We’ve walked into June now. That early point in the summer that always has me planning how to elongate the time and how to focus. How to focus on summer 2017. Or rather June, today's date. (Not my whole life in retrospective or in the future tense. The tensest future.) Only by looking at the hours ahead of me can I make sense of which components of all that I enjoy doing might best fill them. What will I want to have done by September when my work kicks back in with a vengeance?
My mister once said that we have the tendency to think that the unplanned days, slow, lolly, stretching out like fat tabbies in their hours make the most of time, but that actually, some scrambling, too many plans, a schedule ripe to the bursting, makes time feel more expansive. The more of it we use up, the longer it lasts? It seemed counter-intuitive to me, but one year when we had no choice but to hustle along, we did, and it was true. It seemed that we were nearly to summer’s end, and it was just early July.
This year will prove another of those cluttered calendars. Houseguests for a week. A baby shower in Florida for another. A wedding in New York. A house concert at Chez Cakes(look for a later post about house concerts!) So much travel and with that the rigmarole of dog care, cat sitters, people to check on this, water that. All of this can make us decide to just not bother, stay put.
But my most recent writing project is focusing on last things and last things lead me to think about what lasts. For me, that’s the stuff that shakes and stirs this mad cocktail inside me. The senses need to sense, after all. So I am not shying from the chaos. But I do need to make sure that I am getting some reading and writing into this mix, too, For when I have so much going on, I can fall back on the excuse: things are too hectic, I’ll get the page later.
Later, I’ll often fall weary in front of the television or hang stupidly on my phone and scroll around looking up things that—studies show—don’t last as knowledge in our brains. We consume quickly, forget, consume more. But we rarely learn from these flitty meanderings. Like cramming for a test where we take in too much, too fast and thoughtlessly so. The real world is intimate, sometimes too near, a close-talker. Sometimes we shy from its body heat and the smell of its breath, but the real world,(unlike the device we use to read these words or write them) is alive.
The trick will be to balance. Full days. Lots of travel. A routine. Or routine enough to get some words written. Below there are begonias and celosia broken off from the fresh new plants we were transporting in the back of the pick up. We had a cool piece of antique furniture all bungeed-up when the mister saw a capsized turtle and swiveled us back. The furniture fell on my new plants, the new deck stain we purchased to stain the "stage" for our musical event broke open, splattered the truck bed, the fallen dresser and damaged the piece itself and the turtle, well, let's just say he was in no shape to appreciate these sacrifices. But my anxious self and hubby took to cleaning up, grabbed the late Mr. T and headed home thinking the effort, however futile, however ridiculous, was worth it. I took the broken flowers and stuck them in our windowsill, because in that moment, it was good just to celebrate their remaining orangeness, the light through their vases, the punk rock magenta spikes of celosia, and mercy. We didn't mourn, we just morninged-on.
I should be out weeding the human-high grove of thistle in the front garden right now. In a few minutes, I will be. But right now, I am writing, hoping to lay down something, if not lasting, then lingering which is the verb of summer, after all.