#18 summer summit 2018
I remember the night before I turned eleven. I was so excited I went to bed at dusk. My family had rented a house for the summer near Georgica Beach in Long Island and there was always a great gang of kids to play with. They were still playing on the lawn outside my window as I tried in vain to go to sleep so I could turn eleven.
That memory was like a vein of honey that tracked through last night's sleep between dusk and the possibility of the future. Last night I dreamt I was in a rowboat. As I pulled the oars I went back in time, one decade at a jump. First I was fifty and our daughter was just graduating from high school. Then I was forty-ish and having been sick I saw the tentative nature of life. At thirty-ish I was learning what it was like to be a mom. At twenty I was painting in the south of France feeling I had met my tribe. The final jump was all the way back to eleven when there was no question about past or future. I could dance and run and paint and make pots and choreograph and swim and paddle and pedal as far into the ocean as I dreamed.
--Ocean Vuong, from "On Earth We're Briefly Gorgeous" in Night Sky with Exit Wounds