[Come summer heat, much of my blogging momentum melts away. Hence an experiment until Labor Day: fifty minimalist posts about whatever.]
Whenever presented with a question more complicated than what the weather’s like outside or should a friend send back the weird new shoes she’s bought – in other words, something that requires what could be called thinking — I often hedge. That’s because I don’t really know what I think till I see what I say.
I may think I know what I think. But once I begin talking or writing about it, what I thought I think changes. Sometimes the result is simply a more dense and complex version of my instinctive response. At other times, what I see is not so simple to parse.
When I began this series of short takes on “whatever,” not knowing where “whatever” might lead, I anticipated lightness and whimsy – fifty breezy trifles fit for summer days. I’ve just reread the first thirty, one after the other. How dark so many are. Beneath their surface froth, they’re colored by shimmers of loss – lost youth, lost opportunity, lost loved ones, lost life, the slow, relentless approach of death. Even the butterflies of which I was so proud not long ago: they’re both gone now, having lived out their miniscule three-week lifespans, as I knew even then that they would.
I do make conscious efforts to evade such thoughts. Judging by my summer output thus far, it’s been a losing battle.