Nevertheless, The Blue Rhythms of Evening
August 24, 1909
Dear Miss Beatrice,
Yesterday before we met in the evening, I planned to tell you about my new position at Simpson’s Photography Studio, but once we were together on the beach, I forgot all the moments before then. “How peaceful it is,” you said and pointed to the horizon. We both seemed to breathe in the stillness, so different than the rush and clamor of the city. I wanted to tell you then how glad I was to see you, yet suddenly all I could do was nod and answer, ”Yes, truly. Peaceful.”
Just then as you raised you hand to adjust your hat, such a lovely hat, I feared the breeze might carry it away. And quite the worrier I am, I feared you might also be lifted out over the blue.
Now I remember in the fading light of dusk, you too seemed worried. Perhaps your job? The hours must be tiring at The Inn now in this busy season. Or is it your mother’s health? I am deeply sorry I did not ask about her, except to say I hoped she was better.
I believe it was then you placed your hat carefully in the folds of your skirt. “I am glad we are here.” I cannot recall whether I said that first or you or both of us together. The vast blue of the evening was all that remained to be spoken.
I will think of us often as we were yesterday at dusk. And hope we will meet again soon.
P.S. My job at Simpson’s is merely in touch-up. Nevertheless, a beginning. I will say more when we meet, that is if you would like. Theo
September 8, 1909
Dear Mr. Edwards,
It is so kind of you to write and ask about my mother. She is slowly improving, and I hope to take her to the sea one day. Perhaps the fresh air might restore her the way it did me that evening we met.
How strange that you worried the breeze might carry my hat and me away because, I must tell you, at some moment that evening I felt myself floating away yet in quite a peaceful sense, as though I could rise above the day-to-day cares.
As I write this now, I feel the peace of that moment, but also a sense of peril. I cannot say why for sure, perhaps my mother’s failing heart, or the distance between now and then, an uncertainty about what lies ahead.
Please do write me about your job at the photography studio. Such a wonderful opportunity. Coincidentally, yesterday I received a post from my cousin Emily who works in a photography studio in Washington. One owned by two women, sisters Clara and Alice Rigby. Quite daring. One day I want to understand how cameras capture a moment. Is it just film and magic? As Mr. Eastman has said: You press the button, we do the rest. But I wonder, is it not more, can it be both what is recorded and what cannot be seen? A moment we feel, like the blue rhythms of the waves that evening by the sea.
I do hope to meet again soon. But if by fate or chance, we cannot, I shall remember your kindness. And your straw boater hat, so charming and--I am not sure what word I want. Careful? Yes, charming, and careful like the gentleman who wore it. I only wish I’d told him this when we were together.
Kathleen Thomas is a nurse and educator who focuses on bridging the creative and healing arts in her practice. Her work has been nominated twice for a Pushcart Prize and has most recently appeared in MoonPark Review, MacQueen’s Quinterly, Splash!, and Sleet. Sometimes she teaches creative writing to children, and they always share their love of dinosaurs and moonbeams with her.
4/5/2023 04:59:01 pm
My compliments, Kathleen Thomas, on this charming start to what I hope will be a novel. You pulled me right in, especially since I'm landlocked after growing up on the Atlantic coast. I want to sit on that beach enjoying the sound, smell, breeze, and eavesdropping on the couple.
4/6/2023 04:38:44 pm
Wow! I was just there with this couple in these tentative, gentle moments in their budding time, grappling with minutiae, as the evening falls around them. The small enveloped in something much greater. I want to read the novel of what happens to them, frame by frame!
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