last day of august
last day of summer
how do i characterize this summer?
on saturdays – drives to the beach, making sure we got there before noon, being one of the “reduced capacity”, grabbing our blue lawn chairs, walking past kites flying in the sky, wondering where they are tethered. they seem to be flying there like magic, tethered to nothing.
families always having picnics and celebrating birthday parties. parties i wish i could be invited to, to enjoy ice cold cans from the cooler and snacks in bags and hot dogs and hamburgers fresh off the grill
a cook out
a reminder of family of belonging of connection and community
paxton and i joke about how we should do a cook out
but we know we would be the only two in attendance, because we have nobody to invite and would it be worth it to go through all the trouble of getting all the supplies and grilling just for the two of us?
we spend our saturdays lounging on the beach, in our blue lawn chairs with all the pockets, alternating between bites of watermelon, hands in salty chips, sips of coconut water and kombucha.
i’m reading 3 books at once, jumping from book to book when i get tired of reading the other while pax slowly reads through his 800 page books – one on “the patriots guide to america” and now one called “das kapital” the original marx book on communism. he says he must learn from his enemies. I read about where souls go when they die and how the body holds onto trauma.
i swim in the water when I get too hot, do laps alongside the shore, or practice mermaid flips, or talk aloud to myself, the ocean my diary, the ocean my muse. the ocean the place where i (figure it out)
back on land (sand) i close my eyes to feel the sun on my skin, or find rocks and shells by the shore, or observe the seagull eating a crab and drop it, see the crab want to run away and the seagull picking it up in its beak.
should i save the crab? or should i let nature run its course? i read a few mary oliver poems and feel i should write a poem about this. the impermanence of life. the wanting to do something, save something, but sitting back and watching instead.
we talk about what we want for lunch. sushi? thai? pizza? the world is our limit, we can have whatever is available to us. we go back and forth discussing. we’re bad at making decisions. i try to listen to the compass in my body. my womb space, my gut, my sacral chakra, my yes or no according to my human design, which i’ve been studying all summer.
ask me a question and see how i respond.
i need you to test me so i can practice listening.
my mind gets in my way all too often. my mind is loud, while my body is soft. she knows she does not need to scream to be heard. she waits until you clear the space to come to her.
we decide to leave once our skin is sufficiently burned, turned red and brown in the sun, and the words on the page can no longer hold our focus.
we pack up, you folding the towels, me collecting plastic and glass bottles, and we walk back up, past kites and families having birthday parties and picnics and see dragonflies in the parking lot and i wonder why they weren’t near the water.
we pick up whatever it is we finally decided on, this time it’s pizza, and we drive home, you driving faster than you should so the pizza doesn’t get cold. first, i wash off the sand stuck between my thighs and then put on an oversized comfy t-shirt to lay in bed in the air-conditioning and watch episodes of Caribbean life or Mediterranean life or Million dollar Listing. Watching rich people shop for homes exotic locations of the world because it’s the extent of the emotional scale i can witness in this sensitive, empathic body.
on sundays we mix it up from the beach to the cafe and go to sift. we order iced lattes and you order a quiche and i order a croissant and we settle on a table by the basil plant and I sneak leaves, picking them off from the plant, when i think nobody else is looking and we spend hours reading. well, you reading, me reading and writing and dreaming and planning and sometimes “working” but the work that fuels my soul and not the work that pays the bills.
summer has been dragonflies and iced tea. bags of tea put in mason jars overnight in the fridge to enjoy in the morning. it’s been peaches and blueberries for breakfast and giant zucchinis found on the side of the road for free. it’s been wearing nothing but shorts and white t-shirts and one of the two dresses I have on the floor. it’s been the backyard smelling of the dogs pee and poop, the smells heightened in the sun, and doing watercolors in the rain because i thought it would look cool but instead it just washes away all the paint so the paper is left all soggy and muddy from the debris kicked up by the torrential downpour.
it’s foraging berries off the side of the road, rubies, natures candy, sweet, sticky, sun berries. are they poisonous? i would rather risk tasting the sweetness of life than the fear of death. it’s flashes of lightning and the smell of sweet summer thunderstorms – my favorite kind.
it’s going to church for the first time in years, only because we’re curious, and being enticed by the ritual of it (okay only the singing) and being turned off by the commercialism of it – the idea of needing to get as many people as we can to be saved or doing baptisms on demand behind walls that open up as if we’re in a theater and watching actors on the stage. we can no longer go to the theater, so i tried to go to the church, but i’ve come to the realization that i’m no longer interested in seeing characters play in fantasy.
i want real, human truth. i want raw vulnerability. i want to know that what i’m feeling is what you’re feeling and i want to see myself in you. i feel that way when the artist is utterly honest, stripped away bare, naked. no more period costumes and songs and dance made to entertain. i need to know that we are not alone.
so i stop going to church and start hosting my own circles instead, where we can be real. where we can face ourselves on the page and stop hiding – behind masks, behind fear, behind viruses, behind conspiracies, behind political opinion, behind divisiveness, behind it all.
i want to see all of you. this is how we are truly saved.
this summer is characterized mostly by the little moments but also the big moments and isn’t it interesting how I feel like i can’t claim the big moments as summer because im used to the habit, the ritual, the routine? the big moments can’t characterize summer because i only experienced them once. (and i don’t tell you of the days spent monday through friday in bed on my laptop for 11 hours plus)
like the time we gathered on the beach and made a fire and sat six feet apart and went swimming in the dark underneath the moon and i thought about the natives & the elders & the way stories have been told across history, across culture, across time. stories around the fire, gathered in circle, in community, in connection. the only time this summer that i saw more than two people in person, in flesh.
or the time we escaped to the Berkshires for the weekend. a place that is usually full of summer festivals and “summer seasons” – yoga and orchestras and shakespeare under stars and dance companies and art made in barns. but this time, what’s left are locals and hiking trails, blueberry fields and empty cafes, and motels where we got high and went swimming in the empty pool.
or the time i took a ferry, masked up, to an island and remembered the feeling of travel, unfamiliar, listening to my inner voice and following my inner compass – when i can’t stop spilling words on the page and tasting sweet fruit, the sun and the sea and my body giving me full body orgasms behind rocks, fucked by the sun, fucked by life.
these are the moments i want to remember. these are the images, feelings, words i want to label under “summer 2020” to remember the