Traces of Summer

My summer starts one fine Saturday morning. I cocoon in bed, laying still under the flowery blanket. Quietly. Inhale, exhale. Inhale, exhale. My mind has hardly been at rest for the last few months. And I hear it speaking loudly, panicking at every item in my to-do list for the coming weeks. Reports to write. Administrative papers to fill and send. Places to go. Things to see. Books to read. Ideas to note down and realise. Scripts to write. Painting lessons to take. All my life to plan and organize and live. Always on the run. Always rushing forwards. I haven’t even got enough time to sit down and really think. So I force myself to stay in bed for some more time. Breathe slowly and look up through the skylight above my head. Paris in mid-August is strangely sweet, the air is cool and the skies are gently pastel blues. Clouds pass by in cottony puffs, they form and part and converge and drift away as indifferently as if nothing has ever meant anything. Has anything ever meant anything at all? I remember gigling the other day down the tube station when learning from a Kinfolk magazine that there’s the Cloud Appreciation Society. So it’s actually a “thing”. There are people who love the clouds and love staring at them, appreciating their presence and ephemeral beauty. There are people who take time to look outside the window, outside the car, away from their phone or computer screen or tablet or book or meal or busy roads to see this marvelous azure sky of late summer.

Roo Pane is singing Lullaby Love now. A man with a honey voice and a golden heart. Each song is sung with such pain and loss and love for life. He’s been my secret British crush for the past 4 years. When I first discovered him here in Know Me Well, recorded in a cold spring day on top of Saint Paul Cathedral, I had just sheded the foggy memories behind in London to start anew in the capital of Light. I cried like a small baby at every word. The melody enveloped me sofly with its feather arms:

And I still had a lot of growing
When you took me and you shaped me with those hands
You know me better than myself
Make me better than I am.

After breakfast, I read for one hour or two. In the middle of Wabi-sabi Peace, I fall into a half-meditative state, then suddenly I can hear it. Tick, tock, tick, tock. Water is dripping from the kitchen tap, as loudly as a drum. A distant car door slams. Love doves mating on the roof. The wind breezing over the withering crowns of London planes. My heart sinks in a mellow tranquility. No more 7-minute reading between Opera and Gare de l’Est. No more dashing to work with under-eye bags heavy from a sleepless night. No more mind wandering around the bell tower of Saint-Laurent Church.

Summer is coming to the end, leaving a bittersweet taste of regret in at the tip of my tongue. Peaches, apricots, plums ripen in juicy flavours. Days lengthen, time expands, leaves tender under the sun. And scars lighten. But deep inside, under the bark, the tree in me still bears the vulnerable wound that can break down at the very first sight of an August storm. How to courageously keep on living with gentleness and generosity?




Summer Loves
  • Icheon Ceramics Masters: I just marvel at their mastered craft and dedication, plus the music ♪♫♬
  • Gifts from the Sea by Anne Morrow Lindbergh: a beautiful, beautiful writing for women of all ages (will have a deeper introduction in a coming book review)
  • Kinfolk Vol.8 on Japan: I think I’m in love with this country, and I love it more because I can see a part of your soul in it
  • Nodame Cantabile: Beethoven’s Symphony 7 and Hiroshi Tamaki, Hiroshi Tamaki, Hiroshi Tamaki. When I saw him lying down on the school yard bench, eyes closing, his white chemise glowing his beautiful profile, I thought I’d died a little bit T_T
  • From 5 to 9: Satomi Ishihara is a sweet cherry blossom
  • The Hidden Life of Trees by Wohlleben: a treasure in the form of a hardcover #
  • Bourjois Contour Clubbing Waterproof in Utopink, Loving Green, Bleu Néon and Purple Night
  • Nuxe Huile Prodigieuse: smells like perfumed memories
  • Lullaby Love by Roo Pane:  ♡♡♡ should I say anything more?





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