10 September 2012
DIARY, ÉTÉ (SUMMER)
The last days of summer are a dreamlike haze, ghosted by fragments of lost things: dust lacing my sandals; the cradle sway of trains creeping across Indian landscapes; mangos with flesh soft enough to peel bare-handed; crouching at night markets; slithering through cities on motorbikes; iced fruit hosing the desert sands from lungs; the perfumes of the Himalayas; lazily swimming between limestone islands as the sun is swallowed into the larynx of night.
I don't sleep in suburbia, in this stillness. I wandered twenty-five thousand miles, coming home different to an indifferent neighborhood, the alien-world of the unchanging, the sea of cloned summers. I don't comb out the braid fingered through my mane in my last moments in Hà Nội, for seven days. For seventy-one days I'd been imbued in Asian culture, like tea in boiling water.
My brain is anything but still. It's a runaway train, derailed in girlhood, splitting itself infinitely to ramble down corridors and up staircases of thought. Philosophical commentaries are spun, dreams are woven, and speaking of dreams, sailing the South Pacific is one which bloomed in Ha Long bay, and staining my fingertips in potions to develop film and glass plates, and view cameras, and camping on Assateuque island with wild horses.
I sometimes wind up sunk into my pillows, with one palm splayed against the ache in my brow, from these growing pains of the psyche and soul. The pale azure is painted into day; I wish clouds could cocoon the fallen.
I await winter, when I can tuck blankets up to my chin, and the world is whitened into the sleepy oblivion of snow. Until then, there is the unfinished song of the cicadas, the trees not yet undressed from their emerald-green robes, the glow of fireflies at dusk. We are breathing still.
Featured art by Colette Saint Yves (1, 2, 5, 6), Edward Gorey (3), and Aëla Labbé (4).
Special thanks to four-year old Lucy, who wanted to know why cicadas never finished their song, for inspiring "the unfinished song of the cicadas".