The Perpetual Summer

Ever since I was a kid, I’ve found the three annual months of summer particularly difficult to swallow.  As a child, they taught me that all good things pass.  As soon as I started college, however, an entirely new beast was introduced into my yearly summer conundrum, in the form of inescapable public preconceptions.

I remember coming back from my freshman year at Luther and expecting to be this entirely new, impressive, refreshing person to all those around me.  What I discovered was, because these people had known me for 18 years, they expected me to be the same.  And as much as I tried not to, and actually wanted to be the farthest thing from it, I found myself meeting those expectations.  It was as though the environment lent itself to my old ways, so I naturally met them – and of course, I hated being home.

The exhausting aspect of music is this: when I write a song, I put something unexplainable into it.  I release it, and it becomes the property of the listener.  But every time I perform, I have to climb back into my past, just for that 30 or 40 minutes.  Combined with the looming cultural pressure to constantly plan ahead, I have often felt attacked by all tenses.

There was one night at The Beat Coffee House in June that especially weighed me down, and afterward, I went over to a friend’s house for a late-night, therapeutic swim.  The conversation he and I had that night sparked what has become my great revelation of the Summer of 2010:

The past is over, and the future is fake.

The past is good for two things: fond memories and lessons.  The future, meanwhile, literally does not exist.  It is a fabrication of our minds, the way we think things ought to end up.  But what about the present?  Where does it go amid our concerns?

The answer, for me, has been this: It gets lost.  So wherever you are right now, stop and take a look at where you are.  Ponder your environment and realize that there are beautiful things around you at all times.  And then, go out and do it constantly.  Our pasts AND futures are created by this very moment, and each second, our present is gone.  So what are you creating?  Are we really going to spend the entirety of our existences hating Mondays and waiting for the weekend?

Right now.

HWN

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~ by hewhonever on August 8, 2010.

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