Summer Loving, Hating & Writing | Sea You Later
Now, now, now, honey
You better sit down and look around
Cause you must've bumped yo head
And I love you enough to talk some sense back into you, baby
I'd hate to see you come home, me the kids
And the dog is gone
Check my credentials
I give you everything you want everything you need
Even your friends say I'm a good woman
All I need to know is why?
Why Don't You Love Me? - Beyoncé
Summer lovin had me a blast...
I'm not a natural summer lover. That's to say: summer isn't for instance as dear to me as autumn. I mostly prefer the autumn mindset, fashion and weather (although I'm craving sunlight at the moment... she says while the weather is very autumnal). Naturally obviously the numerous free weeks that comes with summer aren't disliked. Spare time is the time of my life! Especially considering that coming school year is going to be graduation year... hello thesis and internships. *desperately sighs* But before all that we've got the summer. Holiday, celebrate. And to make the most of it (also blogging-wise), I was inspired by Jessica from Chronically Vintage. She recently wrote a blogpost called "32 fun blog post writing prompt ideas for this summer (or anytime!)". And guess what? Here I am, just back from a blogging hiatus, why not use this list to -as she stated- fuel the blogging mojo a little. I've got quite some things in storage to share, but in the meantime why not sit back, relax and try out some of her suggestions. It's like the sunshine I've -and maybe you too have- been craving, but then from your computerscreen instead from, like, you know, the actual sun. So grab yourself a pair of rose-tinted sunglasses, step on board the inflatable chocolate donut ring (because nothing says 'summer' more than inflatable food) and don't forget the sunscreen lotion!
To get into this summer-setting (which I'll call: Sea You Later, proudly stolen from the clever part of the interwebs) I'll start with #6 on the list: "Ten things you love and ten things you dislike about this season." BUT I'll be doing it with a twist...
We -or at least I- get a feeling of satisfaction when talking (or writing) about the things I love. And a sort of same satisfaction gets to be felt when I talk (or write) about the things I dislike. Not only, I think, because it illustrates my 'passion' towards either subject (the passion to love and dislike things, people and situations). Together, I find, they define me. My likings and dislikings are or could be interpreted as a representation of myself (however fleeting they may be).* This made me think about three things:
1. The Man Who Loved Books Too Much by Allison Hoover Bartlett
2. Cruella De Vil
3. Why Don't You Love Me? by Beyoncé
1. I love this book. I read it a few summers ago and it keeps popping in my head from time to time (I should really reread it...). Within the book we follow the writer's journey trying to disect this case (that actually happened) about a book thief who stole (expensive and rare) books literally for the love of books. So not for the words within the books or the meaning they portray or the money they can make, but the actual literal love for books. On the back of the book it states (as a teaser): "What would you do for the love of a good book? For John Charles Gilkey, the answer is: go to prison." His love is not only defined by that what he loves, but how he expresses that love. His actions -his loving- represents his being and that of the world he steals from (it both being 'a world on its own').
2. As I'd written in an essay (oh yes, I'm quoting myself):
In the introduction of The Anatomy of Fashion, Colin McDowell states: "Once everyone in a society wears clothes, how one dresses becomes a form of projection and differentiation. Clothes present clues about the wearer."** Therewith he says that clothes or wearing clothes is a social construct that not only reflects the different functions and needs of the body, but carries a certain symbolism -or meaning- towards that part of the body (or naturally the body as an entity). Wearing clothes is thereby become not only a matter of projection and differentiation, but of enhancement and what this might or does signify to others. McDowell: "Once the basic requirements of clothing -protection, warmth, comfort- were addressed in ancient times, it can be argued that any later change reflects not necessity but fashion." Therewith fashion, and thus items of clothing, became to represent -or are seen to represent- the wearer. Fashion can not only be labelled as a social construct, but moreover a cultural construct that -again- not only projects or differentiates 'you' from the other wearers of clothing, but mostly creates the idea of 'you' in the first place. Of an identity that is expressed through the clothes you are wearing. A good example of this is Cruella De Vil from the Disney films 101 Dalmatians. I naturally do not condone miss De Vil's behaviour in the films, but she is absolutely perfect in this sense. Cruella De Vil is the spotted skin of a Dalmatian puppy. Or at least, that is what she believes or sees herself to be. She not only identifies with the spotted skin (and clearly not so much with the puppy part), she most of all has a very clear idea in what form the spots should adorn her body and will not stop until she gets it her way (because -arguably- of this very strong identification with the Dalmatian print and not only because she is evil).
3. Why Don't You Love Me? explores the frustration of not being loved (or loved enough) while serving someone on your knees. Doing everything you can to get the love you desire (and still not receiving it). Besides the on fleek #aesthetics of the music video, I think that the idea of 'to love and be loved in return' isn't something that's just applicable to social (person-to-person) relationships, but also to 'objective' (person-to-object/object-to-person) relationships.
So why don't I love summer? Well, first of all because it isn't autumn. And although the weather at the moment might be misleading, it still doesn't carry the charms and grace of an autumn day. Therewith Dutch summer weather, when at its worst, is moistly hot. Not something to envy. Especially if you know what's to follow: thunder and lighting bolts. I don't mind a litte bit of rain, but being trapped inside, with a quivering dog and a sweaty back is anything but ideal. Especially when trapped inside, with a quivering dog, a sweaty back AND an unidentified insect that decides to fly rounds around your head. AND, to make matters worse, there's almost nothing good on tv ('cucumber time television' as we call it). Not to speak about heightened allergies.
When described like this, summertime isn't light and sunny, but dark and hunting. Summertime is Cruella De Vil who acts on her own knowledge of right in the name of 'being'. Or perhaps even the 'right of being'. An all consuming love that doesn't love you back (and basically why I don't love it in the first place). But it also sparks off a longing, a longing to steal it away and make it love you (despite, again, the fact that you don't actually love it). So why not? Lets fake love! Fake it till you make it and write it till you like it.
'Cause there's lots to love too, when it comes to summer. To begin: School's out, scream and shout! Summer means no schoolwork, no schoolstress (although...) and no screaming children (we live sandwiched between four or so primary schools). Because all those little shouty kids are gone and away to wherever. Screaming and shouting and running and generally being annoying at some campsite far, far away. Now it's my turn to shout, shout, let it all out! Also: my turn to feed all the cats, dogs and goldfishes that are left behind. Not necessarily a plus to summer, but, ya know, cute cats, dogs and goldfishes are never wrong (accept for the neighbours' cat, he always hisses at me, little bugger). But a staycation doesn't mean a staycation, if you get what I mean. Summertime gives you the chance to get out (when it isn't too moisty or hot or thundery). I say museums, castles and flea markets. And last but not least: like John Charles Gilkey and books, like Cruella De Vil and Dalmatian spots and like Beyoncé and her voice, it's me and my sunglasses! And during summer I can wear them without being looked at! Without being judged for my 'poor life choices'! I can wear sunglasses inside or out whenever I like (especially when it's summer). Besides: rather protect my eyes than burn them out of my skull, amiright?!
I'm not a natural summer lover. But I can get used to it! Lets make this summer the new autumn! What do you (dis)like about summer? Let me know in the comments below...
*Although I also believe, as Gilles Deleuze (French philosopher) has argued, that representation is 'wrong' (or at least incomplete) because it re-presents something. It isn't what it says it is.
**Not to tease too much: I'm planning on writing a post about Sherlock Holmes, the 19th century and fashion... OoooOooooOooh!
What I'm wearing: Blouse - Made by my mum / Culottes - Made by me / Shoes - Panara (old) / Belt - My dad's / Pearl Necklace - Vintage /
Sources: The Anatomy of Fashion by C. McDowell, Fashion Beyond Identity by R.L. Breuer