School has finally dwindled to a close, and I can feel myself settling into a state of unperturbed relaxation, everything once again becoming slow and lethargic, the days going by with an air of hazy wistfulness.
I look forward to a summer of good books, cold swims, and warm, heady evenings — the kind that seem to go on forever. I’m encompassed with a potential that fills me from the inside out and threatens to burst forth.
I think the beginning of summer is like that for a lot of teenagers; it feels as if everything in the world is somehow before you. The next three months are nothing but a sprawling emptiness tarnished only by the inklings of adventures yet to come — places yet to visit, people yet to meet, kisses yet to be had. This year, that feeling of incomprehensible promise seems stronger than ever before, as some of my close friends are graduating high school and this future that has loomed in the distance from childhood to the last stretch of adolescence is suddenly upon them.
And because life is so frequently littered with moments of complete and utter serendipity, I happen to have just finished a book that, in a lot of ways, is a commentary on this feeling of potential: “Cherry,” a memoir by Mary Karr.
Some of you may know Mary Karr for her two other memoirs, “The Liars’ Club,” which focuses on her childhood and the struggles she faced growing up in Southeast Texas, and “Lit,” focusing on her foray into Catholicism after a particularly rebellious childhood/adolescence. From what I have heard, “Cherry” is the least popular of the three, which baffles me. This is the first of her memoirs that I have read, but I instantly fell in love with the rich, lyrical writing, and how overwhelmingly relatable it is. It’s rare for me to come across a book that satisfies this innate craving I seem to have for beautiful language. And when I do, I devour it.