Even though summer seems to have flown past at an alarming speed, I can’t deny that the arrival of autumn makes me happy. Perhaps it’s the combination of colours, crisp air and mellow light that creates a sense of calm wonderment that warms my soul. The shadows grow longer, candles are lit and the blankets come out. Food is stodgier and more comforting as stews and roasts return to the table.
Is not this a true autumn day? Just the still melancholy that I love – that makes life and nature harmonise. The birds are consulting about their migrations, the trees are putting on the hectic or the pallid hues of decay, and begin to strew the ground, that one’s very footsteps may not disturb the repose of earth and air, while they give us a scent that is a perfect anodyne to the restless spirit. Delicious autumn! My very soul is wedded to it, and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive autumns.
Like George Eliot I would happily seek out successive autumns. At the moment the leaves are only just beginning to turn from green to light shades of yellow, but there is a definite change in the air. I am a collector of words and recently I came across a Lithuanian term, ‘rudeneja’, which perfectly describes this time: changes in nature and the weather that begin to feel like autumn.
At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honeysweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself, darkness, something of the grave almost
Rainer Maria Rilke, Letters on Cézanne
Despite my ongoing collecting of words, phrases and quotes, I have had little time to write in recent weeks, here on the blog or elsewhere. Yet every year the arrival of autumn turns my thoughts to writing. I think it must be the darkening skies when lamps are on and candles are lit during rainy days like today. I love getting settled in with a hot drink, wrapped in a throw while rain and wind caress window panes, with notebook and pen in my lap.
There is something about this most mellow of seasons that moves me to write not-yet-told stories. Every year I begin to write again, beyond the usual daily scribblings, notes and blog posts. And so I have files (paper and digital) and notebooks filled with half formed tales, characters, sketches and scenes.
I love writing. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions.
However these fledgling stories are usually put aside as the demands of making a living as an artist take over once again. But this year a particular story has been gnawing away like a dog worrying an old bone. I have begun to sketch loosely around this idea and now that autumn has arrived I think it’s time to write, committing pen to paper once again (or more precisely, fingers to laptop). As I am now more settled in my work and the business aspect of making art than ever before, this is a story that may well find its telling completed…
Live the full life of the mind, exhilarated by new ideas, intoxicated by the romance of the unusual.
About the Artwork…
The little Jester Toad drawing took shape from my usual autumn encounters with the young toads in our garden and a wondering at the tales they could tell if they so chose, and the little hare and books drawing was one of a series of illustrations of Tiny Hares from a couple of years ago.