writing is difficult lately. I am very up down up down. admittedly this time of year is always hard on me; at heart, in early summer I am still a marylander, craving 85 degrees and that sticky humidity, snowballs, lightning bugs. portland always holds out on us for as long as possible, although we have had some good days.
we have had some good days. I could tell you about them, in the way I usually do: walking up and down the street, eating ice cream with a friend, casually bumping shoulders, one hand holding the hem of my dress. a long sunny bike ride where I inevitably make a couple of exploratory turns and lose track of where I am until I am really far from my house -- a method of bike riding which I prefer above all others. (45 miles later, I was, admittedly, pretty glad to be home). a morning spent crouched in the strawberry fields, listening to nearby kids strategize on how to find the best berries. "you have to find a really good bush, that's the key," one says, and they all begin to echo their consent. I could say how hard I laughed with a friend as she told me how she tried to describe me to a coworker who is single; how she said "she runs and rides horses" as a way of describing my particular body parts and how, she said, all six people listening said, "oooh." I could tell you about the way the breeze felt on my blessedly bare legs as I walked through the fields; I could tell you about the humor of the two guys I passed on the hawthorne bridge at the start of the naked bike ride, how they were sitting in the median, eating sandwiches. about the rain on my bare back, coasting on my bike in nothing but a pair of deliberately scandalous underwear, or how, upon retelling this story to the kids at the barn, they laughed in awe and horror.
I could also tell you how I came home from work last night intent on getting things done, finally, but how instead I took off all my clothes and curled up into my bed and lay there until dark. no TV, no phone, no book. it was out of a certain kind of inexpressible ennui. I didn't want to do nothing but there was nothing I wanted to do. I slept fitfully, tried to get up, decided against it, felt terrible.
three more days of work. it's a blessing and a curse. I am stressed beyond all imagination. then: time. the most elusive of commodities.
all the songs I have spent listening to on repeat have grown tired. what is this feeling? I don't have a name for it. I spend many moments thinking about the risks we take in this life, what our greatest leaps are worth. how we console ourselves in moments of cowardice by saying, "next time." how we take for granted that a tomorrow will come, and another, and another. again, wondering about urgency. standing in a coworker's office last week, I joked that I don't know how to be still and do nothing. "I'll teach you," one person said, and the minute she offered, I thought, 'maybe I don't want to learn.'
once, as I was writing furiously in my notebook at the coffee shop I practically lived in all through college, a guy came up and handed me his number. he and a friend had awkwardly engaged me in conversation earlier in the evening. later, with a guy friend, I laughed it off. the guy who asked me out -- his name, I remember, was clint. john, my friend, said something I'll never forget. "give clint a chance," he said. "give, give, give. maybe someday someone will give to you."