I’ve finished my faculty seminar on Suzan-Lori Parks, and while it was a wonderful experience, I am so happy it’s over. Summer’s here!
For the teacher, summer’s often the happy ending to the work year, a time to relax, release, and renew. These last few summers have been packed with so much: two summers of adjusting to the births of my daughters (now almost-5 and 2 years old, babies born in late June and late May, respectively); one summer of moving to our current house; one summer of preparing for a large review. Now that I think of it, this is the first summer that I’ve had in five years where I don’t have a large project planned for myself, personal or professional, which is exciting and a little scary. Oh, right, there’s this blog.
I expect that I’ll be posting more regularly with the conclusion of the seminar. I still don’t have more MFA structure in mind just yet, but the commitment to more regular posts should help. I’m looking forward to that structure in itself, along with the exhilaration and possibility that summer always brings me. There must be something about the clarity, the openness, and the light of the summer sky.
- Summer means summer reading, summer fruit: I can’t decide which one I like better. Knowing how much I love both, that says a lot.
- Summer means beach picnics, bubble-blowing parties in the backyard, picking our cherry tomatoes and basil for dinner panzanella, the metallic humming and clicking of the canner heating on the stove, the vibrant colors and communities of farmer’s ventolin inhaler to buy online markets. (I live within five miles of three farmer’s markets and sometimes can’t believe my luck. Hmmm: I grew up next to a farmer’s market, the famous Denio’s Market in Roseville, California. I sense a post coming.)
- Summer means time to browse through used bookstores and thrift stores. In both places, it’s all about the pleasure of the unexpected find, the willingness and imagination to give something old a new life. (yet another post?)
- And this summer, I’m looking forward to learning how to sew: my mom’s just bought me my first sewing machine.
- Summer means wonderfully long to-do lists with an equally long amount of compassion if I don’t check off every item on the list.
To reflect a bit on this first month of the blog, I have loved rethinking and reseeing the world as a writer. I’ve been excited to think about upcoming assignments for this space. (Other genre possibilities: book review, opinion piece, collage essay.) Being in the seminar for the past two and a half weeks, I’ve remembered how much I love being a student. While I need some time to relax and release, at the same time I can’t wait to carry that energy into the summer.
Summer: where the sunset clouds are Maxfield-Parrish-pink against the smoky blue sky. Where my girls are twirling in the grass and the sunshine, their skirts lifting lightly.
A small postscript: just found out that my friend R tried the adobo recipe and her kids liked it! I’m thrilled. Anyone else tried it? I’d love to know if the recipe itself needs tweaking, for those who love or need specific directions.