Saturday, 14 September 2019 20:05

Alone With The Sea

Written by  Priscilla K. Garatti
Alone With The Sea Photo by Maciek PELC from FreeImages

Be alone with the sea for it is there you will find answers to questions you didn't realize existed.~Khang Kijarro Nouyen

I longed for something I couldn't name. I tried to read, but my mind raced. The words on the page blurred, and I read the same paragraph over and over. I couldn't go shopping to assuage my emptiness. I needed to stay out of stores. Save money. I wanted the ice cream in the fridge, but I knew I would feel horrible if I ate it. My yearning was not physical hunger.

Between my junior and senior year in college, I lived and worked in Hawaii for one summer taking classes. I didn't always make enough money to buy food every day. Many nights I bought a package of corn nuts  at a convenience store on my way back to the dorms. I savored each salty, crunchy morsel, making the bag last for two hours. I worked for a local hair salon, handing out coupons on a busy street corner in Honolulu to tennis shoe-clad tourists. I got paid on Friday mornings according to how many persons presented to the owner's salon and used the coupon.  I was broke most Thursday nights, but knew I'd have cash the next morning and could buy an Egg McMuffin. To distract me from the hunger pangs, I'd head to Waikiki Beach, wading in the ocean at sunset, picking up shells. The lapping waves and sky decked out with streamers of russet and orchid distracted me from my growling stomach. When I got back to my room, I'd place the shells on the window sill to dry, little scraps and snippets of beauty from the sea.

Perhaps I thirsted for beauty now. I opened a notebook I keep by my bed. I write eclectic lists, quotes and ideas in it. The notebook is messy and crammed with yellow legal pad sheets folded in rectangles. Here are some things I found, in no particular order. Like the shells, the words are lovely. Little bits of beauty that filled my longing for something I could not name.

This quote reflects perfectly how I feel about writing...

I had to write. I had no choice in the matter. It was not up to me to say I would stop, because I could not. It didn't matter how small or inadequate my talent. If I never had another book published, and it was very clear to me that this was a real possibility, I still had to go on writing.~Madeleine L'Engle (From A Circle of Quiet)

When I have to make presentations at work, I feel anxious, and before it's my turn to speak, I write exhortations on the yellow note paper...

You are a warrior woman, loved perfectly by God. You exhibit peace, joy, grace, kindness and mercy. Laughter defines you. Possibility thinking is your anchor. You look to the future with hope and expectation.

May my husband always think of me in this way...

She longed to know what at that moment was passing in his mind, in what manner he thought of her, and whether in defiance of everything, she was still dear to him.~Jane Austen (From Pride and Prejudice)

A term I could define earlier in my life, but when I ran across it again in an article, I'd forgotten what it meant. I had to look it up...

Confirmation bias: The process by which the mind seeks to confirm what it already believes. When in the throes of confirmation bias, we seek and interpret information that will allow us to continue to hold on to our beliefs, even when presented with contradictory evidence.

I am an infamous list maker...

There are lists to be made, of course. Always lists to be made, as if writing items in neat vertical rows might stave off randomness and chaos.~Wallace Stegner (From Crossing To Safety)

I relate to this...

I had felt my past unfurl inside me as if it had a mind of its own. These layers of ourselves are always there, waiting for the right moment to emerge...a jumble perhaps, but nothing is ever missing. Just hidden from view.~Dani Shapiro (From Devotion: A Memoir)

While conversing with my darling seven-year-old granddaughter...

When looking for a rainbow, look opposite the sun.~Lilly Peterson 

Such gorgeous poetry in the Word...

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.~Psalm 36:9 (NIV Translation)

A dream of mine...

If it weren't too late, I'd take a solo journey out west on a train.~Journal entry, 9-1-19

This resonates...

Refreshment is attached to every problem--destined to refresh, above weariness. We are designed to be full, not empty.~Graham Cooke

What do you long for?




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What Readers Are Saying

In Missing God Priscilla takes a brave and unflinching look at grief and the myriad ways in which it isolates one person from another. The characters are full-bodied and the writing is mesmerizing. Best of all, there is ample room for hope to break through. This is a must read.

Beth Webb-Hart (author of Grace At Lowtide)

winner"On A Clear Blue Day" won an "Enduring Light" Bronze medal in the 2017 Illumination Book Awards.

winnerAn excerpt from Missing God won as an Honorable Mention Finalist in Glimmertrain’s short story “Family Matters” contest in April 2010.