Here's another year of waiting for the lilacs to return - they always do.
I wrote “Deer Song” one June a few years ago when the lilac time was coming to an end. Every year, they grace and perfume the city for a few short weeks, then dry, then fall. Their trees spend the rest of the unfrozen-season behaving as though they’d never played host to the pendant panicles. And we spend the next eleven months quite certain we can remember the scent if we try hard enough. It’s powdery, right? Even the white ones smell purple, you know? Only when they return the next year do we experience the sweet joy of being all damn wrong – they’re more and better than what we can hold.
It’s like thinking about kissing – in our imagining we tend to focus on lips touching lips, eyes closing, and a satisfaction in the stomach. Then we kiss again. Deeply. And it is the smells of hair and scalps, it is the indecisive or decisive hands, it is the coarse breath from noses, it is the temperature of tongues. Each lived moment so much more threaded than the placeholder image we assign it.
So the lilacs are back and I’m stopping at each tree I pass, closing my eyes, and leaning in. It’s fucking fantastic. Every thick breath I take in swells me up, then rakes at my skin. Every breath is one closer to them leaving again.
As spring brings out the best in our trees, I’ve been playing around with a newer song I’ll soon share with you. In a way, it is the levity to counter balance the blessed anxiety of “Deer Song.” If “Deer Song,” is the ‘waiting for loss,’ this new one is the, ‘fuck it, let’s just be here for a minute and really, truly dig it.’
I don’t mean to parse my songs for you. Hear 'em as you hear 'em. I’m just drunk on that sweet, grave smell of the ephemeral lilac, falling in love with every leaf on every tree, and wanting to share a little of my spring fever with you. Keep an eye on my youtube page for the aforementioned spring song, “Bested by Biology.” If you follow my instagram you’ve seen some photos from the little video I shot with the remarkably patient and beautifully talented artist, Courtney Clinton, on Mount Royal. It’ll be yours for the viewing within the next week.
Go smell some flowers - the white lilacs tend to have the strongest scent, seemingly to make up for their modest shade, but do your own exploring, it’s a trip. We can compare notes.