Summer, Writing, Fall

I want to take the time to savour the sentence, the paragraph, the punctuation. I want to express ideas sweet and bitter, to open a curtain to my heart and soul and mind, to allow the world to peek. I want to have the time to think while I write. I want to be able to sit, concentrate, eke out words that matter, not words that just amuse or just entertain or just inform. Words that ache. Words that strain against their confining letters and explode like fireworks against the white of the page. I want to create beauty, light, sorrow, laughter, for people to see, nod with, say YES. From fiction to non fiction to fiction again I careen like a weighted inflatable toy; watch the writer as she bobs and bobs. She never falls. She never gets anywhere. Could we just stop for a while. Could I just stay still in a moment and do it justice. I never do these moments justice because I don’t have time to do them justice, I don’t have time to immerse myself and examine and eke and savour.

Have or make.

Have or make.

Or make.

The time.

Make the time.

Is five minutes enough for a moment? Here, here is five minutes. Is ten minutes enough for a moment? Is the moment bigger than this moment? Can you restrain your mind, keep it still, hand on it like a horseman’s on a flank, calm it. Stop fluttering, remember to breathe, your chest is hollow and your mind is jumping. Let the air in, let the thoughts flow, let your fingers spell those thoughts for you, set them free on the page, let your heart speak, let your soul weep, let it all out.

Don’t be fooled by the slow movement of these moments; they creep like snails, but when you come back to look for them, they will be gone. Camouflaged in the trees, up the sides of curbs, hiding as snails do. You have to take the moment and watch the snail crawl now, watch the slime trail after it, think of how it reminds you of semen, of clear glue, or the mucous on your children’s faces when they wake up from a fitful night’s sleep with colds invading their bodies, of winter, not summer, of the seasons always presenting themselves in the best light and then when you’re in them they turn into monsters; sweltering heat, oppressive snow, the dark, dark darkness of rain, chilis and soups and bouncing off the walls. Let it all go. What are you missing.

What are you missing when you miss Fall. Long pants and cardigans, duvets tucked around the knees and toes, permission to shut up in the house and simmer things. Food, thought, ideas. Summer presents ideas too quickly, all this fleeting, bright beauty and we haven’t the time to sit with it. The days don’t end until we pass out from the heat, they begin too early, we are moving, going, running to the sound of our own blood rushing in our veins, delighted to feel our bodies move, overjoyed with our brown skin, with our minuscule proofs of time well spent. We try to preserve the moments the way we preserve cucumbers and berries, for that small, sweet (or sour) reminder that summer was here. We were here, in the summer, and we enjoyed it; we have the pictures and preserves and peeling skin to prove it.

Enjoy the light while you can, bottle it for when it is hard to come by.

The full, green trees outside my window, the yellow light behind them, all reminding me that now is a summer afternoon, the middle of August, the sweetest, ripest time of year. I have fresh corn and fresh berries and plums that are swollen and purple like broken ankles, bursting their skins with juice and summer and sunshine stored for me to enjoy, let drip down my chin, lick up later. Too soon I will have more time to ponder than I will have ideas. I should be writing now, even in spurts, that I might reflect in the short dark days of November and spend an hour uncorking, reworking, reflecting and revising.

So it is all right that I am jealous of peoples’ careful words placed just so around ideas that are fresh and delicious while I can only produce the writerly equivalent of popsicles; watery and sweet, gone in a second with only a soggy stick to discard. You can’t go back to a popsicle. You eat it and you enjoy it and it’s gone. It is all right. That’s summer.

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