Days I feel like a human being, while other days I feel more like a sound. I touch the world not as myself but as an echo of who I was.
∆ Ocean Vuong, from On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous (Penguin, 2019)
“I want everything quiet and simple. For me: walking barefoot, sitting still, reading, listening to stories and now and then telling some myself. Eating fruit, drinking milk, longing to create, but with patience and many insights.”
— Rainer Maria Rilke, from a letter to Lou Salomé witten c. March 1904
The grandfather of someone I knew filled ice trays with pesto made from the basil in his garden so that in the cold crust of winter he could pull a tray from the freezer, twist out a green-black cube, soften it with heat, and return to sitting shirtless at the table on the patio, limbs loosened. The buttery warmth, harvested and jarred, and spread on bread in winter. There’s warmth enough to look up when the sun’s down. And the sense, in summer, that there’s time enough to do so, too, time enough for all of it, in a languid, damp, and heat-fuzzed way. An atmosphere of, I’ll get to it but right now, a beer before dinner and warmth on bare legs and everything can just go a little slower for a moment. The light lasts forever, life lasts forever. Do you feel young? I promise, the start of summer whispers, you are young.