Trippy Light

My inhibitions, fighting my intuition
Premature premonition
Showin me the demolition of these phony niggas
So ahead of my time
Even when I rhyme about the future I be reminiscing

~ J. Cole, Fire Squad

We’re starting to see proper sunsets here in McCarthy, which gives me the distinct impression that summer is on the wane, this despite the fact that it was so hot the other day that even on a short, fairly easy hike, I came down with a mild touch of heat exhaustion.

It’s starting to get dark late at night. If I have to get up and take a piss, I can still see my way around and navigate, but it’s dark enough that I have to pay attention lest I turn my ankle on a rock. It won’t be long before I’ll have to dust off the ole headlamp for late night trips to the toilet (i.e., the first bush I can find).

For me, the shift in light is always trippy, and of course the light changes before the season change. The shift in the light is always the signal that the earth keeps spinning, and before ya know it, summer will be gone. The summer goes by so fast. I don’t usually realize how fast it’s all gone until I get back to Cali to see my nephews and niece and realize that they are all a half-year older. (At their age this usually means they’ve grown up, significantly: an inch or two taller, expanded vocabulary, teeth growing in places that they didn’t have teeth, and the general sense that whatever kind of kid-ness they are going through that may drive me crazy, it’s just a stage.)

For me, the shift in the light creates this rather odd phenomenon wherein I begin to feel a touch nostalgic, but it’s a weird sort of nostalgia, a kind of nostalgia experienced in the present, where I experience events in the present that feel for all the world like a sweet memory, even while it is happening. All this comes from the signal. The shift in light tells me that summer is a temporary phenomenon, merely a name that we give to that warm time when the sun is up in the sky most of the time. But it’s always changing, because we keep on spinning, and that’s probably the hardest thing to really get a handle on, because nothing ever really stays the same.

Published by

Jonathan Erdman

Writer. In the summers, I live and work in the incredible state of Alaska, in the bush community of McCarthy, as the Executive Director of the Wrangell Mountain Center. When not in McCarthy, you'll typically find me in the Santa Cruz Mountains of California, writing and working with local activists. My primary writing project right now is a novel set in remote bush Alaska, of the magical realism genre wherein an earnest and independent young woman finds a mysterious radio belonging to her grandmother, a device that has paranormal bandwidth and a disturbing ability to mess with one's mental stability.

2 thoughts on “Trippy Light”

    1. Summers are my busy time. Lots of work. It’s been all I can do just to keep up w/ my blog, but I do pop over, and it’s been great to see how much momentum and activity has been going on over there at Fat Beggars.

      Keep up the good work. Cheers!


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