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The Song Sings Itself

Mistakes are almost always of a sacred nature. Never try to correct them. On the contrary:
rationalize them, understand them thoroughly. After that,
it will be possible for you to sublimate them.
             Salvador Dali

Yesterday was the anniversary of Salvador Dali's birthday. I meant to post this entry last night, but I ran out of time. Conclave is finished and the last few contributors' journals will be shipped off this afternoon, but I still feel like I have so many little loose ends to tie up before I can plunge headfirst into the next few projects.

Mark was in Germany last week, and during that time my son had a nasty virus. It was a long week and a bit lonely.

I usually treasure my time alone; I crave it most times. However days spent with a sick, cranky almost-five-year-old and high-energy almost-three-year-old isn't quote alone time, and I do appreciate some adult interaction during the day--especially in times of stress and lack of sleep, especially over my first cup of coffee. That's one of the rituals I miss most about working outside the home, in Academia and Corporate America; the morning coffee shared with coworkers is a much nicer way to ease into the day.

So, as much as I have not enjoyed the disruption brought on by construction in our home, last week I found myself wishing for my morning coffee with some of my favorite contractors. When they were around, I knew I could share a cup of coffee and have a quick chat with them before they started their work. I enjoyed hearing about their trades and their lives. I enjoyed starting my day with friendly natter.

On the plus side, I did write a short story last week that I envision as part of a larger collection. I won't work on it in earnest until I finish S.C., but I have been jotting down copious notes in my Moleskine to keep the ideas fresh. It'll be a fun project for the summer.

Speaking of summer, the kids only have three weeks until the end of the school year. I think we've decided to keep it simple and old-fashioned this summer. We'll have a trip to Arizona and maybe Wisconsin, but I don't plan to over-schedule the kids with camps and acitivities. We have this fabulous new yard, and I want us all to enjoy it, to have long summer days exploring, digging, planting, and climbing without worrying about schedules and early mornings.

When I was a kids, summers were about freedom: to play with the neighborhood kids, to read piles of books, to stay up later and sleep in, to watch cartoons I had missed during the school year. Summers were sprinkler-filled, carefree, and creative.

What are some of your most beloved childhood summer memories? I would love to hear them (you see, I'm drinking my morning coffee and pretending you're here with me, at the kitchen table, chatting).



( 8 comments — Leave a comment )
May. 12th, 2010 03:39 pm (UTC)
As I pour myself another cup of coffee I think of my most treasured summer adventure.

It was the summer my Aunt Kim drove down to California from Washington State and picked up my two sisters and for an epic road trip up the West Coast.

This trip was about taking our time and enjoying the travel. We stopped at several of the most beautiful Red Wood Forests and camped for several days at a time. We spent time in San Francisco at the Golden Gate Park. We swam in the ocean and wrote our names in the sands, collecting sea shells that would be treasured for a span of the summer, but eventually would be lost in the debris of adolescence.

It was the summer of white water rafting and singing along to the Indigo Girls. The summer of waking up in a tent with my then long brown hair in knots and watching blue jays peck around for left overs from the last nights dinner while my sister combed out my tangles.

Now I am inspired.
May. 12th, 2010 04:57 pm (UTC)
woosh! and with that I am with you in your kitchen, memories of freedom-filled childhood coming back. I see myself, scabbed knees under red shorts bent over the limb of my favorite apple tree the first day of school-freedom. I was filled with delight, with possibilities, the entire world was mine! Well, at least the 3 acres we lived on was. In the crotch of my favorite tree was my lunch, pb and j on my mother's homemade white bread, and a couple of cookies. There were no demands, few rules, nothing but me and my imagination. And we both soared!

Thanks for sharing your coffee with me! It was a lovely break.
May. 13th, 2010 01:54 pm (UTC)
I'm smiling as I prepare to enjoy my first cup of coffee of the day. (Unlike many Americans I didn't learn to appreciate coffee until I retired; I was always a pepsi-cola girl.) Beloved summer memories: what a great way to start one's morning. Thank you for the reminder!

Long rambles down my grandparents' country lane introduced me to the wonder and mystery of listening to trees. When we returned home to the neatly divided new subdivision there was still a patch of woods to explore. It was just up the hill and past the school.

And then there were the long summer nights of reading until twilight darkened into the soft blackness of night.
May. 14th, 2010 01:46 am (UTC)
You are always with me for my morning coffee. I think of you every time I scoop the beans into the grinder with the lovely pewter coffee scoop you gave me sseveral years ago. So -- I don't feel out of sync writing this at 9PM because I know I'll "see" you in the morning anyway.

One of my favorite childhood memories was getting up the day after school let out and starting to pack for the summer to be spent at the beach.

The tradition in our family was that the second day of summer vacation, we loaded the trailer pulled by the mint green, wood sided Mercury Colony Park station wagon my mom was so proud of, and we drove the hour and a half from Princeton, NJ to Harvey Cedars, NJ, where we owned a big pink saltbox of a house that sat about a block from the harbor and four blocks from the beach.

The halfway land mark was an old farmhouse with a barn and it's around that place I had my first mystical experience. I was 10 years old. But that story is for another time.

Once we arrived at the house,we would offload and get settled into our rooms. There were 10 of us children plus my mom, and not that many bedrooms so it tended to be a bit tight sometimes but we made it work.

I remember waking up to the golden sun pouring through billowing white curtains on the windows; the smell of the salted ocean and the call of the gulls. For the most part, we spent the days swimming in the ocean, building sand castles, riding bikes, fishing and entertaining myriads of guests who would drop by and sleep on the living room floor or camp out in the empty sand lot that was between us and the house next door.

I remember the house next to us was a rental, and we used to anticipate who our neighbors would be throughout the summer.

There were certain mornings though... that we would reserve for clamming and crabbing. My mom would roust us just before daylight and we would gather an assortment of necessities - blankets, buckets, nets, shovels and string and a ball of sourdough -- and off we would go. Mom would cover the dining room table with contractors clear plastic, put a huge vat of water on the stove to boil, and a 1-pound block of butter to melt slowly and she'd go back to bed.

We'd hit the beach just as the sun began to climb and the telltale airholes from the clams would tell us where to dig. Once we'd dug up all we could carry, we wrapped them in a beach blanket which my brother would hoist over his sholder like Santa Claus. Then, we'd bait our string with sourdough and squid and dangle it in the harbor, tempting the crabs which would be scooped up with a net when they'd rise to the bait. We'd forego the chatter of the clam dig for the silence - lest we frighten the crabs away. it was a peaceful commaradarie and soul healing.

When the buckets were full, usually around noon, we'd come traipsing back home to be greeted by whomever had shown up that morning to visit. Mom would take our catches, dump them in the vats of boiling water, drain them and we'd sit around the dining room table feasting like barbarians, butter dripping,shells cracking...

There's a felling that goes along with all of this that I am unable to describe. I have only been able to recapture it at certain times during a Gaia's Womb event. A tranquility, a serenity - an understanding of being connected.

Thanks for the memories, Valya.
(Deleted comment)
May. 14th, 2010 12:44 pm (UTC)
I think you switched subject lines here!

You may need a cup of coffee!

love, Sandy
May. 14th, 2010 12:47 pm (UTC)
Too many!
I have so many summer memories, I will think about it today. What fun!

I hope your son is better, and I wish you many blissfully perfect summer days in the new yard, making memories for your children.

Look forward to your short story(ies)

love, me
May. 15th, 2010 01:48 am (UTC)
Re: Too many!
I hope that you share some of those memories.
May. 15th, 2010 01:50 am (UTC)
Coffee and virtual chats
Thank you so much for sharing these memories.

I did feel like you were with me this morning, each of you--so dear to me, and your stories are wonderful!
( 8 comments — Leave a comment )