Let Yourself Bloom
It is my most favorite time of year when the mornings are dewy, the days are long, and twilight gently eases into a breezy, star-filled night. I ought to be out there with the lightning bugs, the cicadas, and the fledgling barred owls…but the heat index has been 100+ºF even in the evenings. My dogs constantly want to chase the urban wildlife, but five minutes after I let them out, they bark vehemently at the back door asking if I can do something about the heat. (Humans = Pet Staff.)
I always thought Atlanta got its ‘Hotlanta’ nickname because of its awesome, gay discos in the 1970s, or possibly the sweltering humidity of The Plane Train that runs between concourses at the world’s busiest airport, not because of what is still technically late spring.
Truthfully, I feel robbed of my ritual June time. I am hoping against hope that when the solstice arrives, the heat wave will have abated. Denial…that thing that keeps us hopeful against all odds.
June also marks my repeat trip around the sun, and what another interesting year it’s been! Most days I don’t feel I can possibly get enough accomplished. When I look back over the past months, however, I’m more than overwhelmed at what all I did.
The giveaway is my Photos app.
Like most people, I have good intentions of organizing my photos, but mostly I remember things in a vague sequence. If I’m looking for a process photo (or a photo of finished work that never made it to final formatting), I can recall that I created a piece between this one and that one, and can quickly scroll back to an approximate date and find an image. The trouble is that quick scrolling can easily feel like a roller coaster ride around the Continental U.S. and parts of Europe in a flash, and I realize why I’m still tired from traveling, though I haven’t been anywhere for 2.5 years.
Now, if not scrolling back too far, I flash though my 3 year old dogs’ lives, more paintings than I can remember painting since 2019, so many demo videos (So. Many. Demo. Videos!), and my son’s evolution into a full fledged adult.
Is that my life flashing before my eyes, or just my iPhone?!? Who knew an app could be so comprehensive? The funny thing is that when I’m looking for certain images, I consistently regret that I never take enough photos.
Once upon a time, I captured moments on a Pentax K-1000 and time traveled back in the dim red light of a dark room as the images magically appeared on paper submerged in a tray of chemicals. It feels like a lifetime ago…because it was 40 years ago!
[Insert scream here.]
With an icy glass of sparkling water, I can at least enjoy the lightning bugs in very short bursts. They’re too fast for even the smartest of phones, but they can still transport me across the decades…to a time that felt less like stepping into a terrarium.
As people strive for whatever the heck normal is, as they pretend the pandemic is over while they or their loved ones catch COVID, I’m fairly certain we need to kiss goodbye to what was only ever a setting on a washing machine (’normal’). Normal wasn’t life, only our frequently frustrated expectations of it.
Life has had a giant reset button hit on it, and now is the time to ignore the factory settings and customize them to something gentler and saner…Hopefully, maybe cooler as well. Scroll slowly, my friend.