watching the sea

My writing group just finished reading Colm Toibin’s collection, The Empty Family. Although some people in the group loved it, I didn’t. I’ve started giving away the books I know I won’t read again, and this one will be sent on its way–hopefully to a new reader.

Still, some of Toibin’s passages took my breath away, like this one from the title story, with its building of emotion by the use of repetition and the cadence of the words:

And all I have in the meantime is this house, this light, this freedom, and I will, if I have the courage, spend my time watching the sea, noting its changes and the sounds it makes, studying the horizon, listening to the wind or relishing the calm when there is no wind.

And from the same story:

It came to me then that the sea is not a pattern, it is a struggle.

I’ve come back to this line several times–the ocean as a struggle.

***Actually, if anyone would like me to send the copy (a hardback with my marginalia in pencil) his or her way, just leave word in the comments before I head to the post office on Monday, and I’ll email for your address.

9 thoughts on “watching the sea

    • Hi Deborah, welcome to Catching Days. Sorry I didn’t see this email before I packaged it for Jodi! Thanks for taking the time to leave a comment. And good luck with your own writing.


  1. I wouldn’t mind having an artifact with your marginalia. It will be a valuable artifact some day. : ) Actually, if you send it to Vermont, I’ll make sure I pass it around to Robin, too, who is not buying anything new for a year.


  2. Yes, an artifact, I agree! Should have left a comment earlier. Though I’m paring down like Robin, it’s better this way. Love the photos, as always. We need to chat about cameras one day.


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