Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Summer 2010 -- that's a wrap!

Though it’s not (quite) September yet, I’m going to go ahead and exult. It’s a dank, dark and wuthering day here in Portland, Oregon; the drizzle is sifting down through pines; and word has it that it’s snowing on Mt. Bachelor right now. Leaves of dogwood trees and shrubs have already begun changing color! So although there’s still plenty of time left in the season for a heat snap, I’m proceeding to herald autumn’s arrival, which never fails to cheer my gothic soul.

What is it about the fall that summons nostalgia and reminiscence? Maybe because summer already seems like a memory? I think of Lewis Carroll’s introduction to Alice in Wonderland:

A tale begun in other days,
When summer suns were glowing—
A simple chime, that served in time
The rhythm of our rowing—
Whose echoes live in memory yet,
Though envious years would say “forget.”

Autumn’s onset always prompts me to haul out all my ancient Incredible String Band’s albums, whose music reeks of autumn. Here’s a taste:

Some say autumn saddens them because it represents a corridor to winter, which they associate with death and negation. But I think of both seasons as just doors into other incarnations, ones where we occupy the same space as our ancestors and the veil between us is thinner.

However we regard it, we wouldn’t be human beings if we didn’t simultaneously resist and revel in these annual changes. That’s how contrary we are. Which reminds me that Carroll’s poem continues with this poignant couplet:

We are but older children, dear,
Who fret to find our bedtime near.

Happy Autumn.


col ceathair said...

Ah. Thanks, Mead, for the fix.

Earlier today when I went to the USPO to end my vacation hold, the young busy federal employee was listening to an iPod or some such. -- As his collectively bargained terms of work apparently allow him to do (a shout out here for Labor Day). YBFE said, "Do you happen to know who" and I got ready to say sorry, no, but I politely heard him finish -- "Joanna Newsom is?"

"Oh yeah," I said, "I heard her open for the Incredible String Band." "Well she plays a mean harp," he said, "I'm listening to her now." "She's fierce," I said, "not like people usually think of with a harp." I don't know which of us was more delighted.

Stranger than that, we're alive... whatever you think, it's more than that.

Mead said...

What a perfect only-in-Portland story, CC!