Friday, October 2, 2009

Autumn (I'm trying to use autumn now instead of fall because I think it's more poetic) is upon us.

Where I live we're still forecasted for the 80s this weekend (which, as a cold-weather-lover makes me want to crawl in a hole and cry), but I know that across other parts of the country the leaves are turning and the warm coats are being dug out from their holes and replaced with giant piles of despondent pool toys and decorative lemonade pitchers.  People everywhere are holding warm mugs in the morning, lighting candles, building fires, and doing other things that if I did them right now I'd die of heat stroke.  I'm filled with envy.

Good thing is all of our loved ones live in cold places, or at least places where it actually does get cold. Come Thanksgiving time we'll begin our travels across the country--the loved ones think we come because we love them, really we just crave their high pressure systems.

What in the heck this has to do with writing, I'm not entirely sure, but I do know that there's something about a nip in the air and the holidays fast-approaching (and, yes, as a Christmas-lover, I consider Halloween part of the holidays, because I usually get out the Christmas decorations on or around November 1) that makes me want to settle down and begin telling stories.  And it's not just because soon we won't be able to go outside anymore--I don't go outside much anyway, I'm a writer!

I don't know if any of you out there remember learning about archetypes long about your freshmen year of high school (at least that's when I learned about them).  Well, one element of archetypal writing is the seasons: things are born in Spring, they grow and flourish in Summer, they change and grow old in Fall Autumn, and in Winter they die.  The cycle of life is played out in dozens of ways--the days growing darker, then lighter, the seasons changing, but changing according to your location on the globe, the disappearance and death of the animals and then their renewal later in the year.  And the way we base our lives on these changes.  Our time marked according to the movements of the earth and our rituals and traditions built around times of the year.  There is so much talk of us destroying what we've been given (and as crazy liberal, I agree with all of it), but I think this is one example of us finding a way to fit into the larger rhythm of things.

So as the season changes and I hear of friends in sweaters and the glorious resurrection of long dead rakes, I am thinking of the things that are changing and growing old, as things do in the autumn.  I am thinking of their death come winter's sudden cold snap, and what I will write about them, about their lives, and how they ended, and later how they were reborn, whatever form that may take.  This is the stuff of great writing, and I hope my pen (keyboard, again with the poetics) is up to the challenge.

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