Tuesday, March 20, 2012

A glorious taste of joy (although now, I must admit, I need a nap but I'm getting ready for a book launch...)

A sunny day in Seattle is a glorious taste of joy, that's for sure, even or especially a day when the wind feels icy but that just means you can walk all around side streets and see hardly anyone, just a big beautiful crows, robins here and there, gazing up at the giant trees. And, I will admit it -- this may be a sunny day for Seattle, but it's not even a sunny day. It's a day when the clouds are high so the sun comes out intermittently but it's not raining and the air is so goddamn fresh it's like a dream.

Walking up into Volunteer Park and there's no one around yes no one just me climbing this familiar hill, passing the bathrooms that are closed now, they say it's because of the season, and into that field I've always treasured, since that first time sitting on the hill that's like a basket full of joy yes joy, there's that word again, basking in the sun in the summer on a hill full of queers, or gay people anyway and now that's mostly over. The gay people or queers go to a park a mile away that people talk about loving but that seems like a stretch to me. The other park is okay I guess, but small and flat and uninteresting as a space except for the way it's designed.

Volunteer Park is big and sprawling and filled with trees that expand in all directions but mostly towards the sky yes the sky and you're up on the top of the hill where you can float. Cal Anderson Park, renamed after a recently-deceased gay legislator, barely even has trees -- there isn't even that much space except for a baseball field and a reservoir converted into a fountain, I'm not sure why the gays and queers have abandoned Volunteer Park or how exactly it got taken over by the straight and breeding and why the queers fled to a space far less interesting, but I guess I'll find out when it gets warm.

I forget that I have memories here, memories from 15 years ago when I lived here, or 18 years ago when I lived here for a month. Or no, I don't forget that I have memories, but because they are softer and more subtle than the memories of San Francisco before or New York after, not as formidable or formative, memories of a space between -- between visions of community and activism and queer world-making. But Seattle has always felt calm to me, and that's what I'm feeling today. Now I will have calm, and I will also have visions of community and activism and queer world-making, okay?

2 comments:

Edward said...

I suspect that it may be an autocorrect-inspired typo, but let me just say that I love the phrase "reasonably-deceased gay legislator". So evocative! (and perhaps, frequently, socio-politically, so accurate).

Happy spring!

mattilda bernstein sycamore said...

Edward, that is a hilarious phrase -- evocative, indeed -- you're right, though, a voice activation software error -- I'm tempted to keep it, but instead might save it for the future -- thanks for writing...

Love --
mattilda