From literary magazine Geist: Fact and Fiction, Summer 2012.

Claudia Cornwall’s essay titled That Beautifully Unworldly, Reasonless Rampaging of My Old Self resonated with me about complex memories of summers at Washburn Island. 1956 traveller, Curt Lang wrote in his diary:

The past is always so alive. It encroaches like a green tide on every hour and day, breeding a sadness in everything. A summer sun reminds me of lost summer suns, the rain of misspent days.

And two days he writes:

All the usual discontents and doubts banging around inside.

The imagery elicited a strong emotional connection with me, something that I could not have identified at the same age he was when he so casually wrote his impressions in his diary.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by dacemara on July 22, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Mary, for all the joyful sunny days of your youth spent at Washburn, it does sound as though what’s most present now is the melancholy of it all. Maybe that’s the legacy of the past living on in us. “All the usual discontents and doubts banging around inside” is such a powerful image of why we write memoir, and why liberating (ourselves from) the past is so healing. Kurt Lang’s musings certainly are far and away more insightful than anything I ever thought to enter in my diary of early years!


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