of their bodies,
for which they have no words;
obedient to the voice inside which tells them,
"Now. Steal Pleasure."
-Tony Hoagland, from "Summer in a Small Town"
It's funny, I think, to begin with the concept of pleasure when even the very word feels foreign to me as I describe our summer: weeks and weeks of overtime and seemingly endless work stress, hours apart, the sudden loss of a job and income, piles of to-dos before the coming of Fall. But, and there always is a but, isn't there? There have been moments of pure goodness, times forgotten under the weight of the work week, the heavy burden of employment searches and the re-budgeting of a budget - there have been cherries. I know, I know, I'm about to slap you silly with that cloyingly sweet image of life being a bowl of cherries, and yes, I know, you're already expecting me to unroll some trite notion about it's sweetness despite the pits, but bear with me, please, because it's more than that.
The summer cherries, so enticing at the farm or market, they're a leap of faith, those fruits. Sure, you're agreeing to take the good with the bad, the sweetness with the seed, but it's more than just good and bad. Each time we've taken home a basket of cherries this summer, which to be honest, has been quite often, we've taken them home with the good faith that the cherries will be sweet and delicious. Sure, we've sampled a few before purchase, but that's hardly a guarantee, right? Unless we try the whole basket before payment, how can we know that the good will outweigh the bad? How can we be certain that they will be sweet enough to make all that seed/pit wrangling worth it?
I worry sometimes that this past year, the entire life of this blog, has been nothing but the whiny ramblings of a girl who is trying to justify her own dramatic tendencies towards a challenging year. In fact, I'm not sure that exact thought isn't haunting these lines as I type, but what I do know is that each time I sit to catch up on the screen, reach out to an unseen audience, I'm making another leap of faith. Each time I pour a cup of coffee, upload a photo, putter through the clack of the keys in order to find some semblance of what life's been like, I'm putting faith into the idea that it will get better, that these words are an act, just as strong as the walk to the bus each morning, the punch of the time clock, the making of dinner. Each time I jumble together and then unfold the heaps of thoughts that spend their time dancing about in my mind (square dancing, if you're wondering), I am making something, and nothing cures the worries of nothingness like the act of making something new.
So, those cherries I've been exploiting for metaphoric sake? They've been pretty darn sweet, and the seeds? We've been managing just fine, because even when you feel too tired to take another step, there are clean sheets and favorite films, cold apple juice in tiny jars, stove top popcorn and word games, rainy bike rides and piles of pictures of the sky, cups of coffee, and good friends who will smile and laugh and tell you what a good idea you've come up with, and really, that all feels like enough.
This summer will not go down as the easiest, but it isn't without it's pleasure. This year, the pleasure is in the looking, in the finding of new ways to make; the pleasure is in finding new ways to make life.