This week the paperback edition of The Deep Blue Sea for Beginners is on sale. I'm thinking of the title, of what "deep blue" means. The ocean, of course. But there are other types of deep. Deep love, deep understanding, deep non-understanding, the unfathomability of our own hearts. The novel is particularly interested in fractured families. A mother and her two daughters have spent years apart. How do people become estranged? What are the consequences of a single choice or series of choices? How far can you move apart from someone, and once you've done that, can you come back?
These thoughts are on my mind now. I'm writing this from my own private deep blue location. It's not sad, it's not bad, it's just a spot I came to reflect. Miles from the sea, I'm in a rambling old place surrounded by New England woods. There aren't many street or house lights, so when I look up at night I see constellations in the dark blue sky. I'm surrounded by nature. Thick trees, the leaves starting to turn. A scarlet sugar maple stands outside my window.
I loved writing The Deep Blue Sea for Beginners. The characters feel real to me, all their hiding places and defenses, all their brokenness and goodness and desire to connect. People can be apart so long it feels like forever. But if you break through and find forgiveness, life can start over. It's the same old life, of course, but there's an element of the brand new. Love and forgiveness, or maybe it's forgiveness and love. They go together. I'm just not sure of the order.
It probably doesn't matter.