Juxtapositioning

words are foreplay for the soul
July 22nd, 2010 by me

Summer

Feels like I’ve been away FOREVER.

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s certain blog suicide to talk about one’s posting or lack thereof, but dude. I’ve been conspicuously absent from my writing gigs, especially this one. Time to limber up the (two) fingers I use for typing, kwim? And get some grey matter out there splat on the page.

Summer has hit here in the chilly, damp, pacific Northwest. I should know, because I bought white jeans that don’t even cover my ankles. I know I’m the only person in the PNW who still wears sweaters and socks when it’s 70 degrees out (why aren’t I complaining about being “hot,” wearing tank tops and jumping into the bay like everyone else?), so it takes a lot of sun to convince me to bare my body, any part of it, to the elements.

Last week we drove north from Portland toward Bellingham and took the long way through some of the Columbia River Gorge and past Mt. St. Helens and Mt. Rainier. Rainier, when seen driving south on I-5 past around Seattle, always appears magical to me, a floating mountain shrouded in white and a looming presence that must have figured prominently in ritual and presence years ago when people remembered their connection to the earth and the life upon it. I expected the east side of Rainier to have even more presence and meaning for me, but no. It was St. Helens that captivated me.

You could feel the earth humming at its feet.

I heard the mountain speak.

We crossed a small bridge over a river and I slammed on the brakes. “We’re stopping here,” I said. We got out in the cold wind of the altitude and found sand at the river’s edge, so we lay on sun-warmed sand next to the vibrating river. I felt alive. Warm. Filled.

Last night I drove to Vancouver and we biked down to Kits Beach to watch the fireworks amid thousands of people. The crush riding back was huge, like a slow tidal wave. I felt sucked into it, a part yet not a part of these people who all had homes to go to, cars to drive in. By the time we found space apart, away from the crowd, you still couldn’t hear the night-quiet that I love when biking alone after dark. There were too many of us escaping the crowds, using the bike-highways. I felt battered, alone, yet not-alone. I longed for a cool breeze, the sound of my single set of tires buzzing along the street, the exhilaration of riding in the dark when all the world is inside.

I think I’ll go for a ride tonight. It’s summer.

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