Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Autumn is Cruel

Autumn is a weird season. Its beautiful colours suggest a party or a festival, and soon enough the whole town is out in the street, revelling in the red and orange of Indian Summer--no one seems to notice that the band is actually playing a funeral march. Before anyone has even had a chance to sober up, the maple, oak and birch have cast away their garments to reveal their (suddenly?) inhuman anatomy, utterly indifferent to mammalian cold, hunger or loneliness. The sun turns gray, and the village is bathed in that awful autumn light, heavy yet thin, that gives no warmth and turns fond memories into angry ghosts. All bets are off when you're caught in that light. New friendships seem thin and cheap. One remembers the hard lesson, briefly forgotten with the rising of the sap, that love ends inevitably in pain, and great love in still worse pain. Life suddenly seems anticlimactic, linear, and very short. A cold, forced march at the end of which everyone dies. We bury or burn the dead in the hope that they'll leave us alone, or maybe that we'll leave ourselves alone. I never can. Not at this time of year.

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