I’ve haven’t felt stirred to write for the past few weeks. Sometimes I have ideas that churn in my mind and demand to be released on paper, or things I notice that compel me to return to write about right away. But these few weeks… it’s summer, which means the city is hot and slow. Temperatures soar daily to the upper nineties, if not past a hundred. Apart from the two weeks when I had colleagues visiting from abroad and spent almost every air conditioned day in the office, I often take daytime solace at home, for the city streets are almost empty until dusk.
I write, I work on the revised project website teaching myself a few new wordpress skills; I study Turkish as much as I can before I begin my fall course back in grad school, I put in my daily fifteen minutes of Kyrgyz, just enough to have an overview on the language before I plunge into more intensive study. We go to the gym, we make dinner, we have friends over or endure long conversations over mediocre fare outside. Lights flicker downtown as the power cuts and generators kick back on. Construction continues outside our windows and dust blows over the city, sifting through our shoes. In late afternoon I sometimes walk to the now empty tea garden to study a bit of Turkish, passing trucks full of watermelon and the deflated matrons of cold fizzy fermented drinks on the way. Our cats rampage around the house in early morning, popping out of corners for flying surprise attacks, and then settle in for a day of solid sleep curled ’round the base of our fan or stretched out on the cold kitchen floor. We watch news in Turkey with dread and anticipation, wondering how far one man is willing to go to continue control of the country that already is no longer his. Before sleep I watch 15 minutes of a Turkish TV show and wake still dreaming in Turkish, but talking to my Kyrgyz cleaner about Chinese food in Chicago.
Summer. My schedule has been regulated by the school year – for work or study – for so long that summer always seems a little apart. A time for adventure and traveling, or slow transitions to the next quarter.