Everyone seems to be out of sorts, or in a state of transition lately. Well, that’ s nothing new— life is flux. No, what I mean is that a number of people I know have been struggling with big question marks, consciously or not. It’s been coming out gradually, as the summer wanes. They hint at things and then are polite or in earnest to not ruin some summer mood. But I can’t seem to let a thing go if someone close seems troubled, so I ask and insist— bottling up is tantamount to self-imposed stress, and life is too short for people who are close to be too polite with one another. (Ideally politeness should be reserved mostly for strangers or acquaintances, or certain settings.)
So it appears that nearly-invisible stresses have had a hand all along this season, which explains a lot in retrospect. For all the outings and fleeting fun times, there has been a lot of change, shifting and general— well— flux. And as the days grow short, I realize I’m not immune either; I’ve been bottling some things a bit. Vigilance is always key as these glittering months draw to a close. Time for gathering and planning; how to stock against winter. (Moomins and their jam and pine needles…)
A rallying cry in recent summers has been to ‘put on hold all intellectual pursuits!,’ as summer is ill-fitted for them. Summer is for doing, for moving, for being outside— seeking the sea from which all life began. But change and fissures watch neither clock nor calendar. Strength of will or preference is one thing, but change is the engine on which the universe runs and “time’s a crooked bow,” as the man said.
* * *
I’ll meet Orion with wary eyes as he arrives to warn us of winter, but hopefully true and clear of mind, too. He and I have a love-hate thing. I always mourn the departure of summer months, but always also have designs on the dark half of the year, which affords some allowances that summer doesn’t. Though un-buoyed by sunshine and less-visited by frivolity, the blue and blanketed months have other moments, endeavors to turn our erstwhile fire-lit faces to.
Shrouded and inviting of privacy, they inspire an inwardness that would be impolitic when BBQs, beach days, and yard parties abound.
If all the world were summer, when would occur the writing and shaping; the introspecting and analyzing; the archiving? If all of time were summer, who would remember the sunny days, everything glowing and alive? Who would have the words to recall it all, in case of stretches wherein the world temporarily slumbered, or perish’d?
Who would have the means to cast the spells again?*†
* Perhaps the sun— but there are questions and mysteries beyond the ken of a local star.
† Shit, I think I just accidentally waxed an argument for religion; maybe for the Dark Ages. But, no— I’m only talking about art. All of it is art. I just don’t cotton to cults built around a particular bit of art, on account of them being altogether too limiting.