Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Wistful Summer

On Wednesday night, I was sitting outside on the patio, typing on my computer and talking to my friend Melissa. Then I hung up and listened to some music while the air enveloped me in this nice little embrace of coolness. I was half-listening to some music on and this song came on called "Quelqu'un M'a Dit" by none other than former supermodel turned singer turned French First Lady, Carla Bruni. And let me tell you, as far as triple threats go, Bruni takes the cake.

Anyway, the song was very beautiful. Haunting. Lovely. Lonely. Full.
I almost started crying.

Let me restate that. I've done a lot of heart tugging things in my life. I didn't cry when I moved thousands of miles from home. Or on my birthday (I love my birthday but I cry a lot on it for various reasons). I haven't even had one of my standard Heather's Vodka Tears nights in at least a year now. And I also never bat an eyelash during The Lion King. You know what scene I'm talking about.

But a little French ditty no longer than 4 minutes in length...ahh, the great outdoors got a little dusty. You should download it off of iTunes.

This summer is probably the first summer I've ever had that I can slap the adjective of "wistful" on. I speak of it as though it's almost over when I still have a month left until school begins but I've been thinking a lot this summer; more thoughtfully than usual.

Summer in grade school and middle school for me meant I was usually enrolled in summer craft classes where I made a variety of things over the years such as several hand crafted bars of fragrant soap and a fruit sculpture of a flamingo that was composed mostly of pink grapefruit and rhubarb stilt legs. My Dad also bought me math books so I could better prepare for my next math course the following year. I am terrible at math so these books did their best to aid me. I also spent hours at the park with my family and even more hours at the bookstore reading and reading for hours and grudingly went on the requisite Family Vacation that I always seemed to get sick on. My immune system must have a radar for knowing when I'll be in the company of my relatives.

High school summers weren't the same. I worked my two jobs throughout and came home every night smelling like a combination of Italian Herbs and Cheese bread (Subway) and Frontega Chicken Paninis (Panera). Despite this, I was usually happy to be at work until I started having my summer surguries for my foot in which I would have to limp around for two weeks afterwards, wear a special shoe, take off of work (I hate doing that) and take a million pills which did nothing for me. That continued for three years and in the final year, I had that cancer scare and had to be treated on in a hospital. I heard that when you are put under you aren't supposed to see or hear anything but I saw a white light and kept hearing the song "Slow Ride" by Foghat on constant replay. Then I woke up to the nurses talking and the first thing they said was, "Yeah P. Diddy just changed his name to Diddy."

Talk about the ultimate in Rip Van Winkle moments.

Then the last couple of years I did the two jobs and full college course load circuit which sucked it hard core. Every day was a revolving door of waking up at the crack of dawn, going to class, getting out of class and going home just long enough to read my mail and then going to work. Weekends were the same sans the school. I was fine with the two jobs thing- at this point in my life, I feel uneasy if I'm not working two jobs simultaneously. It gives my life balance, makes me motivated and fulfilled, and I just really, really love working. I'm special like that.

This summer has just been quiet for me. Lots of thoughts, writing, reading too. Old school nostaglia for the past but odd memories like leafing through a rack of dresses at the mall with my Mom. I'm excited for school to start up again as the summer of no Facebook will work quite nicely in my paper for the departmental honors program. I'm looking forward to being surrounded by tons of people again; even waiting in the ultra long lunch line is fine by me. Going back to work and my internship again (yeah! work: the comfort of my life) I have a little grad school idea that I'm going to work quietly on with some recommendation letters but that will remain a mystery until (and if) I am accepted there.

Love to you all,


Anonymous said...

I had a similar experience with Carla Bruni, except I was listening to her song, "Le plus beau du quartier." I asked myself, "Who is singing this? It's really good." I was shockedd when I found out it was Bruni. And best of luck with your grad school applications.

Heather Taylor said...

Carla is truly something else. I haven't had a chance to listen to her other work but I will soon.