If they write something about me after I’m gone, I hope it at least makes passing mention to my love of autumn. It’s so much a part of my story that I can’t help but get choked up at the thought of it.
When I was a teenager, I listened to the album October by U2 so many times I think I may have worn out the record player. Although I studied classical music, I did learn some jazz standards as a teenager, and Autumn Leaves continues to be one of those tunes I still find myself drawn to.
Anyone can appreciate the early days of fall. The days are somehow poignant…is that even possible? Can a day be described as such? Late summer become autumn and their are reds that evolve into yellows. Those then fade to light and then darker browns and eventually everything is so spartan that it’s undeniable winter is upon us. Right around the corner.
That’s when I love autumn most. That moment before the expiration, like in the last aria Mimi sings before she gives into the consumption. That’s when the thing gets said. The important thing. The part that we’ve been waiting for since the First Act.
You know what’s coming, and nature makes one final gasp. The single solitary leaf on the tree that just refuses to give up and fall. I can sympathise with that leaf, and I’m not going to give in. Even if I was the last leaf and had to hang on till the bitter end.
There’s a lot of loss in my life right now, but none of it is bad. Some loss is really necessary. If you’re in a toxic situation, it’s actually crucial that you lose it. That you either get rid of the toxicity or you extricate yourself from said situation.
For me personally, I’ve decided to reevaluate some of the bigger aspects of my present life. Where I live and with whom I spend my time. For several of the people closest to me, this is going to hurt. In fact, it’ll likely hurt a great deal. I waited a long time to take these decisions, and I think I waited so very long partially to avoid that pain.
It’s since become self-evident that the waiting was hurting more than actually making a move. That my impending exit was like writing on the wall. I thought I was able to keep my emotions to myself, but those around me saw me increasingly agitated and even a bit manic on occasion.
One friend in particular pulled me aside and said that if I didn’t make a decision and act immediately, that I was bound to snap and do something I might regret. I was so tightly wound that I almost tore his head off at the very mention of my tension. You probably assume that because I’m an artist I’m exaggerating how dramatic it was. You could be right. I’m not the best judge of those moments. I’ve learned to rely on my closest confidants to help me keep my explosive nature in check.
So, here we are in the best moment of late autumn. All is dying away, and soon it’ll be bleak and desolate. The dark night of the soul has returned to some of us, and if we’re lucky we can remind ourselves that we’ve survived many of these winters before. Please don’t worry about me upon reading this blogpost. I can assure you that I’ve had some sad and depressing moments in my life, but this isn’t one of them.
Because I’ve finally taken the decision and acted, I’m actually rather relieved. There’s a spring in my step, and I’m able to look around and appreciate the beauty that’s all around me. It’s the most wonderful part of catharsis. I’ve made it through, and the relief has me incomparably optimistic.
The last leaf now has my permission to fall. I know there’ll be more where that came from. It might take a while, but spring will come again. If there’s anything I’m sure of, it’s that spring will come again.
We had a calico kitty we named October because of that very song. It’s one of husband’s favourites as well.
Glad to hear that optimism and jauntiness have returned to you.
I do enjoy the way you write your posts. 🙂 You’ve reminded me, too, of one of my favourite bits of one of my favourite books – a favourite very much because it remembers to include moments like this, moments that spell out the human quality of the contemplative moment before the rest of the story moves on.
“There they sat for some time, looking through the window are the bright stars above the steep-climbing woods, and talking softly. They spoke no more of the small news of the Shire far away, nor of the dark shadows and perils that encompassed them, but if the fair things they had seen in the world together, of the Elves, of the stars, of trees, and the gentle fall of the bright year in the woods.”
–JRR Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
I was at the theater tonight when I saw you’d posted. So I sat at the light board and read this and tears fell. This is just beautiful. Ken. Just so, so beautiful.
I don’t think it’ll surprise you to know that the end of autumn’s my best time, too. The last few weeks, even the last few days, where you can smell the snow in the air but it hasn’t…quite…fallen…yet. The anticipation in the air. The waiting. The electricity. Yes. Yes, I like that very much. It fills my chest with a glowing expansive hope.
Sending you some glowing expansive hope. I have plenty to spare for you.
“So let it be written, so let it be done.” –Ramses II
Hang in there, Ken. Everything does truly get better. Tides go in and out, you know? We are constantly in flux in life, even if we don’t always feel it–autumns are always coming, but then spring comes after 🙂