summer’s midpoint, and chasing sunsets

August 2, 2016 |  Category:   life

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Taking any kind of extended leave from full time employment is a delicate dance between truly enjoying myself and suppressing any feelings of guilt for taking time off. To be fair, it wasn’t entirely intentional. But summer dictates its own unique rhythm and pace in terms of freelance work (clients don’t seem to be in any kind of hurry) and thus, I’ve had more free time on my hands than anticipated. If I’m counting myself as my own client in terms of my impossibly long list of tasks for our business, I’m guilty of some serious procrastination myself. But if there’s any season that’s best to slow down, wouldn’t it be summer?

Ironically, trying to slow down life might just be a futile exercise anyway because this summer in particular seems to be going by so fast. Now, do I say this every year? Possibly! But these words never felt more true than this year. I mean, how is it already August? Weren’t we just celebrating the 4th of July?

I think when the future Me looks back on the summer of ’16, I’ll remember reconnecting with art, witnessing the girls take a huge leap into independence, having the luxury of time to just think, and…organizing literally everything in our apartment. Yup, there isn’t a junk drawer or closet that has escaped my ruthless skill for editing things down. When I’m being honest with myself, however, I know that these purge and organizing binges is just an easy way to make myself feel like I’m actually accomplishing something. You know, all those little chores around the house that I previously never had time for. Never mind the big questions about life – at least I can check off these domestic tasks off a list even if it is just busy work. So satisfying.

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For someone who has become a bit obsessive about sunsets the last few years, I haven’t seen very many of them this summer. Oh we try sometimes, but this does require some effort and motivation since I can’t really see them out our window or anywhere else in the neighborhood for that matter, unless it’s the kind of sunset whose colors gradually spread outward across the sky. Actually, some of the most intense sunsets have been witnessed while driving to Long Island – and the views and angles keep shifting since we’re in a moving car. My favorite is when the sun appears through the back window like a fiery ball and sets the sky on fire. Usually I’m on my phone trying to search for a pull off spot off the highway so we can actually watch it instead of trying to contort my body for photos out the window, but most times we’re too late.

This sunset about a week ago was the best of the summer so far, even more so than Manhattanhenge which I finally got to see (I’ll post photos of that later). Look at those clouds! And we were at one of our favorite spots on the south shore of Long Island. We’ve tried to come for a sunset here once before in early Spring when we first discovered this beach, but clouds rolled in at the last minute. It was certainly worth a second try. Watching the sunset over the water with the colors reflecting off the sand dunes was more spectacular that I imagined.

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  • Jeanette August 2, 2016 at 1:00 pm

    Thanks, as always, for this lovely, lovely post. This post in particular brought a sweet sting – one of the last memories I have of my mother before her ongoing descent into Alzheimer’s was a walk on a LI beach (Jones? Sunken Meadow?) watching the sun go down. In my memories it looks just as you’ve captured it.

    • Jenna August 2, 2016 at 1:03 pm

      oh wow, Jeanette. That is tough. I’m glad that I could bring a happy memory to your day today.

  • Lakshmi August 4, 2016 at 1:03 pm

    Wish I had a beach like this one within reasonable driving distance.

    Enjoy the remaining days of summer. 🙂

    Lakshmi

  • Andrew Thornton August 8, 2016 at 10:21 am

    I’m right there with you about the way time has been slippery lately. Too fast, too slow. Too fast, too slow. I’ve also had some changes in my daily routine, giving me more time to create art, but I too am finding comfort in the busy work of organizing. I think though that the organization was essential for my sanity; not only has it been good to keep my hands from being idle, but we just moved into a house and we’re still unpacking and finding places for everything. The other day, I was trying to work on something in my studio in about two square feet of space and was straddling some books, and trying desperately not to knock into a pile of papers and boxes (again). Eventually I was like, “F*ck this!” And started cleaning and organizing. I have this idea that I’ll reach this magical stopping point where everything has a place and a home, and all I have to do is maintain… and then I can really get to work on the big questions.

    And beautiful photos as always. The clouds and the lighting are so dramatic and narrative. Nicely done, as always!

  • janine August 8, 2016 at 10:25 am

    Oh Jenna, will you please come and sort out my cupboards and drawers? One of the things I hate about the summer holidays is the constant nagging feeling that I should be sorting ( and hardly ever actually doing it! Lovely photos.

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