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Amber Paulen

Slowing Down

It’s almost August and Rome is already quiet. Sunday afternoons see carless streets glistening white under the sun. Everyone’s at the beach, in the mountains, in the middle of their summer-long holiday. August is one of my favourite things about Rome, the lack of cars, the bristling heat, the mind as it slowly fries over an afternoon so that there’s no choice but to turn off and read besides the fan with the shutters closed, the obsessive need for showers and water, the escape to the beach.

I’ve been looking forward to this August for several reasons. The foremost (and what I should be working on instead of writing this post) is finishing my certification in copyediting. The course has lasted over a year and I’ll be happy to be done, as equally to get back that time as to have finished it. August’s slowness means I’ll be able work on my novel that’s been sitting dormant or fitfully begun for months now. In August, Simon and I are going to the beach on Isola del Giglio for a week. And that means: sand, sun, salt water, stars, seafood, drinks, books, snorkelling, and impossibly lazy afternoons.

And it’s after August that movement towards the next journey will become more definitive, when I’ll have to send in applications to universities and immigration forms for the U.S. It’s exciting and lends this August a lustre of beginnings. In the meantime, I’m plotting through my final exam, drinking lots of water, sweating and sticking to my chair. I’m slowing down.


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