August arrives, as it always does, thrumming with the ceaseless drone of cicadas, the looming threat of hurricanes, and a recurring, tender ache in my heart. A strange, soft, sadness for something that never was, wistfulness for certain places best left to exist in memories, a nostalgic sentiment for a timeline in which I, myself, should never have existed.
These photos were taken almost seven years ago, as I was packing up bits and scraps of a life I’d never fully settled into, preparing a return to a place I never believed I would call home again. Nostalgia is a funny thing, strange and sad, wily and dangerous. Even as I was snapping these photos, I was already seeing the place, and my memories of it, through rose-colored lenses. But that rosiness was never a true thing. Good times did not happen here. I look at this fence today, and recall the beauty of the river beyond, and it’s so easy to think, “how lovely is the lazy current, the fiery glow of August’s setting sun”, and it occurs to me, stark and sudden, how often I despaired, and imagined throwing myself in that very same river. These are terrible, melancholy thoughts, and I have learned throughout the years that nostalgia is no true friend of mine.
Mathyld (whose loveliness and talents I have recently written about, here at Unquiet Things) fashioned this Lionhearted talisman for me, back in 2011, when I knew I must make a decision that would change –everything– for me. Containing bits of labradorite, rutilated quartz, turquoise, and blue chalcedony, I clutched it for luck, I cradled it for protection, and I channeled all the confidence and strength that I could glean from its tiny, glimmering contents. It took no small amount of bravery and fortitude to walk away from that life, and I needed every bit I could get my hands on.
In the years that have passed, in the place that I am, I have found more love and wonder and satisfaction than I ever dreamed I’d have the courage to grasp. It’s funny to think that this situation, too, may change. That sooner or later the August shrieks of ancient insects will be too distant for my ears to discern, that I may trade the stunning semi-tropical savagery of annual hurricanes, for…well, whatever comes next. What is next? Where is next? I’ve got some thoughts, but we’re not quite there yet.
Meanwhile, I’m not going anywhere immediately, so that means we’ve got time to enjoy some rusty old treasures in the form of my late grandmother’s ceramic kitchen canisters, which we finally dusted off and filled with, well, you can clearly read on the canisters themselves what’s meant to fill them. And who am I to defy the word of Canister?
Also recently installed is my late grandfather’s workbench in our garage! Which I will probably never use, though it is wonderfully comforting to know it is nearby. But why do we have so many saws? Yikes. Better not ask too many questions, I reckon.
Typically I like to spend at least one weekend every summer at my sister’s house, during which I do nothing but luxuriate in her swimming pool from the first light of dawn (which is sometimes difficult to gauge through her black out curtains) until midnight –and quite frequently, beyond. In times of yore I drank margaritas all day to celebrate my one day of #mermaidlife hedonism, but as I’ve gotten older, the cocktails have become more and watered down until we’ve simply decided that our middle-aged bods and their glitchy digestive tracts prefer just plain water and ice as accompaniment to our aquatic interlude.
Schedules throughout this June and July were too crazed for our pool date, but I’d be damned if I let the summer go by without it! Thankfully it finally happened this past weekend, although, sadly, the weekend was mostly rainy. I did get in some night swimming, and got to swan about it my Nobody dress, which is probably not intended as a bathing suit cover-up, but eh, whatever. You can’t see it underneath, but my swimsuit is this one, in black, from Modcloth; I’ve had it about four years now and it’s held up pretty well–but considering I only wear it once every 365 days, it had better!
Last month my BGF came to visit for a weekend, during which time we lazed about in our pajamas, ate a massive amount of junk food, and watched season two of Dragula in its entirety. Oh my lord, the insane alien baby realness in episode four! It was the perfect stay-in-and-make-poor-decisions weekend, and, as a bonus, she introduced me to Claws, which after having watched Sons of Anarchy, Peaky Blinders, and at least one season of Vikings, was exactly what I wanted. I’m so tired of seeing these shows about men and their macho gangs, doing all sorts of terrible, testosterone-fueled shit to keep their families together–I wanted to see a gang of strong females doing all kinds of terrible shit! I didn’t expect that it would come in the form of feisty co-workers at a nail salon, but that’s what makes it so unexpected and great. I believe that Claws may be what I was hoping for…and the bonus is that the show’s setting is Manatee County, and it contains all of the dumb craziness that could only take place in Florida. (I realize it’s actually filmed in New Orleans, though.)
I haven’t been keeping track of the visual media I’ve been consuming as thoroughly as I have in recent years, but here’s a quick rundown of some other things I have seen over the last month. If I were doing one-word reviews, I’d give them all a yes, even the bad ones (you can tell by the list which one that might be) because I think sometimes there are just things you kind of have to see. Atomic Blonde and Inside Out were my standout favorites, for what it’s worth. And The Great Mouse Detective, though a little silly, was worth it, just to hear Vincent Price as a villainous singing rat.
-The Disaster Artist
-This Is The End
-Antman and the Wasp
-The Great Mouse Detective
It’s just that time of year, I guess. Summer, for myriad reasons–some which return yearly, and others always in flux- always just gets me to feeling some kind of way. I’m muddling through, though. We’ll get there. Where “there” is no longer summer, I guess.