There was packing and cleaning, not walking, this morning. Leave taking. Everything we brought must be packed into the car. Including the dogs. At 6:00 a.m. my daughter has an early ferry. She will take the dogs. Her car doors are open, so they hop in. Perhaps, they imagine, she's taking them for morning coffee at the Chilmark store? And so, when she doesn't unload them until she has taken the ferry and driven home to the river, they are confused! All the signals of departure, they've missed, and they are suddenly transported from sea to river, and they don't know why they aren't in my car with all the suitcases and boxes! At the end of the day, my daughter tells me, as I wait to board the ferry myself, that she left her car door open and Charlie hopped back in. Hoping to return to Chilmark?
I miss our morning walk too. But packing and cleaning early means we will have our afternoon on the beach before departure. So, there is bobbing and swimming under a hot sun in the mild green flag surf. But, stretched on my towel, with my eyes closed, I have a thought, sudden and disconnected, from where, and why? Perhaps I will burn my diaries. Burn my diaries? Not, of course, the diaries for my kids. My personal diaries, decades and decades of them - well, five at least. But why? Because they are mine. And I can do exactly whatever I want with them. Because they are personal. The most personal thing that I own: my truest thoughts, moment by moment, full of contradictions and confessions and explorations of my psyche; admissions and failures and emotional needs and insights and vulnerabilities and notes, and notes and more notes about everything I've written and mapped and considered and dreamed. So many dreams. And fears. Longings. Secrets. Burn them, because that is the only way they could belong to me, forever. The absolute only way I can keep them all to myself. Destroy them. A sacrifice. Not one I'm at all sure I'm willing to make. I'm still a bit shocked by the idea coming to me for no clear reason, just bubbling up. Something to do with this turning sixty business, I'm sure. I've written plays and stories and poems from the raw material of my diaries. But the raw material. Who is this for, if not, simply, for me, and me alone? I'm realizing how much I value my privacy, and how much my privacy is at risk if I leave the fate of the diaries to chance. I'm not answering this question today. Today, I am simply asking. And trying to imagine the consequences: how would it feel to me to put my personal diaries in a fire and make ash from all I wrote, all those hours of solving, trying to solve, who am I?
And, as I drive down our road for the final time this summer, I have the last view of Menemsha, as the sun is starting to sink in the sky.