On summer

I read two novels by Virginia Woolf this weekend. The first, The Waves, is a dense little bugger - one I didn't think I could make my way through until at some moment her prose cracked and out shone a series of startling, vibrant soliloquies. About 30 pages in, one of her characters has a monologue about how exactly she plans to spend her first day of summer, and it reminds me of how, as a kid, I would keep a tally of the number of days until summer and write it on the class board every morning before first period. This says it even better:

"'I have torn off the whole of May and June,' said Susan, 'and twenty days of July. I have torn them off and screwed them up so they no longer exist, save as a weight in my side. They have been crippled days, like moths with shrivelled wings unable to fly. There are only eight days left. In eight days' time I shall get out of the train and stand on the platform at six twenty-five. Then my freedom will unfurl, and all these restrictions that wrinkle and shrivel--hours and order and discipline, and being here and there exactly at the right moment--will crack asunder. Out the day will spring, as I open the carriage-door and see my father in his old hat and gaiters. I shall tremble. I shall burst into tears. Then next morning I shall get up at dawn. I shall let myself out by the kitchen door. I shall walk on the moor. The great horses of phantom riders will thunder behind me and stop suddenly. I shall see the swallow skim the grass. I shall throw myself on a bank by the river and watch the fish slip in and out among the reeds. The palms of my hands will be printed with pine-needles. I shall there unfold and take out whatever it is I have made here; something hard. For something has grown in me here, through the winters and summers, on staircases, in bedrooms.'"

--The Waves, pg. 32-33

In related news: Four more weeks of work, one more paper, and then Ryan and I are embarking on our second cross-country trip. Destination: Calgary.

We shall let ourselves out into the summer air. We shall tremble. We shall burst into song...