“People take pictures of the summer
Just in case someone thought they had missed it
And to prove that it really existed.”
I suppose it is sacrilege to drain the wit from these words, but that I do. I’m earnestly devoted to the preservation of summer’s sensations.
August 31: The first day I wrote a blog entry (four years ago), and the last day of summer (emotionally, psychologically, logistically speaking).
The good thing about traveling is that summer starts over and over again. One day you are in Paris under fragrant linden trees, or wandering through rose gardens. A week later, gardenia and magnolia season has already begun in the Mid-Atlantic, while lilacs bloom on Prince Edward Island. The Florida coast lulls you into believing those northern leaves will never fall.
But today, back at home, the cicadas sing their desperately beautiful end-of-summer song.
To prove that it really existed, I have volumes of summer photos. Maybe in a month or two I will conjure up the season by simultaneously viewing photos and inhaling fragrances from my hot-weather stash. Like Des Esseintes, the decadent perfume-huffer of Huysmans’ Against Nature who sought synesthetic cures on “rainy autumnal days when melancholy oppressed, when a hatred of his home, the muddy yellow skies, the macadam clouds assailed him,” I’ll take refuge in pictures and perfume, and poetry. Among Des Esseintes’ more charming eccentricities: a copy of Baudelaire’s prose poem “Any Where Out of the World—N‘importe où, hors du monde,” framed in a tripartite church canon, centerpiece to his sumptuously decorated mantle; and structuring fragrance compositions analogous to the rhythms of Baudelaire’s verse poems,’The Irreparable” and “The Balcony.”
Since I’m more nostalgic than decadent, I imagine that soon after the impending equinox, I’ll be scrolling through pictures and revisiting canicular “bouquets”: Eau blanche, Nuits étoilées, Aqua Sextius. Just to prove that summer really existed.