Thought Trafficking

Things you would consider nonflammable that burn surprisingly easily
June 5, 2009, 6:20 am
Filed under: academese, living | Tags: ,

These would be: 

  • spaghetti (half wet)
  • lentil soup
  • chick peas in water
  • metal kettles

Typically I am not someone who revels in hot weather. I like to find a basement, a bag full of ice, a book, and hide until the part where the thunderstorm starts (I mean in Edmonton). I don’t like feeling overwarm. 

That said, I don’t know whether it is the weather that has changed or my attitude, the past few days. The days I will still complain, a little, because the sun scours you raw and then you sweat salt out of your crying pores. But the night. It is the night that takes shape. All the light, the last sunlight, the porch lights, the kitchen light sneaking into the living room, the street lights, sodium orange, all the lights in the night radiate, encapsulate their space. You make some tea, because it has cooled just enough to allow you to want hot. Everything that was sticking comes unstuck, plants breathe off the smell of water.

It is this that I can’t get enough of. You go swimming at twilight to cool down and then cycle home, back up the hill with wet hair, and the smell of overripe lilacs is still in the air. When you take away the people, the social issues, the department politics, the deadlines, you are left with this night. It reminds me of walking barefoot on the street where I grew up in Sherwood Park late at night, of walking home from a friend’s house in Brussels, past the ponds, of the air outside certain airports before you fly home, of Uncas School and the Perseid meteor shower, of watching 4th of July fireworks across the strait from my apartment lawn two years ago, of being surprised at how warm the air was when Jack and I walked out of Carnegie hall after seeing Pierre Boulez conduct.

What I’m trying to say is, there are nights, and then there are Nights. 

I am enjoying school in this weather very much, as it gives direction to the days. I want to say things, even vague things, about the project that I am working on here, but don’t quite yet know how. Out of the things I read last semester were La ville parjure, ou le reveil des Erinyes by Hélène Cixous and Juste la fin du monde by Jean-Luc Lagarce; as for this semester, progress is slow, but relatively steady. I think I am mostly too content to move too quickly. Reading three pages of an article by Yves Bonnefoy took about 30 minutes today, not because they were difficult, but because they were tasty. I am too distractable, with too many books on the go and too many knitting projects in by bag. I get all kinds of threads tangled up.

My heart is busting from enthusiastic overuse.

big blue sky

Summer in the city.

New York at night


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