"[You] wise old island, mute, leading the life of pure creaturehood open to any antelope or saint. After you've blown the ocean sky-high, whats there to say? What if we the people had the sense or grace to live as cooled islands in an archipelago live, with dignity, passion, and no comment?" -Annie Dillard
"I was, one might say, not so much anticipating the future as nostalgic for it, since what in my imaginings was to come was in reality already gone." - John Banville
The day we got engaged we were taught how to eat mussels. A waiter you knew from law school served us. He informed us that once the meat of the first mussel had been eaten, the empty shell could be used as a tool to pull the second and third mussels from their shells. Like tweezers.
Another day, a completely other day, we ate seafood in a strange and empty ocean town on the Moroccan coast. There was calamari and fried fish. There was a dipping sauce that made you sick. I remember reading our book aloud and loud outside the bathroom door through that night. I felt helpless.
Ives and I spent so much of this summer in our front porch. Almost every morning we were there. In the first warm months, I would nurse him while I read the newspaper and then my book. I read Pilgrim at Tinker Creek in June. He would fall asleep easy and often. It was quiet. And I found ways to tuck him into my lap so I could use both arms to read and eat. Now, he sits in his highchair while I make us both breakfast in the kitchen. It is busier. It is louder. He mostly eats what I eat now. When I boil myself a soft boiled egg, I leave one to boil longer for him to eat. He eats only the yoke, grabbing fistfuls. There are yellow crumbs all over his face. I turn the radio on and he darts his head about looking for the source of the sound. I make us each a piece of toast. I put jam on mine. Half of his ends up on the floor. We move to the porch and talk while we eat. He is less restless in the porch. He is distracted by birds and cars and neighbors. I watch him. He looks so much like his dad to me. He makes pleasure sounds when he eats pieces of banana and watermelon. People smile at us as they pass on the sidewalk. Sometimes I miss the easy early summer. But then he stuffs a piece of grape in his mouth and looks at me with a shocked sort of gladness, urgently reaching out his grubby fingers for more - and I don’t. I am excited for fall, to wear our sweaters in the porch and let him crawl through the leaves I rake up. I am thankful for the seasons - that they will aid me in remembering his first year: the cold and cozy beginning, the first quiet warmth, the busy hot summer.
After breakfast, he needs a bath. There is avocado in his eyelashes and berry juice in his diaper. After his bath he is so cheerful and we play. He climbs everywhere. In the porch, his highchair is covered in mess and there is a three foot radius of toast and sweet potato crumbs that I probably wont sweep up until he naps.
writing for Kinfolk:
photos of us, by Megan
Medium Format Kiev 60 TTL / TMax 400 film