Sunday, March 29, 2015

I hope you remember me like this

I say: sunny days make me sad.

I mean: those pristine moments when I look out into the clear skies and feel the freshness of the sun-drenched air on my bare skin make me feel at loss for something, but I don't know what. 

I mean: it's not the light of the white sunshine that bothers me so much as the way it saturates the world around me into something too vibrant, even for a girl whose name means "full of life" in Latin.

I mean: sunny days make me feel afraid of not being able to live up to my own name. I grew up expecting a blanket of grey clouds and misty rain for ten months out of the year; even after nineteen months of living in California, I still can't shake off the feeling that I need to live as vibrantly as I can before the sun retreats behind the clouds again. I always forget that the sun doesn't goes away here like it did back home. It's never really the sunshine that makes me sad, but the thought that I didn't make the most out of its presence that will stir up occasional melancholy.

I once tried to explain to a Californian friend that life in Seattle was like a less extreme version of life on Venus in Ray Bradbury's short story "All Summer in a Day." I still have very vivid memories of reading it for the first time in a middle school language arts class on a rainy morning (because they were always rainy mornings, and rainy afternoons, and rainy evenings—I grew up in suburban Seattle after all) and completely understanding the alternate universe about a habitable but rain-soaked world where the children would spend their childhoods anticipating the hour of sunshine that broke momentarily once every seven years. "That just sounds depressing as hell," my friend said. "Be honest: did you even like living there?"

"I swear it's not," I replied. "The constant drizzle makes you appreciate the sunny days more." And okay, I might be lying if I said I loved the rain when I was still living in Washington, but there's something to be said about how much more I appreciate them now that they're few and far between in this state of perpetual drought. It scares me that I can count the number of rainy days we've had here in 2015 on one hand. 

Every once in a while, I still get those moments when I miss the safety of overcast skies. It's especially bad on days like today when I'm frantically reviewing as much Attic Greek as I possibly can before my midterm tomorrow; my spring break got cut short a couple days early so I could spend this much needed weekend studying (because blogging is totally studying Greek, right? I'm amazingly productive at doing literally everything but Greek when it comes to exam-panic mode) and the rays of sunshine peaking through my broken blinds keep teasing me with promises of making even better memories than the ones made this past week off from school. (Blog post to come in the next week—promise!)

I still haven't figured out how I'm supposed to focus on studying on days like this, but I think I should start by putting away my laptop and opening my textbook. Until then, I'm counting down the hours until I'm free from the reins of this unrelenting language (well, until the next homework assignment anyway) and memorizing as many principal parts as I possibly can. χαλεπὰ τὰ καλά - the beautiful things are harsh. 

xoxo, vivian

1 comment:

  1. I've seen Californians walk through rain in flip flops in February. It's okay not to be used to sunlight, because we're not used to the quiet steadiness of rain either. I feel so rushed to grasp every hint of introspective whimsy that comes with cloudy days.

    Hope your midterm goes well. Good luck!