Thursday, October 16, 2008

Autumnal Thoughts

I'm reminded by the post below that Fall doesn't happen here often enough. Once every few years we'll get a mild, sunny stretch leading into October, so the leaves have a chance to change. More often the wind and rain come in and wipe all evidence of autumnal beauty away.

It is on my list of things to do to travel to the East and soak up the glories of autumn. Until then, our best experience was a few years ago when we travelled to Ohio to bury a friend. That will have to do for now. But this post does bring the longing back:

Random Autumnal Thoughts at the House "Caution: you are...: Random Autumnal Thoughts at the House

"Caution: you are about to enter the self-indulgent post zone!"
I remember time au gratin, the yellow-skirt of the maple's crown, the reaping of sunny prunes from the peach tree. I remember when we first moved here, the mystery - was the place haunted? - the expanse of of field beyond the boundary trees near which, I anticipated, I would surely perch for hours upon the precipice reading some old tome like War and Peace.

It's still mild enough to sit out and I move my chair a bit closer to the boundary line. Trees like '70s mood rings have begun to change color, all at different times even on the same branch. I can smell the ground-up leaves and their dusty, dried-up leaf spores and feel the ache of old fires and hear the crack of song coming from the ice cream truck.

I perch and o'erlook the majestic pine I'd tortuously labored at a July ago. His base makes a grand throne - I remembered how we'd heaped so much soil as if to make a four foot tree six, instantly, just by adding dirt. It didn't work that way but has a nice cut of gib, and nearing six now.

I have a hankering for Frank Sinatra songs while I watch the shrub leaves turn a radiant red, the color of poinsettias. I turn slowly to take it all in, like the yellow of the neighbor's maple, its dark ribbed undercarriage showing like the corset beneath a pretty woman's dress. Stray thoughts come to mind, like the fact that if there isn't a book about the TV show "I Dream of Jeannie" then there should be. Favorite words from the past are recalled - "azure" from the Tennyson poem and "zephyr" from a television show theme song: "Oh Zephyr winds that blow on high!"

Pinus Laborious is festooned with ornaments in the form of colored leaves from its deciduous neighbors. The stately forty-foot firs against the back never felt like our own, so far from the house, so tall that where the cones cling in the upper reaches it feels like another zip code, as much ours as the moon. Speaking of, Tuesday night's looked poignantly full, shedding its dusky, husky light on the patio stones. It was powerfully affecting, even vacational, like brandy and marble floors. I lingered awhile, drunkenly imagining prelate interventions at the bishopric conferences involving quotes of Schiller or Hopkins.

* * *

Dream time over, scurrilous left-brain thoughts enter. Like whether leadership and creativity are mutually exclusive these days. Banks offer us derivatives, hardly more real than an Irish faeries though far more destructive. It's a sign of the bereftness of corporate life that for all the self-pep talks about "thinking outside the box" few if any did, all the institutions buying into something they didn't understand because the other guy was doing it.

The only risks we take we take because others have, just so we don't have to explain ourselves.

(Via Video meliora, proboque; Deteriora sequor.)

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