Above image: A still from 4th of July in Highland Park, Los Angeles, 2011 (One year & one week ago today)
May I suggest that you listen to this sound bite while you read this blog post? It was recorded a year ago as my friends and I navigated by foot through my neighborhood of Westlake, a flurry of street fireworks launching around us.
Have you ever celebrated a one-week anniversary? Ever thought, what was I doing exactly one week ago today? Then searched your memory and thought in wonder about how far away that moment felt from you? I do, almost every day actually.
So, I’ve been thinking about the 4th of July, it being the one-week anniversary of course. I didn’t realize how important the role that the 4th of July had in informing my personal narrative of each summer. It was only when I had participated in a manic array of festivities this last 4th that I suddenly found myself distraught, like I had suffered some kind of a loss and was struggling to find the means to cope. I thought to myself in panic, Is this some kind of omen? Will the summer of 2012 be a runaway force that will continue along this same vein? I suppose I’ve always been privately superstitious, but more importantly, summer has always played a significant part of my life, which in turn has created an urge to protect its integrity. It is as if having a bad summer would almost be too much to bare, a stain on the entire perception of the year. How could I let this happen?
I was born the 16th of July, so as I child it seemed that summer alone had ripened me, delivering me to the day when I would become another year older. Along with the promise of a birthday celebration, I always felt that summer was a time for true childhood independence. The internal world of a young person can run wild when it is free from the structure of the academic life that fills the rest of the year. The sun becomes a nurturing accomplice for a child realizing the world around them, a guide as they attempt to steer through the sun’s summertime world. I thrived in that world and those memories of youthful empowerment will be with me always. Now as an adult, I have only become more devoted to my bond with summer, wedded to sustaining that intimate spell that only summer can cast.
So here’s to the ghosts of 4th of Julys past. I’ve collected a few videos and a photograph to share, simply scroll below. Until next year, with all my love until the day I die, your summertime child.