Virginia Peng

“Everything eats and is eaten. Time is fed.” 

Adrienne Lenker repeats in the chorus of “Ingydar.” Though morbid on the surface, I like to think of “Ingydar” as my song of the summer, a reminder to savor days of leisure and warmth before they are eaten away by winter.

My home state is Maine, a place where life is dictated by the seasons. As soon as wild blueberries carpet the forest, a light layer of frost replaces them. As soon as pine trees don coats of green, they are forced to shed needles. As soon as I adjust to summer, autumn takes its place. 

These patterns of change grow my appreciation for the rare summer moments when the sun peeks through clouds, cherry tomatoes ripen in my garden and the ocean’s surface is warm enough to swim in. 

“Songs,” Lenker’s Indie Folk album, houses the track “Ingydar.” The song confronts the album’s focus on the persistence of change. “Ingydar” is composed of tableaus and remembrance: from a dead horse named Ingydar whose “eyes are blueberries, video screens, Minneapolis schemes and the dried flowers from books half read,” to listening to the “tambourine of the beech leaves.” something like, these images allude to mundane, rural changes. Lenker’s imagery is startling, a stark contrast to the familiar chords she strums on the guitar. Who would think to describe a horse’s eyes as “dried flowers from books half read?” Adrienne Lenker would. 

The charm of Lenker’s music lies in her ability to paint fluid landscapes, reminiscent of faulty memories. Lyrically, she recreates the cyclical rhythms found in nature, describing when in the “early еvening, the pink ring swallows the sphеrical marigold terrain.” Lenker sees memories of the seasons as fragile and temporary, but as something to be embraced.

“Ingydar” allowed me not only to accept, but to appreciate the many changes life brought as the summer slowly faded. “Ingydar” helped me pack my bags, and move away from home for the first time.  

Come autumn, I look forward to watching the green leaves on Old Campus cascade down to decompose and crunch beneath boots to serve the never-ending reminder, “time is fed.”