Those long summer evenings

They are already growing shorter now, but this passage from Adam Zagajewski’s new book of essays, Slight Exaggeration, perfectly captures the experience of the long evenings–even longer in northern Europe:

“And once again it was June–mild, long, slowly fading evenings,¬†evenings promising so much that no matter what you do with them, you always receive the impression of defeat, of wasted time. Nobody knows the best way to get through them. March straight ahead or maybe sit at home before a wide-open window so that the warm air, saturated in the sounds of summer, may penetrate the room and mingle with books, ideas, metaphors, with our breath. But no, that’s not right either, it’s not possible. You can only mourn them, those unending evenings, mourn them when they pass, as the days grow shorter. They can’t be seized.”

Of course, here in Berkeley, the summer evenings are foggy and cold–the price we pay for mild days. But I can remember warm evenings, and they had just that feeling of wanting to do everything and nothing at once.

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