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Saturday, 26 September 2015

Fall Days

Fall is here. Fall has always been here, just beneath everything. It would be better to say, “now everything that is not fall is gone.” All the energies of spring and summer gently sifted away, leaving us with only the essence of the seasons. 

What do we do with these fall days? They come, and I sit on park benches beside crunchy paths and in between half-dressed trees, watching nothing care where it lands. I walk, and direction is allowed to exist only behind me. Everywhere there’s a layeredness, light on shadow on light on shadow, and so on and on. Something about its muted brightness moves me to ask desperate questions, and I yearn to be lost in swaying cornfields, I yearn to crawl into those fuzzy dark spaces, to make a journey under the leaf piles or into the bark. The cloud-corniced skyline calls me to do something with it. I want to mean something, it says; make something of me. I don’t know what. 

What do we do with these fall days? I am pulled out of myself just smelling the crisp, flaked air. I want it to crystallize so I may bite it. Or climb its holds up into an undiscovered hole. The light dances from leaf to leaf, the ground lets out a sleepy sigh as long as days, and all the failing colors twist and wind themselves over the frayed ends of questions I asked as a child and forgot I asked. The shimmering, spiced air and the patchy amber ground: the fading footprints of something that has left a thousand years ago. Being here is not enough, I want to go to the place where all these things come from. 

What do we do with these fall days? No one who hasn’t stood still on a fall day could understand the question. In all other seasons we face the front-side of the world. But in the fall, things shift slightly, the angle slips, and we sense the other dimension running behind things, deep as the world is wide. A fire burns back there, underneath every raked yard pile, behind each jagged tree, descending behind each falling leaf. Its warmth is expended in the depth, and its light always streams backwards. How do I get there? And who knew that fall, of all seasons, was about being here more than ever, in this place I’m in—about that path of mere walking, a direction we ignore? Look at the leaves, trying so hard to make mystics of us.