Loose Strings

The water is so clear today I can hardly look away. There is sun glitter on the small waves where they break and near the shore you can see straight through to the sand where the sun draws light patterns as they dance. There is a certain quality to the air that has changed almost imperceptibly overnight. It is this subtle distinction that makes seasons here, this and nothing else. I have earned the ability to notice this.

As it turns out some things cannot be measured, that time gets away from us and becomes abstract. There is no sense in trying to rush a thing that cannot be rushed or to wait for a thing that comes no matter what. We go on doing the living and we tell each other, what will come will come. We have to set aside how and when and who might be there. There are times when the only person you can count on is yourself. This is one of them. There is no calvary. We make coffee and walk the dog and wash the dishes. We get down to the simple things like which plants are full sun and how to fry fish in the cast iron.

Someone points out that writing about food has become a cornerstone in my work, and I laugh about this now every time I find myself writing about food. I laugh because it is true. Food like writing is for me akin to religion, something sacred and practiced. I take immense care of what I cook and love a summer heirloom tomato almost nearly as much as a Mary Oliver poem. Sometimes I cannot see the difference between the two, such things so perfectly constructed and so filled with quiet joy. There was a time in my life where I was so sad I had to teach myself to string together small joys just to get through a day. I am not sad and still this is an exercise I do.

What else can I tell you other than this is who I am. That my happiest memories hinge on what was served or what I made or whether or not the peach was in season. Do you remember that small bar outside outside of Byron Bay on our way to somewhere else and we ate oysters in the afternoon and I bought jeans shorts and then we swam in the river. The memory for me is tied to the oysters, to the cut of lemon and the rock salt, everything else hangs on this specificity.

I am trying to tie these ideas together and perhaps they only make sense after the fact. There is something in this mornings toast and the sunlight and the trying not to wait and the memory of these oysters and the simplicity of a Sunday while I am still alone. Perhaps they are just strings and they are not a braid. Perhaps if I tug one long enough something will come together or fall apart.

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