Monthly Archives: June 2016

waves

When I moved in here, I chatted with my landlords out in the space between our yards. It was August and route 6 was a wall of traffic from one end to the other. “It kind of sounds like waves, like surf,” she said. “if you pretend.”

June has been so gentle. The weather cool every morning, a sweatshirt as I walk the dog, marveling at just how clean the air is. The days long, golden, light. It can’t last.

The sunshine moves like water on my pillow, on the window.

Last night it stormed. Not a true thunderstorm, just a distant rumble and some soft rain and then the eerie yellow sunset through the clouds which is one of my favorite lights in the world (favorite: black thunderclouds being lit by a cloudless setting sun, you know the one, if I could draw a picture you’d understand). My cottage turned gold, windows glowing with it, and I read a book that took me from even to destroyed in the space of 50 pages.

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Today at work I told a coworker about it. “It’s not the same,” I said, “but the crisis mode they’re living in, the exhaustion and sorrow and humor and the way you feel like you’re just holding on, making it up as you go, life and death and wanting to go to sleep all the time,” and he nodded because he knows, too, for different reasons.

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Tonight I told myself no distractions, just the quiet of my room, the windows open, books and music and early bed. The more I distract myself the less I know myself, and I need to make room. June’s come in gentle and cool this year, every day under 80 a glittering gift. I wake up and the sun is pouring through my window, the constant wind of the coast making water like patterns on my walls, bed, every surface. At night the sun comes down to eye level across the cottage, a micro magic hour.

 

My answer, then. I’ll remember this time by the light it cast.

only the echoes of my mind.

I remind myself every day that it’s in this moment that I can choose who I want to be. It’s sometimes useful and sometimes makes me roll my eyes because nothing is really that profound in my life.

 

I’m reading Alibis by Andre Aciman, and in an essay about time and memory and Proust find this:

 

With temporizers, experience is meaningless–it is not even experience–unless it comes as the memory of experience, or, which amounts to the same, as the memory of unrealized experience….It is only when it’s too late that one comes to understand how close one came to bliss…or how needless our sorrows were when they drove us to despair.

 

I watch my life from two steps back: This is who I am, and this is what I’ll look like to myself in a years time, five years time, ten. The shiny ivy of DC is what I thought I’d remember about my apartment in SW, not the walk from it to L’enfant, the statues in the parking lot, the rats along side the church, thinking about writing while Rufus Wainwright sung Hallelujah in my ears and a man halfheartedly blew dead leaves into piles on the sidewalk.

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Last summer is the moment of floating in the pond I only found at the very end of the season, early morning, 5:30 or 6 am when it was still and already hot and Baxter paced the shore alongside my lazy strokes. I remember the good clean feeling of being exhausted from the water, getting dressed for work, washing sand and leaves off my skin. And why that instead of the countless pricks and sorrows of last summer? Because my life is a story I was telling myself, and that moment was the one that I liked best.

I’ve been drifting a little, struggling to find a balance between responsibility and work and life and commutes and all the other things that make up my mundane self at the moment. I’m feeding on the energy of the season beginning, though, all the people flooding over the bridges, into the stores, on the roads, on the trails, in the water. Windows open to the sweetness of June, unwilling to put the A/C up just yet.

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In this moment I can choose who I am, and maybe watch my life from a step closer.

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