S A R I S H A K U R U P
tI have found myself thinking about this little spot of the internet often lately. When I came to college, and everything was so serious, I thought of blogs as very un-serious, sort of frivolous. Writing here seemed stranger and stranger, some kind of individualistic marketing exercise, and it was fine because I felt no desire to write either. I didn't have much to say.
I gave myself two years of unadulterated experience, the kind I craved when I was younger, the kind I thought were consequential to being a serious writer. It was lovely--I could not have had a better time, but lately I have felt a desire to slink back to my old self, to go back to being a writer. Not as a profession to be marketed, but some kind of state of being.
Summer in Maine is so many things at once. Today it is gray and barely 70 degrees, two days ago is was throbbing sunshine and nearing 86. My favorite, of course, is the rain, which thunders and pours violently in the summer and brings me a familiar, still calm. I watch it from my kitchen window, watch it beat down on the roof of the little laundry building outside, and on all the locked, defenseless bikes. We leave our living rooms windows open, and sometimes, depending on the angle and fervor of the rain, I come back to find the couch damp.
(Writing like this feels shaky. You'll have to forgive me. I'm finding my legs again.)
I got a bike. I feel muscles in my legs that are just awakening for the first time. They had a good, long, twenty year nap. It turns out, biking to get places takes different muscles than spin class. Maine is different on a bike. Buildings and streets that seemed to go on forever are only a short glide from end to end. I feel like a real college student, and it feels like everyone who sees me whoosh by knows somewhere in their head, she is young and reads books and thinks her thoughts are important. She smiles on Thursday afternoons because it is the end of her week and she dances at least once a weekend. Maybe its hubristic to think this, that people might think about me at all, but I think about them.
My summer roommate, Annie, who promptly fled to France soon after we moved in together, convinced me to sign up for a pottery class, and I have totally fallen in love. There is a symmetry and a stillness to pottery that reminds me of days indoor with the windows open during summer rains. It feels good to be so new and untrained at something. There are no expectations of genius, no competition, no judgement. I can see myself getting better, creating more perfect bowls and cups, wetting the clay just the right amount, centering it more quickly, gently supporting thinner and thinner walls. It is fun to watch yourself get better at something that you are not worried about.
Between pottery and cooking all of my own meals, my hands seem entirely new to me. I didn't think I would feel so young at 20 (I know, it sounds ridiculous, but I have already achieved the first stage of world-weariness, I think), but all these new things--it almost feels like learning to walk again, picking up such new, often-essential skills. So much has happened, but it is a good reminder that I really know nothing at all. And that my body, my hands, my legs--they are capable of a lot. It is easy to forget that, most of the year.
Today I noted in my journal that it feels like life is starting up again. There was a momentary lull--summer always is that way. I always feel like I'm waiting, this time of year. Waiting for things to kick back into action, for consequential people to come back, for the seriousness of autumn weather. But things seem to be moving faster now. Soon I will go home, and then I will be in Amsterdam, and hopefully--probably--I will be back here too.
Until next time.