October 4, 2013

What's in her purse?

Thinking about the girl knee-deep in the lake, looking in the purse. It's an adult woman's purse. She's little, though, maybe six. Under the surface her legs bend, distorted by the waves and sunlight coming through at an angle. Her toes grip the pebbly lake bottom. Trees rise behind her, dark between the trunks. It's getting near sundown and the light is behind her, leaving a shine down the top of her head, across her cheek and arms. I am wondering, what do we give our girls?

When I think of this image, I remember... Surfacing by Margaret Atwood. The murky etymological relationship between purse and pussy. The loneliness of coming of age.