sure there are fears of things like the death of a loved one. or money stuff. or anything really that i don't want to deal with that is outside of my control. but i blow those off. they aren't real. yet i do have one true fear.
i'm afraid of summer.
let that sink in for a second and i'll tell you a story. i remember during my time on the prairie a conversation with a coffee dude. i staked out a particular joint as my safe haven. i practically lived there. i spent lunch hours there, at least two nights a week as "creative time" and sometimes an entire saturday. the owners and i got along very well and i got to know the staff. one was a guy who was doing what i wished i could do. he's a painter. he deals mainly in abstracts and colors. i'm not a fan of abstract expressionist end products (the process is another story) but his work really has something. he understands light and i think that goes a long way with me.
anyway, this guy would paint in his off time and earned his living making some of the best cappuccino i've had off of italian soil. a truly amazing gift. while he made the espresso and created some fantastic foam we would chat about our creative output, each a little jealous of the living made by the other. it must have been the month of may when this conversation took place. there was a humidity that was just starting to gather and hang in the air. the sun was a little more intense and while everyone was pleased to throw off the constant gale force winter winds, there was a touch of tension in our talk about our "work."
one of the newer coffee kids (clearly a sophomore who had every answer) had been listening in and decided to pipe up. how excited we must be for the longer days of summer! what a wonder it is to create when the world is fresh and new!
the painter and i shrugged. it was then that we each admitted that we did little to no work during those three oppressive months in the greenhouse conditions. there's a reason a lot of corn grows on those massive expanses. art is a lot of differt things, but it is not corn.
the peppy sophomore withered and went back to cleaning something and the painter and i resumed our conversation. it was nice to have someone with whom to commiserate.
the summer: it's the feeling of winding down. the sense that nothing can be done in the face of that miserable heat. the days are long, but my best work is done at night and when the sun finally sinks, i'm exhausted from fighting the heat of the day. it's like a reverse hibernation. all of my energy is sapped and focused on survival. there is a powerful stasis that sets in until the glory of autumn brings the world back to a place where functioning is possible.
some of my most creative times were the mornings i spent in my "new" coffee shop after my previous life ended. i can remember walking from the parking lot in the whipping winds with the feeling that my face was actually being cut by the cold. it fed me. it brought out every urge to create and live. i got a taste of that on our vacation to my frozen homeland. it was a wonderful feeling.
when i step out to go to lunch these days, the air is warmer. i can feel the water in it. summer starts earlier here. well, my idea of summer anyway. we'll soon be back to the days of 24/7 air conditioning and that bead of sweat that runs down my spine as we walk the dog while the sun sets, its heat still clinging to the earth. each and every time i step out the door i expect the blast furnace. part of me is relieved when it isn't there. another part reminds me that it's only a matter of days.
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