When I arrived at Grand Isle, LA, I walked into a pleasant co-existence that evoked desires for intimate relationships. My desires had become neglected over the recent years; and I seldom made efforts to restore my sense of intimacy. It excites me to develop meaningful relationships with my fellow book-packers because I have never been so impressed by a group of gentle individuals, from whom I learn how to tend to parts of myself that have not been nurtured. As I read Kate Chopin’s The Awakening, the tranquility settled throughout the beach house, and lulled my mind into therapeutic moments of self-reflection. And with each passing moment, whether it was snacking side by side with a peer or watching the thunderstorm with another, I made it a point to remain vulnerable to my experience, with hopes to arouse a newer sense of purpose following my academic career at USC. Prior to this rediscovery of want for intimacy, I was unaware that Edna Pontellier’s inward perception would reveal an indiscernible half-awakening of my own. I have yet to unravel the awakening in its entirety, and attach it to a meaningful external purpose.
I recall on the Sunday morning after our arrival, I set aside my journal because I was impulsed to take a walk along the shore. I listened to ¿Teo?’s “Palm Trees” as I sought guidance from the same supernatural forces that had influenced Edna to seek her universal truth. The receding waters teased my toes, but the moment I looked down, observing my dry feet as they imprinted the sand in their backwards motion, I acknowledged that there was a sort of hesitancy on my end. I did not possess the courage to dive into the gleaming waters. And soon after, I realized that I had not been as vulnerable as intended. Finally, I submerged myself into the waves, cleansing the tension within so that I may become susceptible to genuine encounters of intimacy.
I returned to the beach house, the tranquility feeling afresh on my bare skin, and continued to read The Awakening. Moments later, I fell into a light slumber, wherein my dreams appeared foreign, as though to remind me of all that will remain unfamiliar should my desires be left unfulfilled. I was solemnly touched by Edna’s unfamiliarity with self-intimacy; and it was saddening to interpret that her intimacy with Robert alluded to her silent battle with depression. I understood how her character may be portrayed as an unaffectionate “mother-wife”. The parts of herself that had not been nurtured evoked my fears of becoming so consumed in my universal truth, that I may miss my opportunity to become an affectionate father-husband. If I could have spoken to my reflection that tranquil morning, in the waters that engulfed Edna’s being, I would have demanded of the fluid self to navigate the treacherous waves, so that my inward yearning of something unattainable would be guided into a steady familiarization with intimacy.