I’d just finished my morning meditation—a mostly turbulent, unfocused, twenty minute affair—when I glanced at the date on my phone’s much-too-shiny screen: July 31st. How the holy fuck did we get to July 31st?
I remember school ending, the vast canvas of summer blank and unfolding...ten thousand years to fill. And now August was here like a death knell, wave upon wave of resonant thunder breaking silence in the distance.
We destroyed most of our living space on the last weekend of June, built a makeshift camping kitchen in its place so we could at least function until “reconstruction”. We’ve now reached peak mayhem I believe: painters are coming Monday and we’ll finally begin seeing improvements. We won’t be done until mid-September but the purge is behind us now. Mostly.
Actually, that’s how we got here so quickly. This non-stop agenda of hires and planning and decisions and purchases and hammers and crowbars and walls coming down and cuts and blisters and band-aids; plaster and drywall and dust. So. Much. Dust.
Loss too. Deep loss. But I leave that to another day.
I don’t do well in intense heat. My brain slows down and the machinery of senses becomes confused. It’s better today—thunderstorms wreaked havoc and left us without power, but they brushed away the humidity like some great, benevolent sweeping hand. Before the weather turned I was sitting on the deck, drinking my first cup of coffee, when an unexpected calm came over me. A sort of peculiar clarity. It may have been the heat, I don’t know. I went into the house, put on my bathing suit and slipped into the pool...alone, which doesn't happen very often. The water was incredibly warm—yet another rarity at our place. Trees and shade will do that: great for oxygen, terrible for water temperature. I swam back and forth a few times; I glided beneath the surface, into that eerie muted silence; I lingered, until my lungs called for air.
I’d left a camera on one of the chairs. I got out of the pool and picked it up. I went back into the water, careful not to drop it. “This might be my way to make it slow...” I thought. A way to unlearn. And for a few minutes I became convinced of a universal truth. Of past, present and future and the pointlessness of rushing events inevitably meant to unfold on their own.
It lasted for longer than usual, this feeling of certainty and purpose.
Until the winds came,
the outer reaches
of our stratosphere.