August alignments

Just as quickly as it settled in, our houseguest packs its things to depart again. August’s visit is the longest-shortest, fastest-slowest, brightest-most-secretive stretch of the year, and always seems to contain way more than its outer form would suggest possible. I write to you just as the humidity has broken and evening swims tip from balmy to blustery. Have you sensed the angle of the sun shift a bit toward autumn?

Last week I published the second issue of Drift Body zine, which I’ve been working on all summer in between stints of fieldwork. It took longer than I expected to finish but I am pleased with the result. The four poems and one short bit of prose expound on themes that will be familiar from the last few letters I’ve sent, namely the flood of images that summer brings and the attendant replenishment of consciousness from beyond.

The zine, with its green cover, lays flat on the duff in the morning sun. The forest floor here beside the mouth of the stream is covered in white pine needles and twigs, a few cones and oak leaves. A maple sapling with three small leaves emerges and some long wispy grasses cast shadows across the paper. Time for a swim.

It seems to me that for the flood to replenish rather than overwhelm, we must learn to distinguish between images that arise within from those that arise without, and then to give special attention to the occasional alignment of the two. When they align, like the Earth-Moon-Sun system at spring tide, they pull with a strong force akin to gravity — in the grip of which we find the ego powerless. Who decides when the water might rise? We simply choose to swim with the current rather than against it. Either way it pulls. The writings in this second issue of the zine represent some of my paddles in the summerlong flood, and I’m excited to share them.

Endless thanks to those of you who have subscribed — it’s such a pleasure to package the booklets up for each of you and shove them off. By all accounts they should be arriving at your shores soon. In the meantime, here is a PDF sailing ahead on some arcane electromagnetic current.

Summer shoves off as well. For August’s part, we are left with a novel perspective on the past season: as it departs west over the water August calls back its impression of us gathered there on the beach watching. See you next year, strange friend!