good morning ~
(click the kaleidoscope waves to listen)
today's email is part 2 of "sandhills music," a series commissioned by tiny showcase ~ enjoy ~
We don't mark the time since in calendar years gone by. We don't actively keep track of days without or however many months it's been. What really makes it real is the summer breaking through, that’s when we feel it. Sunburns and grass crisping up in the heat and brilliant, late-evening sunsets are the clocks we keep her by.
And not just because that's when we lost her - it's right in the middle of summer, the anniversary of the accident (and those absolutely awful phone calls). That heavy, heavy date swirls, a pool of gravity. Other summer occasions get warped around it - the 4th, the day I was born, the date we moved in together, all twisting, bending down. The solstice and remembering, hand in hand.
But it’s not so much the date, that’s just a coincidence. It’s that the summer holds her undeniable energy, her fun, her boundlessness. She was free, warm, and abundant, always radiating. She held more possibilities than anyone I've ever met - when it's the middle of the longest days and the sun's still up at 9pm and you do a dozen things in a day because the light fills you up? That's how it felt to be around her - we could sing another one, we could close down the bar, we could eat dinner for six hours and laugh and laugh and laugh. She was tidal - when she roared into a room or summoned us via our phones we'd get swept up in it, dragged smiling into something larger, a little scary, a little thrilling.
We see a million things in the course of the longer days that bring her back to us: fireworks overhead, of course, people partying on the sidewalk because it's too hot in their apartment, fireflies, orange wine, skimpy clothing, beautiful plumes of vape hanging heavy in the humidity, the childhood reversion and geologic scale of hanging at the beach, loud music bouncing off of hot asphalt, trespassing on rooftops, people working hard at what they're doing, harmony singing, people sweating, people having fun and smiling. Most vividly there's that feeling of something fun and bold just within your grasp, if only you had the moxie to make it happen - every time we dare it we feel her. Every brilliant, lightly erotic sunset or sunrise that sloshes around oranges and purples feels like a personal greeting. She's here, we say, and point.
Her work in the studio was to distill all of this into form, to bottle up all that was wonderful, terrible, and temporary of the anthropocene and give it back to us in polished resin, rounded edges and jagged shards, in colors just a little too vibrant to be naturally occurring. Her work glowed, a little phosphorescent and a little radioactive. A technicolor warning: this won't last forever, nothing will. And maybe that's why she was always conjuring, always wringing out the last few drops of the day - abandon and urgency. And on the hottest days, the longest ones, when we think how much more can the planet possibly stand, we stay out late, another summer passing.
(but what about you? are you summing it all up? are you glowing? can you hear the weather?)