LONG SAD SUMMER EVENINGS - Complications Ensue
Complications Ensue:
The Crafty TV and Screenwriting Blog




Baby Name Voyager graphs baby name frequency by decade.

Social Security Administration: Most popular names by year.

Name Trends: Uniquely popular names by year.

Reverse Dictionary Search: "What's that word that means....?"

Facebook Name Trees Match first names with last names.


Archives

April 2004

May 2004

June 2004

July 2004

August 2004

September 2004

October 2004

November 2004

December 2004

January 2005

February 2005

March 2005

April 2005

May 2005

June 2005

July 2005

August 2005

September 2005

October 2005

November 2005

December 2005

January 2006

February 2006

March 2006

April 2006

May 2006

June 2006

July 2006

August 2006

September 2006

October 2006

November 2006

December 2006

January 2007

February 2007

March 2007

April 2007

May 2007

June 2007

July 2007

August 2007

September 2007

October 2007

November 2007

December 2007

January 2008

February 2008

March 2008

April 2008

May 2008

June 2008

July 2008

August 2008

September 2008

October 2008

November 2008

December 2008

January 2009

February 2009

March 2009

April 2009

May 2009

June 2009

July 2009

August 2009

September 2009

October 2009

November 2009

December 2009

January 2010

February 2010

March 2010

April 2010

May 2010

June 2010

July 2010

August 2010

September 2010

October 2010

November 2010

December 2010

January 2011

February 2011

March 2011

April 2011

May 2011

June 2011

July 2011

August 2011

September 2011

October 2011

November 2011

December 2011

January 2012

February 2012

March 2012

April 2012

May 2012

June 2012

July 2012

August 2012

September 2012

October 2012

November 2012

December 2012

January 2013

February 2013

March 2013

April 2013

May 2013

June 2013

July 2013

August 2013

September 2013

October 2013

November 2013

December 2013

January 2014

February 2014

March 2014

April 2014

May 2014

June 2014

July 2014

 

Saturday, August 06, 2005

There's something about summer evenings that bothers me. Summer nights are lovely and so are summer mornings. And winter evenings are kind of bittersweet. But the long late afternoons of summer, particularly this far north, just seem mournful. I don't know why.

We drove out into the Eastern Townships on a whim today. I'd got through pretty much all the notes I had to work on, so we drove out even though it was already 2:30. The townships felt deserted. Where was everyone? Weren't they supposed to be in the country? If they were, they were all hiding in their country houses.

I am not much of a country person. I thought I was, because I so enjoy spending time in my parents' country house in East Hampton. But East Hampton is not real country, of course. It is as far from real country as you can get. It has real potato farms, yes, but at this point they are there mostly to give summer houses a view. When you spend the weekend in the Hamptons, there are good odds of at least two and maybe three dinner parties, with a couple cocktail parties if you really have to. And lunches. You don't go to the Hamptons to get away from it all. You go to the Hamptons to get into the thick of it.

Here in Montreal people seem to have country houses to actually get away from it all. Which is kind of funny for a New Yorker like me. Montreal is the least stressed out city I would ever consider living in. Try getting someone in showbiz on the phone after five here. You better know their cell phone, they won't be at the office.

It turns out there is not that much to do in the country if you are only visiting. My neighbor seems to have solved that problem by buying a farm. This is much better than buying the farm, but it is also much more work. He works on his country house to fix it up, which any home owner knows is an endless project, something like the way the moment they finish painting the Golden Gate Bridge, they start all over again from the other end. He has cleverly arranged to let one neighbor graze on his hayfields and another to pick his apples, thus lightening the burden at the risk of operating a personal charity.

But if you do not own a farm, you can taste Quebec's not very good wines, or its excellent ciders, or go antiquing. After you have tasted the ciders and filled your house up with antiques, you are left with the long sad summer evening, and the feeling that somewhere magic is happening, but they forgot to send you the memo. I've always had a yearning to go where the magic was, and I've done a lot of chasing after it. I have followed various spiritual paths, from Quaker meeting to Wicca, but spirituality does not come naturally to me. I did theater in high school, chasing that intense feeling of family. Now, I have a real family, but a small one, and families are about ordinary magic, the kind of ordinary miracle that fresh bread is. So I try to create the magic in the writing, and hope someone will put it onscreen so I can receive it back, transmuted into something living, and not just my own fading dream of it.

Summer nights are easier. All nights are easier. You can roll up the sidewalks of your world, and draw the blinds on your own island of warmth. And every night, that is enough, and I am fulfilled.

4 Comments:

I think that you have missed the road, though if you are looking for people in the Townships then drive through Venise-au-Quebec on a summer afternoon in late July. The backroads are for viewing a world going by the window, to stop at a scenic view or a municipal park and enjoy some local food. To discover the diner where poutine was born because of a wrong turn that worked out just right or to find a roadside vegetable stand where the green beans are still wet and fresh from the field. It is out where the Swiss immigrants are making fine cheeses on farms that they have renewed with their diligence and good cheer for a quarter what it would have cost them in Europe. A trip into the countryside is not about the right road or the perfect place, it is about the sudden stops and the serendipitty moments that create memories.

By Blogger Hawise, at 9:32 AM  

Ah - then you should move to London. We're in the middle of our "summer" right now and let me tell you, it's not much to write home about. A handful of over 80 days and then the rest either overcast or sunny but feeling like early September. If you want the feeling of perpetual Autumn, the UK's the place for you.

By Blogger The Gambino Crime Family, at 11:15 AM  

Ah - then you should move to London. We're in the middle of our "summer" right now and let me tell you, it's not much to write home about. A handful of over 80 days and then the rest either overcast or sunny but feeling like early September. If you want the feeling of perpetual Autumn, the UK's the place for you.place for you.

By Blogger The Gambino Crime Family, at 11:23 AM  

I live in NYC and am American and was always disappointed in myself that I had never traveled to Canada. So a couple of years ago, I hooked myself up with one of those last minute hotel fares from some wizard site like Priceline. Combined with the favorable exchange rate (for us), it was like $25 a night to stay in a good Comfort Inn outside Montreal.

So I committed to the whole month of September and took the Amtrak from Penn Station. I was pleasantly surprised that I could get from Manhattan to downtown Montreal for only $60.

I had a grand time, and I agree that Montreal is pretty low-key. What a great little city. It's the sort of place I'd like to live one day.

I started but never finished a screenplay while I was there. It was comforting to me that I didn't know a single other person in the whole country. It was just one of those Septembers, and Montreal performed as advertised. Every time I read your Montreal-related posts, I can't help but get a little envious. Envious, too, that you get out 10-20 pages a day.

By Blogger Andrew, at 3:41 PM  

Post a Comment

Back to Complications Ensue main blog page.



This page is powered by Blogger.