There’s a chill setting in, drawing out an amber palette which lights up for a moment golden before it smoulders to a brown. There’s a rain coming down, transforming the world into a muted darkness suffused with potent measures of melancholy and romance. Für Elise in the key of G. I welcome it.
I know I’m not the only one. If I was, I probably wouldn’t be able to communicate this…this ubiquitous autumnal feeling. Well, not without you concluding I’ve lost my mind.
How many times have I written or read about those flame-colored leaves? Gone on and on about those burning sunsets, those elegant dark trees, love and inspiration, dreams and hope. Writing and reading incessantly as if one could contain all those precious things in words and in so doing own them. All the while, I am all too aware of being one among many, of being a drop in an ocean, of the utterly unremarkable banality of being human.
I could write about the things I am most familiar with: plastic bags, grey carpeted cubicles, made-to-assemble-particle-board furniture, plastic packaging, asphalt parking lots, ugly architecture, litter, the unrelenting conspiracy of dirt, of ignorance, of mistakes. I could write about being the fifth of seven children in a house with too many worries and not enough kindness; of continuing that lifelong lesson of humility at school, feeling even smaller, somehow even more insignificant. Of working for years in corporations, putting off dreams indefinitely, until they started disappearing one by one. Of the disinterest or contempt I am not surprised to find in a stranger’s eyes.
All this as I sit here and write like I’ve never known anything other than lush forests and sunsets and love and a captivated audience. Writing like everyone wants to know what I know, even though I am constantly humbled by how much I have yet to learn. My old posts look so solid, so stationary, museum objects encased in glass, but I know they are more like bubbles that once floated up with the wind, more ephemeral than a memory. And most of all, none of them stand alone, they are mere fragments of a much larger, more complicated story. One I may or may not be able to tell.
The more I strive to be better at it, the more I am convinced what a gift it is, not merely to write and be read, but to write well and be truly understood. And what a rare honor it is to be allowed to explain things better than you have before.
I hope that you, dear reader, and time (perhaps with substantial effort and luck) will grant me this: The ability to shed anything inadequate or burdensome, to be among those who breathe life into that which needs constant breath, to transform like some winged invisible creature who speaks at once and directly to the heart.
Text and Pictures by M.P. Baecker 2019.