I was flipping through a beautiful magazine, and the writing in it really bothered me. The writing wasn’t as nice as the pictures, and I think it should be nicer. So I re-thought some of the ideas, which in themselves, were very cool. Here’s my riff on the original prompts. The bold type is their heading and the descriptions are mine. Forgive me for their crudeness, I am very, very rusty–
Everyone gets swept away with spring. The season seems new and full of possibility, so we are more eager to let go… and there is no sharper regret than the regret of letting go of something too soon. I have given away books in spring that I found myself buying again by fall, and all the symbolic meanings of that action, throwing away stories I had not yet finished. A sobering chill in the air allows for crispness of judgment we lack in the warmer months…what we throw away in the cold cannot be of much use to us.
I solve most puzzles on afternoon walks. The troubles of the moment (a disagreement with a friend, a romantic uncertainty, lingering doubts) move before me; and the shadows they cast are too large and false to be alarming.
Hot From the Oven–
Most of the people I love are bakers. Bakers have a remarkable sense of timing, of waiting for the fullest moment. They don’t habitually eat dough scooped up by their pointer fingers (except for the sweet doughs of cookies and cake) or pull the crinkled plastic off a muffin with anything but regret, since their own never last long enough to be covered.
I like a winter walk in gardens and parks. Unlike the spring or summer expanses, our sight is narrow in winter, our experience singular. It’s hard to feel a part of the landscape or each other when our entire bodies are clothed against them. But these walks make shelter dear and force us to acknowledge that there is pleasure in privacy as well as company. Our lives are meant to be seen at differing distances.
The Indoor Picnic–
A picnic spreads the good things in life on a blanket. All these things (friends, food, sweet summer drinks) reveal their delight most clearly in each other’s company. But an indoor picnic has different standards. No one wants to cut something while her plate is balancing on her knees. Inside, it’s impossible to recreate the sense of a passing whimsy come together. I think we need another word.
The Café Stroll–
Walking past a beautiful person and looking at his face is a nice distraction. There are so many reasons to love those we know. Their beauty becomes mixed with all their other qualities. Seeing beauty isolated, when it is the only thing apparent about a person, makes us remember its raw power.
Again and again I try new things, inching my way in, the way I do in cold water, before becoming aware of my own foolishness and plunging my head under. It’s always my head that prevents me from ease. Once my head’s in, my body can relax. It always feels very hard, then easier, and finally larger than before.
Feels like comfort at every stage.