Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Summer Lies and Memories Last Forever.

"In summer, the song sings itself." ~William Carlos Williams
It is perhaps that as C.C. and I struggle to unwind this relationship that is not a relationship I find myself writing poems of love lost. It is perhaps the summer heat that dissipates into summer storms that I find myself flooded with melancholy. It is perhaps just the summer doldrums setting in to cast me adrift in an ocean of emotion where I breathe deeply of summer's beauty blooming all around me, that I find myself once again in the heat of summer gasping for breath as I struggle to find my way back to myself to be at peace with this wondrous place where I am in the Summer of this season of my life.

Summer is...

... a lost childhood where endless days spun themselves into magical journeys into the imagination. My sister A. and I had a favourite activity in summer. We would act out our favourite scenes from The Parent Trap (the original release btw). I was the mischievous twin, always getting into trouble, always making scenes. She was the more refined, more thoughtful of the two. We'd set up camp on our parent's front lawn and go through each scene with deep commitment to the script.

"No. No." I'd exclaim. "She didn't do it that way. It's like this." And I'd demonstrate with great passion the 'right' way to play the part. My sister, ever cooperative, would follow my actions, her eyes intently watching, and then, when I was done, do it her way anyway.

It was our 'schtick'. I'd boss her around. She'd do her thing. And we'd both be happy.

Summer was a time when I would get on my bike and ride along country roads exploring fields and gully's and anything else that appealed. I'd always end up at the farmhouse of an old couple who lived several miles from our home. She would feed me fresh milk and cookies. I'd pet the cats and play with the dogs and sometimes, he'd even let me help clean out the horse stalls. Those were special times and I wish I could remember that couple's names. But they are lost like a summer garden gone to seed, the memory of their names cast upon the wind.

Most days, summer found me in the pool. It was my favourite place. Immersed in the water, lying on my back, I'd float, like an angel with wings, the water just covering my ears, the sounds of the laughter and children's voices and mother's calling muffled in the water's caress. I'd close my eyes and drift, imagining scenes of wonder all around me. The world became a magical place when I floated on the water's surface. Sometimes, my eldest sister's friend, Peter, would be there and we'd have a tea party on the floor of the pool. I don't know why he took the time to amuse a young girl. But the memories of those under water fetes still fill me with the same joy as my imaginary cucumber sandwiches filled me then.

Later, in my teens, I'd grow up to become a swimming instructor and I would struggle to instill my love of water into my students. Sometimes, I'd hold elaborate tea parties on the floor of the pool, laughing and watching the bubbles rise to the surface as we each struggled to stay on the bottom and drink our imaginary tea. On those days, my classes went swimmingly. The students loved the water and me and we shared a common bond in a sea of delight. Sometimes, the heat and tiredness, an allergy to Ultra Violet rays would wear me down and I would be short and uninspired in my teaching. I'd drill them. Make them tread water. Do their strokes again and again. Like this, I'd cry, and demonstrate on land what they needed to repeat in the water. Immersed in the summer heat and the angst of being fifteen, every minute of class dragged by in a sodden mess of tears and wails of "I can't do it." as I impatiently insisted, "Yes you can."

I wonder where those children are now. Did they grow to love the water and under water tea parties or to remember the moody teenager who had no patience with their cries?

Summer is a time of memory laid back against the heat of a garden wall bathed in sunlight. It is a time of bare feet slithering on a wet lawn, of rainbows dancing in the sunlight fracturing a sprinkler's gush.

It is a time of memory.

And today is Blog Carnival Tuesday. The one word prompt day where I breathe into a word prompt and write it out. Today's prompt is: Summer.

Blog Carnival is sponsored by Bridget Chumbley at One Word at a Time and Peter Pollock of Rediscovering the Church. It's a biweekly online event open to anyone. Participants write on a one-word prompt or topic. This week's one word is "summer".

At Bridget's place you'll find a list of links to all of the contributions, which are posted throughout Tuesday and often through to the end of the week.

The Blog Carnival's FaceBook page is here.

(Thank you Maureen at Writing without Paper for providing such a clear and concise description of Blog Carnival.)

To read Maureen's amazing poem, Summer Headlines, go here to read it at her blog, or here to read it as part of One Word at a Time.

And.... my Summer poem...

Summer Lies
by Louise Gallagher
Summer lies
in a season of
hot red blossoms
upon ripe ruby lips
in a kiss
so sweet
love ripens
into a bed
of roses
two hearts beat
as one
promised forever more.

Summer passes
in the parting
of two hearts
in the fall
of parting
upon the sultry heat
of a long forgotten
solstice night
that once welcomed
the hot red blossoms
of summer’s
ripe lips
spread wide open
on a song
of love
forever more.


Anonymous said...


I share some of your summer-lost-longing emotions

alone's less fun in summer heat

and, speaking of heat, that's a great poem .... bordering on X-rated and powerful


M.L. Gallagher said...

Thanks mark! It's summer in the city and ... the rain comes tumblin' down!

katdish said...

I also spent most of my summer hours at the pool. Years of swim team practice and hanging out. Summertime memories seem to cling to my mind the most.

Your poem is beautiful.

Glynn said...

You just brought me back to being 6 years old, taking swimming lessons at a school day camp in suburban New Orleans. (I even remember the name of the camp - Kehoe-France.) To pass our course, we had to swim at least 15 feet unaided -- and I swam 25. It's startling that I can remember that. Or maybe not. Great post, Louise.

Rebecca on The Homefront said...

It's amazing how the topic of "summer" prompts so many memories...thanks for sharing yours. I can feel my feet slithering on the wet grass way back when...

Kathleen Overby said...

Woops-you're a sultry selkie! :)

Kathleen Overby said...

Kindred sister; summer = water. You're a selkie, too. :)

Maureen said...

I love the play of meanings on meanings in the title of the poem.


(And thank you for the shout-out.)

Duane Scott said...

Really cool poem.

Swimming lessons. I was the one kid that couldn't tread water.

I almost drowned.... like 67 times before they decided it wasn't my skill.

Anonymous said...

my kids hated the water and would climb, screaming, on top of my head while i tried to have them float in my arms.

i got them one-on-one lessons...

well, you know... i just wanted them to be able to swim if they ever fell into water that is two inches above their little heads.

the oldest still does not care to swim, but, she can.

the younest likes to swim sometimes, but the teacher hated me because it was so hard to teach her :-) like pulling teeth.

why my children did not want to get their faces wet is beyond me.

hair washing time was also a riot.


JoAnne Bennett said...

Hi Louise, it was sharing your summer of "elaborate tea parties on the floor of the pool, laughing and watching the bubbles rise to the surface as we each struggled to stay on the bottom and drink our imaginary tea" that made me smile. I will have to put on my list of fun things I would like to recapture as a child.

Anonymous said...

So many memories... I also loved swimming, and all the fun that went with it.

Your poem was powerful. Thanks, Louise.

Anonymous said...

I'll take a different twist on the rest of the people.

My first thought was that my heart goes out to you, with no more C.C in your life. You seem to be so strong, and understanding, but I know it still must hurt. I still struggle getting over my relationship with the "bad man", and don't even know what it's like to process getting over a "good man", but my thoughts are with you.


M.L. Gallagher said...

Anon-- thank you! It is a different process, and yet the same. It is the letting go of what was and never will be -- just not having to adjust to the realization that what was, never was. What was with C.C. was. and it was beautiful. What is with C.C. now, is. and it too is beautiful.

For, in this process, there is beauty in the healing for I am wiser, stronger, more committed to living my best, being my most amazing self in freedom.

Hugs to you -- Breathe and know -- this too shall pass and you will love again.

It is the greatest gift of all -- I feared not being able to love again. I know I can.