BY JONI TAKANIKOS
August 22, 2014
In these last days of summer my mind is often caught in a daydream. And although September is now close enough for us to hear its whisper of classrooms filled with summer endings and schoolbooks opening to the pages of fall, somehow the yellowed grass of summer begs for a kind of semi-permanence, held fast by our skin and bones.
I long to be held adrift in this calm, steady, and soft breeze of a summer day fully inhabited, with no thought of the fall to come. I admit that I am presently intoxicated by the waft of Stargazer Lily scent that lingers throughout the house, while just outside the deep purple perfume of blackberries on the vines sweetens the air. The blackberries always ripen in perfect time to the last days of summer, so ripe they drop into my open palm without a touch…and then straight onto my tongue as they are too delicate for a bowl.
Last night I was at a small dinner party for six. It was held by a dear friend who was hosting her parents as well as a visiting friend from Italy. My friend lived in Italy for a few years, and made some lovely and lifelong friends among the locals. She also learned how to make wonderful pasta and other dishes, but that is another story.
Their beautiful and erudite friend, Loredana, (she speaks four languages fluently), brought with her some homemade Italian type pretzels, taralli, made from flour, salt, white wine and fennel. While we sat conversing and eating this ambrosia of a pretzel, she talked of her experience here over the last few weeks. She said that her eyes had developed a certain restfulness that she believed was brought on by the particulars of our Pacific Northwest landscape. The variety of green hues, water, sky, and mountains gave the eyes a sense of peace that could be held in her gaze.
This strikes me as such a lovely translation of the inherent beauty of our island, interpreted through the lips of this visitor to our shores. It is a reminder of how this beauty that surrounds us can inhabit our skin and bones, and live fully through our senses, and be held deep in our gaze, marking the space of a long and lingering summer daydream.
A Moonscape East of the Mountains
People want to be beautiful,
beautiful as the sky,
And the full moon flying through
The forest of trees.
Elusive beauty we are driven toward,
Like a train on a rail,
Past rivers, oceans,
Tracks laid through pure solid rock,
Our hearts and bodies wide as the sky,
Flying across fields of waving summer grasses,
Rising over endless tides,
To be born with eyes that see Beauty
Even in the blinding dark.
— Joni Takanikos, July 2014
On Whidbey Island there are many methods of stretching the canvas over a glorious summer day. Carl Magnuson and Kimmer Morris are curating a month-long celebration this August of art, music, movement, poetry and everything above, below and in between. It is called Burning Whidboy and an art show and events are continuing through the end of August.
Burning Whidboy: a place, an event, a state of mind. 625 Edgecliff Drive, Langley, WA 98260. Check their calendar at http://tinyurl.com/lzx4eh8
Joni Takanikos inhabits the sacred circus tent of dreams that encircle and entwine her life. She performs her music and poetry in venues here, there and everywhere, and is, oh so happy, teaching yoga at Half Moon Yoga Studio in Langley, WA.
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