I just want to run and dive in.
This picture is from the last time I was at the ocean. It was at a wedding; the air was crisp and perfect. The waves gently lapped against the shore, and I wanted to dive in so badly. I was wearing a navy cotton eyelet dress and shiny patent flats, which I took off to dig my toes into the moist sand. I wonder when I’ll ever be able to go to the ocean again.
I wasn’t going to write about this or bitch about it any more than I have, but to hell with it. I miss the ocean. I feel the swell in my belly and my breast, but I cannot go to the ocean right now. I have solar dermatitis, which is a skin rash that flares up in the sun, and boy, the sun has been one hell of a showy bitch this summer. I have to be outdoors for work, and that is bad enough. The itch is immediate and strong. My skin is deeply tanned but blotchy and bumpy, little white spots peeking through the caramel in a mocking sort of way. Mind you, I am religious about sunscreen, so it’s not for my lack of sun safety. No, the heat and brightness of that big star has overpowered me.
One week, we had continuous clouds and rain every day, and I was actually joyous at times. My skin had stopped crawling for a few days. But now….
I have, of course, made a playlist of all the songs that bring me some sense of cool and calm, that speak to my longing for water. I wish the beach was close enough that I could at least visit after sundown, just go and inhale the clean saline scent, feel it on my skin. I feel so lost without it. Perhaps my love for autumn has manifested itself as a burning hatred for these hot and humid times.
Enjoy while soaking up the sun or, if you’re like me, looking outside your window and wishing your body wasn’t rejecting summer.
Reminders are all around me.
A friend’s pictures from his trip to the UK along with the lush descriptions of haunted England in the book The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield brings back tidal waves of bittersweet memories. The chill of the Northern countryside. Wandering cobblestone streets under a comforting blanket of fog. Love escaping me like those tendrils of mist. Substantial enough to be felt, but never solid enough to grasp.
A mention of baby chicks in the book The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake by Aimee Bender conjures a brief flash of childhood: chicks hatching in an incubator. Field trip. My mom smiles. I smile. Wonder.
Listening to Feist’s aptly title album The Reminder transports me back to a difficult year of failure, struggle and a long goodbye to my home. It also reminds me of my own resilience, my determination to do better, to be better.
A trip to the farmer’s market brings the taste of my first date with Lover Man: coconut sticky rice studded juicy, sweet mango. Vibrant. Sweetness and depth. I make a vegetable panini consisting of fresh mozzarella and just-picked zucchini and am sitting back in a cafe in Georgetown, relishing my first taste of freedom from the constraints of my everyday life.
They are everywhere, these reminders.
The most potent of them all came just yesterday. A friend from high school posted a Kickstarter campaign for her mother’s documentary Uchuraccay, a story about murder and the power of journalism, yes, but also a story about facing demons, confronting the past and creating art from pain. It reminded me that my pain and, by extension, my words, are valid. Who knows what memories we will evoke with our art. The chance to gain inner peace through the exorcism of creation. I pledged my support to Uchuraccay, as it also served as a reminder that when artists support each other, magical things happen.
TRAILER UCHURACCAY ENG from Quinoafilms on Vimeo.