affinity (noun): an attractive force between substances or particles that causes them to enter into and remain in chemical combination; a relation between biological groups involving resemblance in structural plan and indicating a common origin. [Merriam-Webster].

it’s strange to me how places we’ve never been, things we’ve never touched can pull at us; spark a recognition so deep we are immediately at ease. it was like that at the Ace Hotel in Seattle. it was like that when we visited Tokyo. it is like that with my ukulele. i cleaned up my acoustic guitar and tuned it up to play a while back. i’ve only been at it that one time even though there is so much lovely music written for it.

playing the ukulele is like having the right voice, making the noises i’m meant to make. it’s like being able to breathe when everything else is squeezing me a little too tight.

a picture on Instagram is captioned “one fall day,” and i balk at that in my head. it’s late summer! it was 95 degrees Fahrenheit a few days ago! it’s still a couple of weeks to the equinox! but then, today, the air rushing through the open window makes me wish for socks.

late evening, cold enough to want a cardigan. Neighbor Kitty comes to the door asking to play. i rush out into the garden, wiggle-waggle his stick for him; he flies about, pounces, leaps; the storm door gently whooshes open and close, and M is sitting on the porch steps watching us. when Neighbor Kitty’s interest in the stick slows, i throw it down the walk for him to chase, make my way to M, settle on the step below him. nestled between his knees, his arms crossed in front of my chest, warmth on my chilly skin. chats of nothing, baked pasta waiting on the stove.

a half dozen times a day, i think something dear, something puzzling, something i mustn’t forget; so i add it to my pile of open-ended thoughts and hold them against my chest. soon there are too many, and i must continually stop–retrieving, juggling, losing my place–until i’m too full to know which thoughts i’m made of. so i must write to keep moving, to keep ahold of who i am.

many bloggers i read seem to be making a return lately, writing again after a long absence. this is the time of year for picking up old threads. late summer mornings slipping away into fall, warm days with a barely detectable chill in the breeze. spring is the time for shiny new things, leafing out, growing; but somehow fall is the season for making things. have we been programmed by all those back-to-school years? is it the visible end of running, laughing in the sun that turns us restless? or are our animal brains telling us the making must begin, a preparation for the survival of winter?

how much of what i write is justification for what i’ve failed to be? melancholic pondering to lend grandeur to my emptiness, a substitute for living. i need a better ratio… thinking and doing, understanding and practicing.

am i being too harsh? again declaring failure? all this time spent understanding myself, making sense of the world… is it not the meaning of my days?

writers line up words to encapsulate pretty little moments in our lives, words that sound like pings of rain, taste like the sweetness of late summer plums, feel like ceramic warmed by a strong brew of tea. we rhapsodize the rain to keep a hold of it.

and when the winds are harsh, the grounds dry, we can wrap the words around ourselves, remember we’ve had those moments, and beat back the fear of emptiness.

Anne said “it is only very foolish folk who talk sense all the time.”