign country, would I wade into the ocean in my bikini, my broken arm held gently above my arm, or would I stay in the cafes and walk gingerly around the museums? Or, stay in, reading books and feeling sorry for myself.

I'd like to think I would be in the ocean by myself. I'll try on that thought for today and see if it fits. And maybe next time I'm on the beach in my bikini, I'll forget to think about anything except the ocean, my son screeching in joy as the waves crash at his feet and the conversations at hand.


Chryss said...

You'd definitely be in the ocean.

So, who was the second stranger?

Kristin Anderson said...

Two men who just adopted a Doberman Pincher.