LoadedIn rawk on July 7, 2011 at 3:52 pm
I am learning to love the sun and this to my surprise did not happen in the many streetside summers of Manhattan, peeling the dirt off freshly shaven legs with an idle fingernail in the harsh relief of the air conditioned subway car and emerging like smoke from the grates in tandem with the heat. This did not happen as sun emanated from the pavement after dark like the twisted cousin of a remembered breeze. It did not happen in hot nights, cool bars, or hotter clubs. It never happened like the avant garde never happened for me, not in all those Junes learning major chords from sweaty boys.
But now I am learning to love the sun and this began in Portugal, really, chasing wildfires under pine trees far from any buildings at all. On my bicycle pushing wheels towards afternoon rivers as the only respite ahead, in the silence of no-wind and flies sucking salt from my pores, heat from my forehead, strength from my calves and we looked at the melting pavement and kept, going, up. The realization when you live outdoors that a ceiling is also shade.
I am learning to love the sun as my city grows hotter, fog held back beyond banks of heat waves in a place where heat waves never come in June. I love the sun walking on that side of the street for once, at outdoor concerts under useless umbrellas, through new tank tops and toe-peeping shoes, and with a conscious and teeth-clenched decision to just man up and embrace the splayed-out layerlessness of it.
I should learn to love the sun the way my father does, not as a bronzed natural compatibility but as the thing that makes other things grow; to help that process, you need to be in it.
I yearn to love the sun, too, there in Portugal and here in the garden, in a muscular way: unburdened by softness or damp or flesh.
So I am learning to love the sun slowly, by tasting it and smiling and pushing further into it, under it, these rivers of sweat as indicators of athletic light loving.