It's 70 degrees in May and I'm not ready.
Holy shit tomorrow's June.
People are watering garden beds, confused.
There's a reason we don't live in California.
Right before I left in April, I was working and finishing a submission for a magazine,
so any extra energy I had was spent twisting ideas and words
into forms I didn't quite recognize.
I forgot how exhausting it can be to try to write for someone else's expectations.
At the end, I didn't have any words for myself.
Then I spent three weeks away and barely wrote a word.
And now tomorrow is June.
When I travel, I go to bookstores.
I ignore the bestsellers telling people how to stop being so busy and hating their lives.
If you have the time to read that kind of book,
you already have everything you need.
If it's an independent store I look for what they're recommending.
I trust one of them over 10 Amazon reviews.
If they're used books I look for academic titles,
because those are the hardest for me to find on a budget.
If it's a national chain I look for the rebels.
This time around I found a book by Eduardo Galeano, the Latin American writer whose Open Veins of Latin America is a sledgehammer of history of Latin American conquest and exploitation. He had just passed away, so when I found Walking Words, a kind of folktale history interspersed with woodcut artwork, it warranted a second look.
Then, on the front page, he writes,
Storytellers, storysingers, only spin their tales while the snow falls. That's the way it's done. The Indians of North America are very careful about this matter of stories. They say that while stories are being told, plants don't pay attention to growing and birds forget to feed their young. - Eduardo Galeano, Walking Words
A brief aside.
'Indians of North America?' Nope.
There are almost 600 federally recognized tribes, and many groups who live without that official title.
Those are unique and distinct communities, with some commonalities,
and any quote that ends with "American Indian proverb"
needs to just stop.
And take the well-intentioned energy off to do some research.
Sorry, Mr. Galeano, but it had to be said.
But the point remains.
I left when spring had just started, and now it's summer.
My body wants to get moving at 4 am and my brain agrees,
spinning with what I have to do that day,
but first I need to share this picture I took of my mom when we were out fishing because it/she/this place is amazing.
A cruise ship employee asked me, "Where do you go to do stuff?"
And I want to tell her that I could drive for 25 minutes, walk for 30,
and be completely alone and nearly impossible to find.
But I know that isn't what she wants to hear,
so I tell her it's an 8 hour ferry ride to Juneau.
As I'm sitting here writing this my stomach is growling and I might be late for work.
I need to pay attention to growing.
Or at the very least not shrinking.
Instead of working on my own I've been collecting other stories.
I'll try to make the time to share them.
I think constantly about connection and loneliness and community and belonging, and a great deal, perhaps too much, of how my writing evidences me working through the intersections of these things. So many of us are reaching out, hoping someone out there will grab our hands and remind us we are not as alone as we fear.
I know it's summer and we're busy.
Fish to catch, plants to tend, chores to do and places to go.
But thank you for holding someone's hand today.