Note: Summer

Summer leaps above the rest of the year, much like the holidays, a brief period of entirely unique rituals. Perhaps long summer days are to be appreciated, but I’ve never appreciated when things linger, be it days or guests or feelings.
I’ve traveled up and down California throughout the season, driving alongside sunflowers that bravely line the highways, the wild kind whose tiny heads branch out in all directions. In Lake Tahoe, tall pines swayed until they creaked, like a house near collapse, and in the southern Sierra Nevada, stars appeared and I counted four, nine, and then sixteen before they flooded the sky and the counting proved futile. The photo above was taken in Joshua Tree, where in that very same dress I ran at full speed among the giant boulders because at 6 a.m. there is not a soul in sight, and thus every reason to do just about anything that comes to mind.
Summer unveiled a few surprises so I’m in the midst of just as many changes, which I hope to (happily) reflect upon soon. I have a feeling that this fall will bear little resemblance to summer or spring or the previous fall, which is perfectly fine by me. When I was younger, adjusting to new situations proved difficult, but I now find change to be less daunting, more stimulating. I feel relieved that life refuses to be overly pleased with itself, that it is biased toward change.
I recently finished Imbolo Mbue’s Behold the Dreamers (Random House, 2016), the dreamers being those who cling to the American Dream, the supposed direct and easy transaction between hard work and success. The author goes as far as to call America “a magnificent land of uninhibited dreamers,” which seems to suggest that we don’t know when to stop. But these characters do, eventually. More on this Cameroonian writer’s million-dollar debut soon.
Best, Yuri

Labels: Notes, Personal,

Note: Farewell, July

July will be difficult to miss because I hardly realized she was here before she was gone. July invokes the strongest visions of summer, perfectly positioned within the season, so its sudden passing leaves me a bit startled though not disappointed. July is for those who wait impatiently for summer, who prefer when the sun is high in the sky, and though I am appreciative, I am not overly enthusiastic. I grow weary when the sun refuses to stop shining, when it creates pressure to be happy, as in, it’s so bright outside, why feel otherwise? In regards to emotions I support equal opportunity, so a mix of sunshine and clouds serves me well.
The Fourth of July was spent in Los Angeles, a city that taps into parts of us that we wish to ignore (see Dry by Augusten Burroughs). My favorite memory from the holiday is picking up vegan chicken pizza at 10pm with amateur fireworks exploding in all directions. I spent time in San Diego the following weekend, and ever since I have settled myself at home in the Bay Area, celebrating summer in the small ways like listening to Leon Bridges’ Coming Home nonstop, and taking road trips north to Napa and south to Santa Cruz.
A thought that I carry into August is that comfort is one of the biggest obstacles to change; comfort keeps us still. I have yet to discover what exactly I will do with this piece of information, so cheers to August.


Labels: Notes, Personal,