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Young Writers Project: Summer Reflection, 2012

07/09/12 5:00AM
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Katy Turner, a summer intern at Young Writers Project and a sophomore at SUNY Purchase, explains why Vermont’s climate is just right for her and how it inspires her to write. “I recently went to California and it was sun, sun, sun all the time. Nothing but sunny and bright and blinding. I could never live there, I commented—not someplace where the temperature doesn't plummet and the clouds don't take over. When I'm away at school, my mom calls and notes the rain, asks if it's raining where I am because it's pouring where she is. ‘Is it raining there?’ she asks.  ‘I know how much you love the rain.’ And I'm trying to find out why, trying to figure out what the appeal of dark skies is for me. I'm trying to find out a lot of things. I guess that's why I write, why anyone writes. I guess that's why I'll continue writing.”

Summer Reflection, 2012
By Katy Turner
YWP Summer Intern

I have this affinity for the north because I have this affinity for darkness, I think. For storms and winter months. For nighttime, for rain, for dreary days and cold air lashing ice against my skin. I don't know what it is, exactly. I like the way the sky looks when it's fallingpouring&piercing down. I like the lines the trees cut, velvet and serrated on midnight and midday black, their outlines Sharpie-strong. Their bodies tall. Everything sultry, swift. I like when the world feels heavy-hearted.

My father loved thunderstorms. Maybe I get this from him. We used to sit on wicker chairs in the garage, he and my sister and brother and I. And we'd watch. Only watch. He loved how the storm pulled, how the lightning pulsed to the ground and how the delayed scream tore out, too. He loved the chaos, all his tiny infinities and forevers suspended in unsettlement as he sat, small and unassuming, with his feet planted on the cold concrete. I like these moments because they are whole and still. Because I can hold them, now.

I love my father in the same vein that I resent him—so fully, so entirely, like explosions in all senses. A bolt of fire light and his wind-pattern wildness. An "I love you" before bed. He died seven years ago this November, and I am trying to preserve him in whatever manner I can. Storm-chasing, memento-delving. But he's fleeing and leaving, more and more piecemeal as the future folds out. I can't hear the sound of his voice anymore. I mean I can't remember what he sounded like when he laughed or spoke or sang Christmas carols in his Ford. I mean I am losing things that cannot be retrieved.

But I have this: he loved his map-lost northeast home and the storms and cold that tagged along with it. And I do, too. Really, I do; I promise. I do now, at least. I have an affinity for the north because I am rooted in all this darkness, because I got to leave and got to reflect. I am, here and in this moment, at peace and finding the pieces. That's a marvelous start, I think.


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