Weekend notes are short-form POVs.
I have a memory of swimming in a friend’s pool at the age of seven or eight, hanging on to the concrete edge with slick fingers, my ears submerged. It was night. There was a party, and a miscellany of mothers and fathers stood in clusters in the garden, trading stories and casting occasional glances poolward, where their daughters — myself excluded — were playing mermaid. The girls had rings around their ankles and were flailing to stay afloat, a cacophonous feat. Nearby, I bobbed against the wall, monitoring the way the noise shifted as I dipped beneath the surface — gone, and there it was again. For the first time, I felt alone, and liked it.
Every year around this time, I’ve written something about the importance of rest and the joys of a slower season, which for me, has always been summer. After an endless winter and the ecstatic rush of spring, it's feels necessary to find ways to slip away now and again, to escape — even if it's just below the surface of familiar waters. Even if it's to a place within.
Two nights ago, I had dinner at a friend’s apartment uptown. Three levels down on the street, people walked their dogs, rode bikes, jogged toward the park. Inside, tucked away, we sat on the wooden floor and ate a meal in fading sunlight, candles all around. Someone read a poem. The room was still. For a moment, out of nowhere, I remembered the pool — its deep blue quiet, its waterlogged tranquility. There, in a tiny, tidy apartment three floors above the ground, I felt blissfully isolated. I might have forgotten where I was entirely if not for a breeze that found its way in through an open window, ruffling the pages of books on the windowsill.
The poem came to a finish. Somewhere in the distance, faintly, were fireworks.
Thank you so much for reading, as always — and have a wonderful holiday. After spending two consecutive weekends outside of the city, I'll be enjoying this one here — with any luck, doing a lot of what's described above. Have a great one! Photo by Emily Johnston.