I visited the Hudson Valley in September and oh goodness! I just love it there. September is a pretty killer time to visit too – right at the end of summer. We got the first cool night as the season was just about to turn. It was absolutely gorgeous – like a grown up summer camp dream. I wrote the below while I was there for a new project I am working on with my friend, Jenn. It will be a zine that includes writing, photographs, and drawings from friends all over the world, called Your Distant Friend. Look out for more info soon. A few photos from New York below too.
How does one write about New York in September without being nostalgic?
I am wanting to write you something good and tell you about my time here, but it’s impossible to get rid of this rosy haze. We have done all the things that you do in the last few days of summer in New York, just as the season is turning and you get that first, cold night. We picked apples at the golden hour, warm rays shining on red checks of fruit and friends. We swam in the lake, hair made sleek and dark by long strokes in clear water. On the sailboat, the skin under our chins turned pink in the sun’s reflected gaze and our lips turned white in the wind. We went on hikes under hot, humid skies, flexing ankles expertly on step-sized boulders, and camped under tall pines, feeling only a little afraid of bears. We drank beers on wide porches, watching the sun slip behind the blue silhouette of the Catskills while bats streaked across a painted sky.
And we snuggled. Such a simple act, the exchange of heat between two bodies, hair to hair, skin to skin, another’s heart beat under your ear, and yet we savoured it as the first hot day after the winter. To be living life, not within and on either side of two screens, but wholly in the same place was a most welcome unjailing.
I have a feeling of wanting to go back, even when I am still here. What is this ache?
Nostalgia, it is a sickness, a pain felt, a heart broken further and deeper by every mile from home.
I worry now that it is in me, it will never go though, for I have been to so many places seeking to get rid of it, that now I’ll always be missing somewhere. A sadness at going, a sadness at staying, and always a perfect mirror.