Summer and the fireworks drum the sky with their pinwheels of light. Uncomfortable in crowds, I hear the commotion with only the darkened leaves of the sycamores and a cool street lamp outside my window. Rosie, my Australian Shepherd in her thick coat of fur marked in reds and tans and white (like "vanilla fudge swirl ice cream!" my neighbor exclaims), pants near me on the hardwood floor. It's warm tonight after a beautiful hot day. Tonight, I am content to be alone with my dear dog, a terrific book of linked short stories, Nora Jane, by Ellen Gilchrist near me, the dark sky peppered with explosions. This summer world awakens my sense of gratitude again.
Friday night, I braved a throng of hundreds on the lawn outside of Frick Museum to join a group of dear friends and their three small children for a picnic under the stars--cherries and farrow salad, lentils and rice, pita bread, brownies and blueberries to eat--. The children made each other laugh with big strawberries in their mouths, juice dribbling down their chins. Behind our picnic blankets, an elderly couple laid out an elegant setting: a table with lace cloth, candelabra, good china and wine glasses. A couple who embraces life--something I aspire to do!
This free outdoor concert featured an Italian guitarist flat-picking a small-bodied classical guitar--a humorous man from Genoa, Italy who professed his love for American blues and bluegrass music. It was an
"I-love-summer-nights" night, one that filled me with a yearning to write poetry. Don't these balmy music-filled nights send everyone to their own poetry? But, I came home and did not write. Had I written, it would have been entitled, "In the Kitchen of Light" or "Child in a Straw Hat Singing." I am struggling right now to find my way back to my own poems. There's less pressure to write when you're a B-Grade poet--and less motivation. But, isn't that the constant search for artists in the everyday world--to find the inspiration to go on when you know the world won't notice if you stopped writing tomorrow? And so I'm off to seek and find. And Rosie noses me to take her outside in the dark yard. Where does your inspiration lie? S.