Sunday, August 5, 2018

a writing prompt... lessons from the sea

the writing prompt this week comes from (Sunday whirl)

                                   Lessons from the sea

She walked along the water's edge, hearing the soft swish of tide and feeling the soft sand squish around her toes as she moved. She smelled a whiff of coppertone and heard a gull call out they found a fry on the seashore. She felt clean air as it gently brushed over the little hairs on her arms.

Should she find shade from the sun, intense in the late afternoon. Intensifying as a child does just before bed, intense in the lower angle as it colored the sky, intense in it's daily goodby to the people watching it's descent into the horizon.

No, just walk and try to forget the slights she heard earlier in the day.

Why are criticisms so much stronger than compliments?

She had gained weight the last month, as she sat here watching her mother draw closer to her own sunset. She had eaten as if food could bring her the comfort she lacked. She was too tired to make healthy choices so her body had stored her dinners for later as if pasta and fried food should be kept for eternity.

Her mother was nearly all bones in contrast to her growing waistline.  Even her wig looked big on her as she turned her head on her pillow. The skein of wool in old veined hands looked round and plump next to her mom.

Little tendrils of soft water tickled her feet as it entwined round her toes.

She looked down at the water receding. Leaving her. The difference was the water would return in a moment, to swirl and twirl and twine around her again as if the sea had returned to get the shells it left behind.  She thought to bend over to pick one up, but suddenly felt self conscious about her new weight. She certainly didn't want to hear one more comment about her thighs, as if they were a topic of conversation.

With all the chaos, disasters, discontent, and problems in the world why would anyone feel the right to comment on her weight! A stranger no less! Did that make them finally feel superior and take their minds off their own discontent?

She was ashamed of her new fat cells, and herself since hearing the jokes at her expense. She paid the price for their humor in shame and regret. But why? Why should she care what a stranger thought of her? And why would a stranger throw verbal stones at her?

If she just focused on the shame of her new-found fat she wasn't thinking of the impending loss... but the loss will be there anyway... no purpose in looking the other way.

It was as natural as tide coming in and going out, life. It comes and goes, when it comes in it surrounds you in comfort, and when it goes you miss it. No amount of food will change the tide. She knew she'd lose the weight after she found her place in the world without her mom. She knew she was no less important because she now found comfort in eating despite the ugly words of a stranger.

She felt the pain of misjudgement  that held hands with it's fellow pain of loss that  seemed stronger somehow in it's numbers.

The tide came back in, and tickled her toes. She dug into the sand with them, feeling the change of stability under her feet as it subtly shifted her weight. She was still standing despite the ebb and flow.

A gull dropped part of a fry at her feet and she looked down, and stepped over it on her way back to the car.

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Old Egg said...

One of the saddest traits of this modern age is assuming frail slimness is beautiful and those endowed with plumpness are ugly. Many years ago it was quite the reverse, then there were the starving or the well endowed and able to provide for the family. So that is the the result of this modern age insisting through advertisting to want what we don't need, and to despise those who look different from the current prescribed norm. There's room and need for every form on Earth except those who are critical of our variety. said...

Lovely, honest writing. I love your ending.

Ann said...

Well written, Lee Anna.

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Deb said...

Lovely writing and very moving indeed. I think I will try my hand at these prompts I so love the sea shore.