Downtown

“Downtown. Lights on buildings and everything that makes you wonder. And in that moment, I swear we were infinite.” ― Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I’m feeling particularly nostalgic the last (very long) while. Listening to Downtown by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis makes me reminisce of the past – driving in my old Pontiac Acadian (cherry red, 4 door, 5 speed hatchback – loved that fucking car), sun blinding me and those tiny sun visors doing nothing to stop it. The smell of beach air, friends talking, dancing, singing, laughing.

Summer Shine summarises a bit, but the essence…oh that essence

Summer Shine

I love that summer shine
you know it
The sun so hot
the grass so cool
you just want to sit
in the shade just right
under the willow
The clouds so high
and barely there
you wish you could dive
into the blue sky
so inviting in the day
When the night comes
the stars shimmer so clear
the moon kisses them
until they disappear
into another summer shine day
No breeze to fly a kite
the hum of insects
frogs croaking
birds chirping
today is the day
of that summer shine
The reflection off the lake
strikes the eyes
and makes you blind
to that child that splashes
the water on you
It freezes and feels so good
Tip toe over the hot road
feet in the sand
make it to the beach
When the summer shine ends
the bonfire full roars
at that full moon
They sing and dance
filling the night
with an intensity
until the next
summer shine

My hand holds an Alpine, it’s starting to get too warm, but I don’t care. Later, we’ll head down to the green downtown. We’ll hang out on a blanket, so much laughter peeling out from our lungs.

Driving with the windows down, the gas gauge is broken, but it doesn’t matter. We’re together. We’re innocent. We don’t have cell phones, we don’t have computers. It’s just us, my old Pontiac Acadian, laughter, love, friendship. That guy I have the crush on is there, I’m wayyyy too shy and anxious to act on my feelings. Butterflies are floating like crazy in my stomach. My friend teases me, but she knows. They just get me.

I have trauma in that innocence, but it’s grip is soft. I’ve constant friends about me…I’m lonely, but it’s a warm loneliness. I don’t worry as much, I don’t feel like I’m imposing by existing. I’m the driver in my life and it’s pretty damn good (why didn’t I see that then?).

Now, present day. I have a constant yearning in my soul. I can’t pick it out. I can’t identify it. Constant anxiety, worry for my kids, worry for my husband, worry about this world. I’m overwhelmed. I’d love to go downtown, sit on the green and just soak up the sun. I want to hold that memory in a steel trap and never let it out. The grip of trauma has grown so much stronger. I’m constantly raw by it’s chaffing hold. I’m just a breath away from seeing that moment, that crisp feeling of wholeness. It sits just out of my sight, barely in the shadows, waiting for the sunlight to wake it, move it.

The wonder that once filled me has dimmed in the lights of age, but I know I can find it again. I know it’s there.

Macklemore & Ryan Lewis – Downtown

Magic

“And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.” Roald Dahl

Sometimes (read: often) I wish I could recapture the imagination and innocence of my youth. I believed. I believed in everything.

I remember writing a little book with my mother. I did the drawings and she wrote it out for me as I dictated it to her. I was too little to write yet, I can’t imagine how old I was; 4 maybe 5? It was about a dragon. I remember the picture of the dragon that I drew. I’m sure she must still have it at her house (my mother likes to hold on to things). I’ll have to see if I can find it.

Unicorns, dragons, faeries, pixies, good witches and wizards – they filled my youth with magic and wonder. Then I became a teenager and such things were no longer cool. I still read fairy tales and fantasy novels, but the magic was tarnishing. Painful memories over took my imagination and innocence.

For many of us, becoming an adult is akin to having a piece of you ripped out. So many times I’ve tried to recapture that feeling, those emotions. I was so happy. Even with the challenges I faced (bullied, low self-esteem, painfully introverted), I was cheerful, and watching something like The Last Unicorn would fill me with wonder and cause my imagination to run wild with dreams of seeing such fantastic things for real!

Now I feel more like Molly Grue (following quote is from The Last Unicorn movie as seen on IMDB):

Molly: No, it can’t be. Can it be? Where have you been? Where have you been? Damn you! Where have you been?
Schmendrick: Don’t you talk to her that way!
Unicorn: I’m here now.
Molly: And where were you twenty years ago? Ten years ago? Where were you when I was new? When I was one of those innocent young maidens you always come to? How dare you! How dare you come to me now, when I am this!
[Weeps]
Schmendrick: Can you really see her? Do you know what she is?
Molly: If you had been waiting to see a unicorn, as long as I have…
Schmendrick: She’s the last unicorn in the world.
Molly: It would be the last unicorn that came to Molly Grue. It’s all right, I forgive you.

Where have all the unicorns gone? Where is the magic?

America – The Last Unicorn