Monday, August 3, 2009

the quiet summer symphony of cicadas and tree frogs

It's hot here in Jefferson County, which is actually a phrase that any number of people in pretty much any state in the union could be writing right now. I've been feeling kind of beaten-down by life lately, and keep hanging on to the idea that come autumn, things will be better. I'm not much of a fan of summer. I have never liked the humid heat, which is unfortunate, given that I have never lived anywhere that the two don't go hand-in-hand. Still, I get a little nostalgic for my childhood when the temperatures rise and I find myself in a room that's just a little too hot to be comfortable. When I was a kid, I would sit in my (generally sweltering) room and read, or listen to the radio, and convince myself that if I could just lay as still as possible, the heat wouldn't be so bad. Another thing that conjures up "heat" for me is hearing any song by Little Willie John, or anything from the series of records called "Oldies But Goodies," of which my father had about 10. So in short, anything on Ace or Roulette or Chess, old rock and roll of the Huey "Piano" Smith school -- all of this conjures up maddening, stifling heat and the orange-gold light of early-evening, the kind that cinematographers wait for all day and is flattering to everyone, even when you're caked with sweat and grime and one more day's failures to be brilliant, world-altering, and compassionate.
I've been playing with the dogs this evening, who are also not summertime fans, and this makes me feel better. It makes me think that it is not the fault of the hyper-critical, rational mindset I have always had that makes me hate the weather. I made some peach tea, and took a book outside to read, where it's just this side of stifling, listening to the sun set. Autumn will come soon enough, I suppose, and then winter, then spring. These things that seem awful now will eventually become stories filled with asides about my own intemperance and foible, and I will forget that it was as bad as it currently seems. When I come inside, I can hear the tree frogs singing in four-part counterpoint, and I forget that just minutes ago, I was outside and couldn't hear them at all over the noise of my own brain. Distance and time are gifts.
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A Microscopic Cog in a Catastrophic Plan by Laura Lorson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.
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