Time away…

Sometimes in the course of researching events, I am blessed with experiences I might never have had under other circumstances. Introductions made that would have never taken place, without tenacity of intent and a penchant for resolution. Throughout this project, I try to convince myself that I am following Charley’s journey and that I am merely along for the ride, but not so. I can’t seem to divorce myself from the fact that I collectively empathize with its victims as a partner in marriage, a mother and someone’s child–so all compassionate humanity demands that I pay attention to the landmarks shown me and in doing so, aids me in my many introductions.

Introductions to wonderful people who respond with generous spirit for whatever cause deems most important at the time. Dedicated and knowledgeable people who understand the pain of not knowing a truth, and have the power to change other people’s lives with their insight and access to information I have not. Or at the very least, these people have the power to help those victimized by this tragedy change the perception of their lives and as Anne River Siddons says… “Perception is everything, my darling,” and she is right. I have thought a lot about her words of late, as I have spent some time recently in the Outer Banks. Perception is everything, my darling… or so it seems. My perception of this case will be far different than those who suffered by its intimate hand. I cannot comprehend the devastation of Hazel or the trauma of her children. Nor can I completely empathize with the impact this made on those more peripheral; such as other agents, extended family and friends. Or even from those whose hands I am depending on now to point my way to resolution. Each of us will walk away from this project with a different sense of being. Altered by a man most of us will never have the chance to meet. But the beauty will be that we will have the opportunity to reinvent our own lives, based upon the discovery of his death. Charley will touch more people through this book, than perhaps he might have in his life and I owe it to him to do this right. Thus, I ask for guidance.
The break from current landscape was good for my spirit. I don’t visit places like tourists who trample underfoot what should be relished, or who glance with casual eye what should be savored. Rather, I immerse myself and breathe in as much as possible so that I might find a new world to visit internally when the one I live and work in becomes tarnished by the mundane. I made a mental scrapbook filled with white tipped waves that agitated outside the Ferry like an overloaded washing machine. The island’s shoreline, an undulating coverlet of sand that repeatedly tried to slip away from tawny fingers of wheat like stalks that fought to pull them back into place to keep warm from the winter winds. Ah yes… I do not visit where I go; I live where I go and then move when time bids I return to where I hang my hat. I am not the accidental tourist, but the citizen who cannot always stay. The Outer Banks, even in biting wind and uncharitable welcome brought peace to this wandering soul. Not because of what it was, but because of what it wasn’t.

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