Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Grand Isle

That summer at Grand Isle she began to loosen a little the mantle of reserve that had always enveloped her.

*****

The water of the Gulf stretched out before her, gleaming with the million lights of the sun. The voice of the sea is seductive, never ceasing, whispering, clamoring, murmuring, inviting the soul to wander in abysses of solitude. All along the white beach, up and down, there was no living thing in sight. A bird with a broken wing was beating the air above, reeling, fluttering, circling disabled down, down to the water.

Edna had found her old bathing suit still hanging, faded, upon its accustomed peg.

She put it on, leaving her clothing in the bathhouse. But when she was there beside the sea, absolutely alone, she cast the unpleasant, pricking garments from her, and for the first time in her life she stood naked in the open air, at the mercy of the sun, the breeze that beat upon her, and the waves that invited her.

How strange and awful it seemed to stand naked under the sky! how delicious! She felt like some new-born creature, opening its eyes in a familiar world that it had never known.

The foamy wavelets curled up to her white feet, and coiled like serpents about her ankles.   She walked out.  The water was chill, but she walked on.  The water was deep but she lifted her white body and reached out with a long sweeping stroke.  The touch of the sea is sensuous, enfolding the body in its soft, close embrace.

The Awakening, by Kate Chopin

“The oil began washing ashore on Grand Isle early Friday morning, and it hasn’t stopped since. As the sun sets choppers rifle across the sky and boom bounces about like boiling spaghetti. Oddly, marine life carries on as if nothing is new; mullet jump from the water and snowy egrets survey the beach from a breakwater. A single dolphin swims by, its fin slicing through red waves of oil. “ Audubonmagazine.org, 5/23/2010.