Summer’s Almost Gone

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‘Summer’s almost gone’, the lizard king used to sing.

It’s gone for him, dead in a Paris cemetery now. When I was there, bearded American tourists swigged bourbon from the bottle and then sloshed some over Jim in his crowded little grave.

Dead is epic in rock and roll.

I can’t help thinking it’s better to be alive. Summer has gone here in Australia. How many swims did I have? Not many. My surfboard is dusty under the house. Maybe next year. How many nights out in the sunroom with windows wide open to the garden, warm air, friends, family, food and wine, music? A lot of that, happily.

I’m reminded of Paul Bowles in his magnificent The Sheltering Sky:

“Death is always on the way, but the fact that you don’t know when it will arrive seems to take away from the finiteness of life. It’s that terrible precision that we hate so much. But because we don’t know, we get to think of life as an inexhaustible well. Yet everything happens a certain number of times, and a very small number, really. How many more times will you remember a certain afternoon of your childhood, some afternoon that’s so deeply a part of your being that you can’t even conceive of your life without it? Perhaps four or five times more. Perhaps not even. How many more times will you watch the full moon rise? Perhaps twenty. And yet it all seems limitless.”

The seasons mark the year. I’ve changed my header picture to an autumn visual. A last bright leaf on a street tree out the front of our house. The leaf is from two autumns ago. Turn. Turn.

I went into the attic this afternoon and unfurled an old family rug onto the floor upstairs. I’m warming the floorboards for winter. The washing is hanging damp on the line from afternoon autumn showers. Looking at the forecast it might stay there for days.

The acer palmatum is turning red. The marigolds are dying.

Soon the siren will start the football season. Go the Cats!

Wallington and I went to the Sydney Botanical Gardens today and wandered under a low grey sky. After all these years we found bits we hadn’t been to before. Are we lost? Or is the universe full of wonderful mystery.

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