Thursday is a day that lurks. Friday is a carful of teenagers lurching around with all the windows down, but Thursday is an SUV sliding into a mostly empty grocery store parking lot. That’s how it feels this week. That’s how it’s felt all summer, really. Like Thursday.
Summer’s rolling on down the line in these parts, and life-after-grad-school too. That’s how it goes in my head, all hyphenated. I still don’t know what life-after-grad-school means or what it will look like, and I’m strangely ok with it. I have loose plans, but I’ve been living in a take it as it comes kind of way. It’s not my natural mode, but then sometimes it feels like the most natural thing in the world, to decide right before each footfall where I’m walking next.
I don’t mind these contradictions, which is its own kind of strange. But I feel like there’s deep processing about school-end and next steps going on that I don’t understand yet. My ear catches the occasional drum-thump that I know means an army rising from the deep. You might think that comparing my coming to understanding to the emergence of the balrog that takes Gandalf is less than positive, but if you do you’re forgetting that in the long arc of the tale, Gandalf is reborn. I hope that by the time I reach the end of it all I still think I’m Gandalf in this metaphor and not, say, an orc with an arrow through its eye socket.
It’s been the kind of hot where I’m grateful for the breeze from a passing garbage truck. There’s a slowgoingness to this heat that suits me just fine, in its way, even when I’m sweltering on my velvet couch. It’s been a summer for slow-reading East of Eden with some friends.Taking a writing class–this blessed one–that’s just for me, a present I gave myself to unwrap over 10 weeks with a group of women who are becoming friends-family. Listening for that ping in my spirit that says this writing project is right, this application is right. Almost like a word behind me saying this is the way, walk in it. Sometimes it means I sink in, following glutinous paths of least resistance. Sometimes those paths of least resistance involve Parks and Recreation marathons and ice-cream-cone-shaped marshmallows. I don’t mean to make a virtue out of a vice, but I’m willing to see that not-overthinking is a nice change from my usual.
I just realized California doesn’t do cars full of teenagers any more. It’s safer, I’m sure, but it makes me nostalgic for the summers of my teenage years, for the hearts-bursting-with-adventure feeling of being young and on the move–anywhere. Maybe it’s because under all this stillness, I have an eagerness to get going. Maybe it’s because for all my Summer of Thursdays, I can feel Friday coming, and I want to roll the windows down.