This season. Rain and more rain these days, after several years of drought. Countless hot days ending in a deluge. There have been eerily-colored sunsets, and rainbows, and mammatus clouds creeping across the sky as the light fades. Even tonight I spent dinnertime with one eye on the sky, watched everything grow dark too early. When we came up from the basement later the house was dark and the sky was yellow. By now all is cool and quiet and our power is back on, but I have to wonder about tomorrow night. It is starting to seem normal that the dark would hide storms.
Saturday night the road that passes by our house—a main road through town—looked like a stream, the sheets of rain that hit the pavement mimicking a current. An hour later the rain had not stopped and the road-stream was still there, except the current had shifted and was flowing uphill instead of down.
A summer like this—with the preponderance of rain, everything soaked, off-balance—seems to be a time to know oneself well and also to feel like a stranger inside one’s own body. There is an acceptance and a tension to it all. Often enough there are storms hiding in the dark, but then sometimes there is quiet. The air is heavy (will my lungs ever, ever feel normal again?) but everything is green life everywhere. There seems to be a promise in all of this that things do not—can not—stay the same.
The days have streamed past along with the rain, and we are getting closer and closer to the day we take Oldest to music camp. (Six weeks long, and a big deal. I am unprepared for how much I will miss him, for how proud I feel, for how much I imagine he will learn and experience.)
The days have streamed past and writing has felt slow, stagnant. In reality I think it has just been different. There has been a lot of editing, and re-writing, and submitting of work (a promise to myself this year that I would put myself out there, beyond this blog.) The goal has been to constantly be waiting to hear back about something, so that there's always a sliver of hope, so that I will develop a certain numbness to the rejections. So far, so good on those two counts. Maybe there is improvement in my writing, as well. I have to remind myself that I believe in at least the possibility of improvement, and that I believe in what I am trying to say.
There has been a change, too, in what and how I am being pulled to write. Ideas I want to follow. It is hard to know what to do with that, other than pay attention and try to work with it. My discomfort with social media recently—there’s probably a connection. I am tired of the kind of self-consciousness it brings, tired of feeling like I must be either consumer or consumed. I don’t want to hide, exactly, but I want to work, or maybe hide in order to work. I don’t want isolation, but privacy. To feel a little freer, to let roads turn into streams, and to allow streams to change direction, flow uphill if they like.
This, maybe, is summer in general—ease and unease, work and play, rain and drought bouncing off each other, always changing. Beautiful in its way, but never quite what you expected.