The guitar. The bicycle. The running shoes. The webcam. The laptop. The unopened mail. The opened mail. The shredded mail. It’s August and sure enough I risk being overexposed again. Doesn’t take much nowadays. I do my best work predawn. And I’m sorry to the ones I love whose lives are not yet settling with the dust. There’s little chance I will be able to open my doors to let you in, this month.
August and the light cannot be intimidated by glass of any thickness. From a distance I see (and even feel) your struggle, for it only takes a few words or an image to convey. Maybe you want to stand before me so I can see and know more, but what good would it do? We both know I am not the solution to your troubles, though I may make a petty salve. Triple antibiotic. I offer my heart, my mind, my spirit.
I would so like to say I love you, the spirit of you, the best in you, but what good would it do? You should know by now, you should. Deep down I think you do, otherwise you wouldn’t be inviting me back in again. I am honored, too. A few years ago nobody was inviting me anywhere. I was always tryin to be so hard and now I have softened again under the sun, how did I become so soft and hard like glass to light? Who am I to be a walking contradiction and how do you walk, this way?
August. I think on Faulkner who somehow captured it for me, or wrapped my sense of it with his own personal papers. He made August more real for me. There may have been others but I cannot remember. I think of Rodin, but only because his first name was August. I won’t have any children, but if I had a boy I might name him the same, for we could nick him – Oggy!
We see no end to any summer in August in the valley, the light and heat will have their way with us through September and often into October. And some of us, what once was me, will see no end to misery, misfortune and pain. Nobody should be told they brought this on themselves, but if you have been there like I have, you also know that you had some part in it, and maybe even the largest of all the roles. For you are always there in the center of it, are you not?
Learn your lines well, my dear, and know you are not alone. I am behind you as well, with others whose parts are also to be played. I will take that deep breath from behind the curtains, steady myself and walk in under the lights with you in my own time and when the script demands it. Your stage presence in your own life is irrefutable.