What if I’m not a summer soul after all? What if the sunny days are meant to be spent lying on the ground, trying to find the balance between Vitamin D and skin cancer? Feeling heavy, sticky. Soaking up the heat like a loaf of bread in the oven. What if I have nothing to feel guilty about?
Because now there is a restlessness coming over me. The last of the flower petals are lodged in puddles, or wedged between branches or cracks in the buildings. The leaves are bright red on the bushes. The leaves on the trees are dry and the wind plays a slightly different kind of music now.
Everything streaming seems insipid. Summer brought back a television habit. It is painful to admit. The slow film Four Good Days, which I first took to be a play, woke me up. I want to read again. Maybe return to Annie Dillard. Or Arne Næss.
Yesterday I had to put on my student’s costume and play a goat for 30 daycare children. Corona is still a thing that trips up what once seemed so predictable. I’ve been teaching for so very many years now, and this is the first time I had to step in because “the show much go on.” It was humbling. And still, sad to recognize again the lack of butterflies or joy in being the one on stage. I found it hard to stay in character and focus on the layer of fiction I was supposed to inhabit. I wanted to take it all in.
Maybe that’s not such a sad thing, really. Maybe it is a kind of depth, too.
Walking back from the park after the performances, I saw a wasps’ nest in an open field. It could have been a wasps’ nest. It may have been honeycomb. Tomorrow I run along the same path to the park and, if it is still there, I think it will be safe enough to get closer. To find out.
I can’t tell you why I need to know.
E.’s daughter has moved back into the house unexpectedly and (necessarily) taken over my studio space. Everything is changed suddenly, and for the next 2 years. E. is clearing out his storage room to give me a place to paint and make paper – to work on the nests. I think sometimes when the unexpected happens, and after we’ve taken time to breathe, it can be a comfort: Well, this wasn’t the end of the world.
Not this time.