Sunday, June 9, 2013

The Exhaustion of Insincerity - Part One

Doing my Beyond Beyond lesson today...I had no idea where it would take me.  Kim gave us a photo for us to make into our own...with different processing, a quote,'s mine:

(Here is the original...)

Looking at the sea (where I don't get to often at all), I remembered a very special book that is a perennial favorite of mine...

Pulling the book off my one of two large bookcases on each side of my bedroom, I perused it, glancing at underlined passages, among the dog-eared pages caused from multiple readings.  This quote I placed in the photo seemed to resonate...especially after my last two book journeys I've read through.

Anne wrote this book when she got away for a month alone, spending it on Captiva Island, a small cottage.

Here is the quote in its context, as she wrote her reflections looking at a channeled welk:
One learns first of all in beach living the art of shedding, how little one can get along with, not how much.  Physical shedding to begin with, which then mysteriously spreads into other fields.  Clothes, first.  Of course, one needs less in the sun.  But one needs less anyway, one finds suddenly.  One does not need a closet-full, only a suitcase-full.  And what a relief it is!...One finds one is shedding not only clothes--but vanity.
Next, shelter.  Here I live in a bare sea-shell of a cottage.  No heat, no telephone, no plumbing to speak of, no hot water, a two-burner oil stove, no gadgets to go wrong.  No rugs.  There were some, but I rolled them up the first day; it is easier to sweep the sand off a bare floor.  I have shed my Puritan conscience about absolute tidiness and cleanliness.  Is it possible that, too, is a material burden?
I begin to shed my Martha-like anxiety about many things.  Washable slipcovers, faded and old--I hardly see them; I don't worry about the impression they make on other people.  I am shedding pride.
As little furniture as possible; I shall not need much.  I shall ask into my shell only those friends with whom I can be completely honest.  I find I am shedding hypocrisy in human relationships.  What a rest that will be!  The most exhausting thing in life, I have discovered, is being insincere. That is why so much of social life is exhausting; one is wearing a mask.  I have shed my mask.
I must stop here.  Ponder these words and give me your thoughts.  Let's think about this and path this book is taking us.

Until grateful for what you have...and know it is enough for today.



  1. What a wonderful passage it makes me realise how much I have and little I really need thanks Denise for those wise words...

  2. Oh Denise this is fantastic - thank you for sharing that book passage! I think of cleaning/clearing out as I get another year old...but this is so beautifully written and gives me more inspiration to get going. The sea/ocean/lake waters are so calming and vast .... maybe looking out to infinity helps one shed the need for "things" and "masks". Your photo edit is beautiful! Have a blessed week. Beverly aka "Lavender Bleu 2012".

  3. What a lovely post, and a beautiful photo! That sounds like a wonderful book with words that resonate.

  4. It has been many years since I read Gift From the Sea. I have to admit that I wondered at the time what all the fuss was about. But this passage resonates with me now. Perhaps I was simply too young back then. I think I need to find a copy and read it again.

  5. I think I'm going to read the book. I like how your editing of Kim's image turned out and the quote is perfect.

    1. Thanks, Carol...the inspiration tail is still draggin'...but trying to push through it.

  6. Oh, that segment is just beautiful to read, thank you for sharing it! AND your editing is simply beautiful. I love the quote and serenity it brings.
    I also wanted to thank you for joining the Summer of Color - it's really a lot of fun - so happy you'll be a part of it. Kristin xo

  7. What appeal this has for me. I find myself on an unending journey of discernment similar to this. What is necessary. What is extraneous. It is a survival tool for me sometimes.


  8. Ok--- now I need to find that book among my shelves, and read it again!! Perfect timing....since we are possibly selling and moving smaller.... and last night during sleeplessness.... i was 'shedding'....deciding what to bundle up and move out of my life. That will be my new word...shedding! Love that. Thanks once again for your most thoughtful posts. And your edit is beautiful. (I didn't quite get that right.)

  9. I will definetly be cleaning out my closet today.

  10. So beautiful, your edit and the quote (both the short and full), such grace. I'm adding this book to my list of books to read this summer. Thank you for sharing this!

  11. Always appreciate your honesty and lovely art.


Every comment is read personally by me and is deeply appreciated!