The seasons turn and you know summer is almost over when the Michigan Irish Music Festival hits town. It stays for a lovely 4 days the second weekend in September. You can eat, drink, listen to the story telling competition, hear school children play their fiddles en masse, watch elaborately costumed young people compete in step dance, attend a mock Irish Wake, compete in Highland Games, see a dog show of Celtic breeds (there’s more than the Irish Setter), have a quiet cuppa by a beautiful lake, but the heart of the festival is music.
To be clear; the heart of the festival is drinking and dancing while listening to Irish Music.The Heart of Michigan Irish Fest; Scythian from DuneLight on Vimeo.
“I am Summer, come to lure you away from your computer… come dance on my fresh grass, dig your toes into my beaches.” ~Oriana Green, @NatureSpirits
Summer, where we take our computers in hand and walk them to the beach with our dogs.
To be fair she was likely sharing the glory of the setting day by texting shots to her friends, just as I am sharing with my friends. It’s all good, whatever brings you joy.
I walk without flinching through the burning cathedral of the summer. My bank of wild grass is majestic and full of music. It is a fire that solitude presses against my lips.
~Violette Leduc, Mad in Pursuit
This is a high resolution shot I took last night just before sunset. That white dot is a man sitting with his dog in his lap. He did not stay long as it is against park rules to climb the dunes. You can see how old paths and new paths have worn the face of it. As with all beach areas, erosion is a constant, but, boy that dune grass is magnificent; golden in the setting sun. I’m sure it was the siren call that made him jump the fence.
Much Ado About Nothing:
“Every one can master a grief but he that has it.”
(Act III, Scene II, Line 26)
I have been away from the blog. It wasn’t for lack of ideas. It’s a hard thing, this grief. We all experience it and and there is no easy way except to hunker down, take it and go through it. There is no short cut, no clear, straightforward road. You just take it and hack out your own route. I don’t think we are given a clear path to the other side of grief.
About three months after her, my Aunt’s, passing, things were settled and grief finally cracked that thin veneer of focus. There came a day when I wanted to call but couldn’t and that was the final blow, actually, it was just a tap, of the quarryman’s hammer. My mental armor cracked and fell away from the cliff face leaving the grief exposed.
Photos piled up but I was at a loss for what to write. I was not and am not depressed. I get out. I’m still curious. I’m still very active. Actually I’ve been unusually active for my ADHD-addled self. I have been driven. It’s been kinda horrible, this mania (But, boy howdy, did I get stuff done!). The minute I stopped moving I would think, and thinking was misery. Teddy Roosevelt said it best, “Black care rarely sits behind a rider whose pace is fast enough.”
To write is to think and I didn’t want to think, she was always there, in my thoughts. Even worse, I passed the 30th anniversary of the last time I saw my brother. As a matter of fact, it got worse in that every time I turned around I seemed to come up hard against the memory of someone I’d lost, of everyone I’ve ever lost. That was not fun. That was grief. God, please, let that be the depth of my grief. Now I’ve just got to bear the length of it.
Eh, I also read, a reading mind has someone else’s thoughts to escape to. One of the books I read was Virginia Wolf’s To The Lighthouse. It is about an English family and in it a main character dies. Virginia, was just so, so…my, her words cut to the heart of things. Some artists work make you a better artist in turn, whatever medium you choose, their work sets a fire in your soul. You are impelled to new worlds. Maybe it was the timing because that didn’t work with this book. After reading To The Lighthouse I felt I couldn’t write, what was the point? I had no words because Virginia Wolf had used them all, every one, and there was nothing left. There was no way I could arrange them into semblance of thought. I think some poet astutely said Virginia Wolf took all the words, put them like stones in her pockets and took them away.
Yeah. I got over that word thing. Myself got the upper hand, “Girl, you are too old to be so Emo.” Grief? Eh. Not so much. I’m not over it, no. The photo, ‘After the Storm’, I took it in August. It looks like I felt. There were things that I loved to do, I did them, I made myself do them, but their full experience, their full joy was just there, out of reach, on the other side of my grief.
The woman who raised me:
“Summer’s lease hath all too short a date.”
Every summer has a story. These friends are writing a fine one to carry them into old age. They are goofing around down at the local sailing club where they spend most of their time sailing, swimming, rowing and … fishing.
I don’t live in an orchard but they are a short 40 minute drive from my home in the dunes. Orchards are just one of the many things that make West Michigan, where I live, unique.
Light breaks where no sun shines.
~ Dylan Thomas
Aaaaand then I ran the colorful forsythia shots through the BW filter in Elements.
It became a different story.
One of these days I’m going to release my photos during the actual week of the challenge.
I swapped some pruned twigs from our Japanese Cherry trees for a basket of bare forsythia. I put the naked forsythia twigs in water while the ground was still covered with snow. And then one morning….a burst of sunshine.
Wynton was not impressed.
I can’t tell you how happy this simple afternoon made me; the rare early spring sunshine, the burst of forsythia, a happy cat, music, returning birds outside the window, a computer…bliss.