September 12, 2006
Reflective notes for reflective sand.
It’s a privilege to have the great fortune to live in a place to which people from all over the world flock during their precious vacation days, and I have always been happy– eager even– to share this beauty with everyone. But I’m as flawed, selfish and human as the next unevolved creature. I admit that once Labor Day weekend has passed, and with it the official end of summer, I exhale in a kelpy sigh of relief that this beach and its denizen (the crabs, anemones and me) are once again left to their own rhythms.
I spend far more time on these sands the other nine months of the year. Malibu’s summer weather is the least compelling of the seasons, and the lowest tides tend to fall during the wee hours of the night, making communing with the exposed sea life rather difficult. Autumn and spring bring a clarity that is endless and stunning, and the intermittent storms of winter, paired with the ebbing afternoon tides, are the best drama around. Summer, by comparison, is a hazy and dull watery view that, while a major improvement over the 100-plus temperatures of the San Fernando Valley just over the hill, offer fewer moments of revelation to those like me lucky enough to be revelated daily.
Summer is a funny annual private benchmark. Each June I gleefully compile an impossibly long list of all the personal music projects I intend to accomplish by September 1st. And each September 1st I am hilariously disappointed by the woefully small number of said accomplishments I’ve been able to check off from my computer desktop’s Sticky Note list. Within the course of my professional work, there seem to be more external demands and requests during the “school year,” thus giving me the perceived luxury of focusing on my own pet projects for a couple of warm months. I don’t think anyone has ever referred to me as unambitious behind my back, and so as you might imagine, the long, inspired litany of Things I Want to Accomplish This Summer would be, to most, a silly and unrealistic daydream. And yet each June, at least to me, that list represents a possible reality.
I did get a lot of things done this summer. Not even half of what was dictated on my list, but then again, had the list been far shorter, perhaps I would have only managed half of that. I’m glad to always have so much I want to do that I’ll probably never get to the end of the Sticky Notes, no matter how many ends of summers I get to see.