The most exhausting thing in life, I have discovered, is being insincere.
This is the second of the series on quotes from Ms. Lindbergh's book that the brutal editing process forced me to eliminate...sniff.... This gem is the theme of The Shell Keeper/chapter 3 and is all the more illuminating when you consider the line that follows it in her book:
That is why so much of social life is exhausting; one is wearing a mask. I have shed my mask.
I can relate to that-and if you're being honest with yourself I bet you can, too. In general I think we all have a 'mask', a persona that we carry around on a day to day basis to present to the world as we go about our business. It makes life simpler.
It's why, when you hear of someone who 'wears their heart on their sleeve' you have a mix of sympathy tinged with both pity and regret. Why? Because it's just too much work to be ALL THERE all the time! But maybe part of us yearns to be there all the same. But we save those moments of personal exposure and illumination for our friends and family-if at all. Or, if you're a writer, for you books.
In chapter three Gwen and Claire do their best to stay out of the way as Del is interviewed by a female police officer. The same officer Del swears is having an affair with her soon-to-be ex-husband. Gwen and Claire don't want to intrude...but really, they can't help being curious about how that conversation is going.
Here we have three women who've been playing it close to the vest. They're accustomed to keeping their private issues private. Suddenly they are thrust into this odd and unexpected situation where they are torn between privacy and curiosity...and the temptation to let each other in is running smack up against the instinct to keep each other out.
It's a funny and touching scene, including a little white lie Del tells, with the help of Claire, to keep life simple. Even though all three of their lives are about to get pretty damn complicated!