Tuesday, May 29, 2012


It's been hot here, we hit the 90* mark today.  In a rambling hundred year-old farmhouse that boasts of no artificial cool, this means I move slower.  There is no running up the stairs or dashing to the front door when the bell rings.  The laze of summer heat makes my limbs drowsy, as if the air is sweet honey and I'm swimming.

Ribs on the grill and watermelon.  Long hours spent sipping gin and tonic, reading on the front porch with Hazel stretched out by my feet.  The breeze, balmy and soft, ran fingers through my hair and brought the scent of basil and rosemary from the planters on the rail as it plucked at the strings of my sundress.  Birds trilled, neighbors waved, I stretched and turned a page.

Dusk and kisses and freshly clean heads tucked into beds, the house quiets.  As is my ritual each evening, I head up to the claw foot tub in the room next to mine, waiting for me.  I delight in water, especially at the end of the day, it washes my frets away as well as the sweat from my skin.  The smell of the night slips in through the open window...grass, cooling pavement, somewhere a bonfire burns.

Delicious waves sluice down my spine, I sigh, tilt back my head.  Filling my palm with shampoo, I ponder the day.  I'd chatted with our neighbors, chuckling over how we had "seen each other at our worst."  From child temper tantrums to covered in sweat and paint; filthy from the garden, sick as hell once in a while.  She mentioned that she loved how intimate our street was.  That word has clung to me today.


The funny thing is, though our homes and lives are separated by mere yards, there are oceans of things unknown.  While we've shared meals and walks and a slight disconcertion about the overly friendly mailman, they know so little of my thoughts...fears...battles and triumphs.  In complete contrast, I take you, you reading this, everywhere in my mind. 

Tonight there was a comment waiting for me that meant the world, made me well up with tears...warmth.   I contemplate the words, turning them over and over in my mind much as I would relish a bite of decadent food.  As the razor glides up the inside of my calf, suds ivory white against the sun-kissed skin...I think of you.  I wonder at times, how vulnerable I am here in this electric world.  How frank and honest.  I have yet to be hurt here, though I'm sure this is more a matter of time than anything else, and so bare much....often.

My neighbors may share my afternoon, my porch.....but you share my shower.  How has this intimacy grown so deep?


Robbie Grey said...

Those were some delicious descriptions.

Shelly said...

Your words are like a spa to me- delightfully and deliciously aromatic in my mind.

I've turned that over a few times myself. Most outside of my immediate family don't know I can write a sentence, much less a blog. Maybe one day I'll share with them and see if they are surprised...but then again, maybe I'll continue to keep it hidden.

Lo said...

Yes, yes.....I have said often that there is more intimacy and a deeper relationship with my fellow bloggers whom I have never met than with some of my oldest and closest friends.

I contend that it is because you know, when pouring out your soul in a blog, that you will be allowed to continue your thought to the end and not be interrupted by your companion who hardly listens and can't wait for you to shut up so she/he can start talking.

In so many ways, blogging is the perfect medium for relating and communicating.

Pigasus said...

Made me miss PA! Did you know I lived in the Poconos for a third of my life? I was a mason...miss that summer smell, too.

Summer here in North Cali is about 55 degrees.

And my blog feels so intimate, I don't even go back to read what I wrote a year ago.

Out on the prairie said...

Ahh the sharing allowed in this electronic world.

Anonymous said...

Ok, I need a cold shower now.

Chantel said...

Robbie--isn't 'delicious' what summer is all about?

Shelly--thank you, and seriously--I'm not sure I could ever be this honest with someone I saw every day....it's like being naked.

Lo--you so nailed that on the head, the whole "waiting for you to shut up" thing. *sigh* At least I have you. :)

Pigasus--ah, now there is no green like PA green; the smell, the feel of it beneath your feet. I couldn't stand not living in a sundress half the year! lol And I know, I can't read the old either...

Prairie--quite remarkable, isn't it?

BamaTrav--lol Showers shared are the best, hmmm?

Marita Abraham said...


I know exactly what you mean. When I write my blog posts, I feel I am baring my entire soul, every iota of it, for my readers to see, touch, feel, hear. It is as if I hide nothing.

As a person though, I am extremely secretive and the openness I display while writing is far removed from how I am to people. "In this electric world". That phrase sent a shudder down my spine.

You described your afternoon so well that I could feel the movement of that razor along my leg.


Beautiful entry. I soaked up your summer heat over here on a grey drizzly day, home sick from work. Funny to read this just after I'd gone through and killed several of my former posts because suddenly they made me feel too vulnerable. Hmmm... maybe I should have kept them.

Shea Goff said...


you always amaze me.

Brian Miller said...

haha there is a certain security behind the computer screen...it is a false security, not meaning to scare you...i just have had to get police involved with one particular stalker a few years ago that actually found me in real life...but dont let that freak you...there are just as many living on your street...smiles...i think there is shared intimacy with those we know well...and we choose where that line is drawn...

Brian Miller said...

ps. love all the smells...

Peaceful Warrior said...

As ever a real and lasting image created by such wonderful creative hands and a mind free to be open and share.

Sharing your afternoon and the intimacy of your bathing was a lovely image, that feeling of shampoo being washed through my hair too kept me rapt with attention as always.
Your Hubby is a lucky guy.
As are all your readers. x

Thank you for such great word arts x

Mary said...

I sometimes wonder how it is that some of us bloggers lay all of our fears, happy times and anger out there for all to read when we can't do the same face to face with the people that know us the best. Maybe it's easier to share this way. As always I love your descriptions.

Mom of the Perpetually Grounded said...

This was beautifully written. It reminded me of those very hot summers when I was growing up, in a house with no AC.
I also feel the same way about sharing on my blog. No one outside my family knows me as well as the people who find me there.

The Loerzels said...

Beautifully, intimately written.

Chantel said...

Marita--it is a bit frightening how honest we are here, isn't it? And thank you. :)

Shea--you're one that inspires me to be this real...thank you.

Brian--no police please! lol That line is much blurrier here, don't you think?

Warrior--"word arts"...love that phrase, thank you!

Mary--I think it is easier here, but sometimes I think I may go too far. Do you ever feel that way?

MOTPG--(I chuckle every time I read your blog name) Thank you, these creaky hot houses offer much to write about....even if it's just when the ceiling fell in a week before a party! lol

Marie--thank you. xo

Camille Griffiths said...

Isn't it funny how we are more intimate with strangers than we are with neighbors. I think about that a lot.

Another great post, I love your imagery!! :)

Mary: said...

Chantel, I think of you, too. A lot.
For example, I wonder what you'd say about my stair case walls that need something, but I don't know what, and then imagine that as our conversation progressed onto colors and surrounding details the more important things that are woven into our lives would surface.
For all of that, of course, we might have to begin our day with chocolate con churros, continue talking through the afternoon big meal, followed by café con leche out somewhere while we people watch, followed by a walk along the Roman wall, and into the evening with mostos (a grape cider) or cortos (small beers) and cañas (larger beers), tapas and more. Really, I can SO imagine full Spanish days of conversation with you. That's because, just as you said, during my day I already take you with me. I think on your words, mull them around, and dialogue in my brain with same or similar thoughts and sometimes challenges.
Intimacy. A perfect word indeed.
Besos desde Astorga

Pierre BOYER said...

Best regards from Paris,


Coupon Addic said...

Following from New Friends Friday


Chantel said...

Camille--thank you dear, it's good to know I'm not alone. :)

Mary--you know it was your comment that made my night when I wrote that....and here you are again. (smile) A day with you would be a joy--if I ever get to Spain, we'll make it happen. I sometimes feel I should be more open to my neighbors and people I know in real life....but often, many of those relationships are based purely on trajectory or proximity, not choice. Here, I know everyone who reads my thoughts, cares, they actually chose to do so. They're not just obligated because our children ride the bus together.

In a perfect world, I'd choose you to be my neighbor. xo

Chantel said...

Pierre--thank you, and returned in kind.

Anonymous said...

How raw and true is this post! I had another blog that I'd done for about a year, but I deleted it because I started feeling a pang of vulnerability...even to the mystery of the www-sphere. I have not yet garnered my courage to embark on the path of my new blog.

There are some people who share everything with their friends. Laugh loudly, speak freely, cry easily, and have many many friends. I am not of that set. I guard my words, my thoughts, my emotions. I do not like the twinge of regret that I feel when I let my defenses down and "share". When I've shared too much (to me) with someone, I don't like the fact I second guess myself when we see each other again. I would rather keep my walls up, if even at shoulder height, where I can be in control. Wasn't it Robert Frost that said "Good fences make good neighbors." Yes, yes indeed they do.

I appreciate your style of expression very much and am working my way through your archives. At some point I will regain my own courage to continue with the new blog I have begun...at some point.

Thank you,

ND Mitchell said...

Honesty "in an electric world" is still honesty it seems to me. I was just thinking that blogging is like a kind of confession where instead of a priest, there's a set of followers, always ready to listen... To be allowed to read someone's thoughts is a privileged position to be in. Thank you for sharing yours so openly. Another brilliant post.David

Mel Heth said...

Beautiful as always, and you made me want to take a bubble bath.

I talk more often with my blog friends than I do many of my oldest, closest friends. Intimacy is high around these parts.

Ioana-Carmen said...

So, so stylish darling! what do u say about following each others blog? kisses


Gabriele V. said...

Hello dear,
maybe you would like to follow each other's blogs with GFC or via bloglovin? or even both?


have a nice day!

Anonymous said...

A blogger is a rare bread. The vulnerable agreement to open your soul via a keyboard.

And you do it beautifully.

Chantel said...

Janie--I'm the very same way often. It takes a long time of trust-building in the real world, before I reveal much. I'm looking forward to reading more from you!

David--the idea of confession here in the virtual world is interesting, I think you have something there. I've enjoyed your writing so much as well!

Mel--exactly. It's strange how being seperated by space and wires somehow makes us feel safer, isn't it? (although if you watch enough freaky movies, we shouldn't)

Ioana & Gabriele--lovely to meet you.

Candy--thank you...and that is a beautiful way to put it. xo