I dropped the kids off at theater camp with the other awkward-looking children not cut out for sports, pale and withdrawn, future artists: and Charlotte’s outfit, a riot of stripes and patterns — she’s still doing that thing where she closes one eye and flicks her head to the side then closes the other but has no self-consciousness about it, just walks and toggles eye to eye (the Parallax View Phenomenon), and she’s right where she belongs now, at theater camp.
And I spend the morning doing chores to feel less guilty leaving Dawn with the kids for the rest of the week while I go hiking, and finish packing for my trip, stealing her maxi-pads for my first aid kit because they’re good to stop the bleeding I explain, and she agrees — and I’ve gone back to November in Scotland for some reason, maybe visiting our English friends up the street who asked where we went last winter and I sketched our route on the palm of my hand, starting on the east coast at Arbroath and zig-zagging to the southwest where we left by ferry for Belfast, and what it was like in that chauffeur’s house by an old castle where we spent Thanksgiving: that memory like a stone we took away but it doesn’t look the same removed from its original context, it changes over time. Every framed picture there, every view out the windows windswept and exotic, the rain and the leaves, the wind: hunkering down with our puzzles and boardgames, the wood stove, our beer and wine, the game meats I found at the local store, the Victoria sponge cake their cook baked for us we ate the very first night.
Now the morning light has softened and it’s sleeping in some, it’s not that bracing light of early summer but the golden hour of the season instead, and everyone’s away now enjoying the last of it, and the lake shore is low, with a stretch of beach pebbles drawn out, all the left behind rafts deflated and life jackets from the weekend put out on rocks waiting for their owners to come get them, a pair of cotton socks still wet.
The morning light is golden and warm, pours thick like syrup with just the sound of the lawn sprinklers and my sandals on the walk home and I forget where I am; I toggle between views too, looking forward, looking back, having to remind myself to just stop and look up.
Post title from the Cocteau Twins song of the same name, from the album Heaven or Las Vegas.