August 28, 2008

The start of something

I am so over summer. It's just not who I am, or think I am. I like moving all around the city, eating outside, wearing shorts, and, this year, taking care of flowers. But I can’t run fast enough from summer now.

When I left work, there was some sort of fire burning and it smelled like fall, randomly, in an alley in Dupont. At lunch, lovely Mary and I talked about how the cool rainy day – the first rain in like 8 weeks - seemed like the beginning of the change in seasons. In England, it starts much sooner. We were wishing for days when you want to eat something warm. Chili, soup, hot tea again.

Tonight I took a walk and it's very cool outside. Certain tree leaves have started to fall on Capitol Hill, though we're at least six weeks from the leaves really changing. At night, this neighborhood is astonishing, especially when I walk by these old houses and look in the windows. I love that. Cap Hill has streetlights that are pleasingly orange, not harsh, and tonight there was enough humidity that you could smell the plants, especially lavender.

I also smelled English Boxwood, which is probably my favorite scent. It is the smell of Virginia. It takes years to grow, so when I see a lot of it, I assume it is well older than me, and maybe even my parents.

Scott Simons has a lovely new song called Start Of Something that I played on my iPod tonight. Fall should really be the end of something, yes? But it isn’t – it’s the beginning of everything, at least in my mind’s calendar.

So when I go by these houses, I say, “How did I end up here?” I just think this whole year had to happen. I had to change. None of that goes into this blog. Weird. So much happens that never ends up here. But I hate it when people always pretend everything is Just. So. Great.

As I type this, there is a woman on TV (at the Democratic Convention) who reminds me of my aunt who was so great to me when I was a kid. She died two years ago at this very time. Parkinson's was horrible to her. Horrible. And I try to keep that fact from some friends who have family with Parkinson’s. But she did not take care of herself – she cared about everyone else. When she died, I kept playing Sophia by Nerina Pallot over and over. Not that it’s appropriate, but the mood was right. And my aunt’s name was on a loop in my head for days. Lynne. Lynne. Lynne. Has that ever happened to you?

Tonight I also played the beautiful Kate Nash b-side called Don't You Want to Share The Guilt? It has a wonderful line: "I say 'Have you been crying?' and you say 'Shut up,' so we sit in the garden and touch grass with our hands." I love that. Kate Nash is a great writer who clearly spends a lot of time shutting up and watching. I think she's an only child, like me. Only childen recognize each other.

I have a memory of fall in Georgia. I used to wear overalls every Friday. And I remember being on this big hill at a battlefield in Marietta. Lots of leaves. And some kids running down the hill, picking up speed and being so pleased by that. Why these memories? What is the pattern the brain takes to bring this stuff back up? There must be a trigger.

I’ve just gone back to Justin Currie’s album – another very quiet record. He’s Scottish, so by "quiet" I mean melancholy! This week it’s Still In Love.

In the fall, I can play the music that is really another version me. This isn't disco music - it's quieter. Like the beautiful instrumental guitar ballad called El Noi de la Maire by Jean Felix Lallane, which is on iTunes. It sounds like a Christmas song.

When you get older, some things get a little harder, I think. Some people go back to church, which I have considered, but really just because the church here looks like it was dropped in from an English village (and there is a parking sign that says, “Thou shalt not park here”). But, also, I am becoming more aware of who I love most. This whole year has been like that. So then I think that maybe, as I get older, I will go back to those people. Is that unrealistic? Things change, yes, but I hope you know what I mean.

That picture is actually from Israel, taken by a man name Assaf.


countpopula said...

This entry really touched me more than anything I've read on a computer screen before. Maybe it is that I sympathize as I am the same age as you, but I really think we are at a crossroads of change in so many ways...I would like to think for the better. Thank you for your beautiful words of reflection.

KulPop said...

Great post. I'm going through some major life changes also. I've decided to move back to the East Coast of Canada where I grew up after a long time away.

I feel family and friends are too important to be so far away from on the other side of the country, "life's too short" as they say. Leaving a decent job has been a scary reality, but then today I got an email about a possible job where I'm moving to so I may not be out of work after all.

Loved the line "But, also, I am becoming more aware of who I love most.", I think we all need to do this.



Anonymous said...

Beautiful words and thoughts, moved me to tears! In a good way, like a very, very good song... Thanks for sharing your thoughts so eloquently. And I certainly know what you mean!

V said...

Lovely post. Loved reading it. I'm much the same about summer. I'm exhausted and can't wait for cooler days. "How did I end up here" is a constant question that pops up as I walk around the city or especially after seeing a show.

mineforlife said...

Yeah, great post. I love how much of you is in this. One of the reasons why your blog is one of the first I check out everyday.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for these lovely words read on a Friday afternoon in Dublin (it's going to rain... again).

Have a great weekend,

D'luv said...

Lovely and subtle on so many levels.

This has been a massive year of change for so many people, myself included. Fortunately, every change has been a step forward... hoping for more of that come November.

Dan said...

This is a great post for a million reasons. Viva change. And viva change for the better.

Adem With An E said...

I'm going to join the chorus of people thanking you for this xo. It made me think about the changes I've gone through this year and why they've had to take place.

This was probably the most touching piece I've probably read on a blog before.

Anonymous said...

I love Autumn, it's one of my favourite seasons.

Summer, whilst being too warm for the most part, has its charms. These charms being lots of DILFS in shorts. Yum.

Nice post and a refreshing change from other blogs that seem a little detached from real life.

Jason said...

I've been struggling with still being in Lewisburg six years later... but everytime I've left here, I've wanted to come back.

We shall see. My current fantasy is to live overseas somewhere... how this next election goes may speed things up a bit for me.