Autumn melancholy

22Apr12

I posted about autumn melancholy over 3 years ago. Three years and a lifetime ago. Perhaps I do have too much black bile??

I find this time of year just staggeringly beautiful. The weather is just perfect. Warm days. Cools nights. Usually autumn is a relief from the summer, but this year the summer has been disappointing, although I haven’t really minded. We haven’t had the scorching heat and the threat of fires. That has been nice. A break.

The days are so blue and still. It’s hard to imagine that anything horrible can happen when the weather is just so mind bogglingly beautiful. But horrible things of course continue to happen. Of course they do.

Had a couple of hardish weeks. Last week, my sister Alison would have been 56, the week before was 16 years since she died. This music below was played at her funeral – my parents picked this piece and I cannot ever listen to it without crying, really sobbing. But when I listened to it just before I remembered Alison and that was just lovely. I am so sad that my children never really knew her. Jack was 2 and Isabel was only a few months old – but up to me to share my stories of her. I love this YouTube of it because of the autumn colours.

And then there is beauty, so much of it – like these photos of birds nests (of all things).

So we treasure and love and think of the present, and of the past, and get through.

I read this poem this morning: written by James Fenton (- he spoke these words at the start of a memorial service for Christopher Hitchens who would have turned 63 on 20 April)

What would the dead want from us
Watching from their cave?
Would they have us forever howling?
Would they have us rave
Or disfigure ourselves, or be strangled
Like some ancient emperor’s slave?

None of my dead friends were emperors
With such exorbitant tastes
And none of them were so vengeful
As to have all their friends waste
Waste quite away in sorrow
Disfigured and defaced.

I think the dead would want us
To weep for what they have lost.
I think that our luck in continuing
Is what would affect them most.
But time would find them generous
And less self-engrossed.

And time would find them generous
As they used to be
And what else would they want from us
Than an honoured place in our memory, favourite room, a hallowed chair,
Privilege and celebrity?

And so the dead might cease to grieve
And we might make amends
And there might be a pact between
Dead friends and living friends.
What our dead friends would want from us
Would be such living friends.

From a tweet I saw on Twitter from the New Yorker – Remembering Christopher Hitchens

Later…I should qualify this all. I am OK.

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4 Responses to “Autumn melancholy”

  1. Stunning. Beautiful. Sad. Thinking of you xx

  2. 3 Penny

    great poem. I like this time of year – I kind of winding down to hibernating for winter type of feeling.

  3. 4 strawberriesofintegrity

    that’s exactly it…often feel like hibernating now…in fact. I love the passing and passage of the seasons.


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