The Canadian Writers' Collective

Writing, and writerly tangents

Monday, September 10, 2007

Rewinds and Redux

By Tamara Lee

On what could well be the last hot weekend of the summer, I spent a lot of it doing little more than staring down a change-of-season flu/cold thing, and indulging in deep avoidance. The avoidance part was relatively enjoyable, apart from the occasional visitation of nausea, so I shouldn’t feel guilty. But I do. Is there such a thing as the guilt-free writer?

Instead I managed a mere 800 words, no subs, and a lot of additions to The Lists.

Actually, this is one of the hardest times of year for me, as the to-do list grows, the should-list gets ignored, and the I-wanna list gets tended to most diligently. And the cold-hard fact of winter sits waiting at the bottom of the page.

It’s a challenge trying to beat off autumn when my internal time clock insists the summer’s over—a good three weeks (and potentially two more, if we get that Indian Summer I keep insisting we’re going to have) ahead of the season’s actual expiry date.

We are all familiar with that urge to rewind time: that hard-wired desire to do-over when one feels something has been missed, or has not been done quite correctly. Not just regret, but that fleeting disappointment that comes with the changing of a season.

In Canada, by mid-July, we seem to think our summers are invincible, that there’s plenty of time left. We feel wholly capable of mending a fence, a habit, a relationship, when the timing’s right, because there’s just so much time left.

And yet, come Labour Day, we’re mixing ourselves a cocktail of melancholy, angst and anticipation, served in a tall glass with ice.

Still, there are likely a few good weeks left of summer, and Vancouver’s WestEnder Magazine has a helpful list of 49 things to do before summer's end.

For me, it hasn’t been a good summer unless I’ve been on the water at least once (even if it’s just bombing around on one of the water ferries on False Creek), barbequed wild sockeye salmon, taken long walks or biked along the Seawall, gone on a road trip of some kind, eaten bucketloads of local corn-on-the-cob and peaches and strawberries, and sat out in the sun drinking summery cocktails with friends. Simple pleasures, really. But without having done them, I feel in need of a summer-rewind.

There are a few more things to get to before I can call this summer over.

So, what do you plan to do with the rest of yours?

(image credit: doudoucorp)


Blogger Anne C. said...

I barbequed and beached, but I didn't cocktail or berry enough.

Mon Sep 10, 09:09:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Tricia Dower said...

I didn't get enough summer, period, meaning sun and warmth. We had rain and clouds far too often. (Where's the global warming effect, I ask you?) This week is supposed to be almost hot but it's almost too darn late. I have a definite grudge on.

Mon Sep 10, 01:31:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger tamara said...

Yes, I feel the same way, Tricia, which is why I took a vacation day today. Meaning, I treated the day as though I were a visitor in my own town, and walked all over the place, even walked along the beach with my shoes off, something I almost always forget to do. I do take my hometown for granted. Seems I am determined to squeeze the last bit of juice out of this summer. I'm even cocktailing and berry-eating on my porch tonight, Anne, instead of all manner of things I should be doing.

Tue Sep 11, 01:11:00 am GMT-4  
Blogger Steve Gajadhar said...


Sorry, I better not comment on the end of summer...

Thu Sep 13, 02:40:00 pm GMT-4  
Blogger tamara said...

bragger, steve.

what's it like not living with that summer's nearly over angst?

Thu Sep 13, 05:41:00 pm GMT-4  

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