This summer, when I arrived at the beach that we used to call “Frank MacDonald’s” beach and then just “Frank’s Beach,” and later “The Climb Down Beach,” but which should have rightly been called “Margery’s Beach,” because she loved it so much more than anyone else, I told the cliffs and the sand and the ocean that she had died. I had to tell them. How could such wild things know about a death that had taken place within the confines of the machine that is New York City? When I shouted this dry fact from below, the red clay cliffs did not fold heavily inward, tumbling to the sea, the grey granite did not burst apart, exploding from within, the white limestone didn’t collapse, or crumble to powder bringing the green grasses which clashed as always with the blue sky down into the grey sea and onto the white sand beach.
The cliffs and the beach and the green kept on standing. They remained beautiful and wild. How? How can that be? How can that place continue to be and to be beautiful without her love? Even when she was far away, her love sustained it.
Every day I ask myself, how can I do it? Live and love and read and write and sleep and work and cry and laugh without her love to sustain me? Even while I am asking, life goes on, the beach goes on. I don’t understand.