Sunday, July 31, 2005

De Trop

August is everything all at once -- birth, growth, death. It's superabundant: too green, too hot, too fast, too full, too loud. The air is rich with the smells of ripening and composting. Fruits grow round. Stalks lean, heavy with grain. The cicadas are an appropriate soundtrack: the whine of high anxiety. The year has crested the hill and, brakeless, is plunging down the other side.

I've never been overfond of summer. It calls the body into question: it sweats, grows limblocked and lethargic. There's more gravity, more grease. I remember, one overweight adolescent summer, lying on the cold basement concrete floor and thinking of Hamlet: wishing my too, too solid flesh could do that melt, thaw and dew-resolving thing.

But August is all about eating, about beginning to fatten for winter. Birds, squirrels and rabbits are dashing madly from treat to treat. The fuzzy bees are so covered with pollen they look like fingers that have just engaged a jumbo bag of Cheese Curls. Laden seedheads, rosehips, vetch pods and bramble berries make my mouth water.

The ground, warmer than today's cool air, seems the temperature of an open, hungry mouth. There is an underground internal combustion that needs perpetual stoking. There is constant thermodynamic flux. I'm part of it, part of the tug of war between organization and entropy, between fire and ice, between form and emptiness.

I looked at a pink Queen Anne's lace today and for the briefest moment, no more than a split second, understood what "God" might mean. It looked back, confirming my intuition.

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