leaving.

I’ve been listening to The Great Park’s music a lot recently.

Songs about loving, about leaving, about parting, about leaving things behind, about being left, rearranging, burying things, digging them up, making dead ones of them. Songs about trees and rivers and barns, trains, stones and more trees, especially oaks.

leaving.

There must have been dead leaves lying on the ground for a while now, I know of a birch that shed leaves all summer, tiny yellow spots on the road I use to bicycle home from the stable, all summer my heart dropped when I passed that tree and I wanted to shout at it.

“Stop it, stop shaking off your leaves, it’s still summer, it’s only July for god’s sake, you can’t stand here, where everyone can see you and drop your yellow signs of death on the ground for everyone to find!”

Then I remembered the three birches our neighbour had when I was a child and I remembered that there seemed to be a yellow carpet on the driveway at almost every time of the year except in winter. Those three trees as well as the single birch I was talking about before had and have plenty of healthy green leaves in their crowns and I don’t quite understand this.

Sometimes I think I can hear the tree laugh at me when I cycle past it, it can probably hear my heart drop to the ground when I discover yet another heap of dead leaves.
“Sssssummer isssss over! It’s past and gone and it won’t come back!” I can hear it whisper while I crawl on the street, trying to put my bike back on its wheels, panicking because I fear that winter might be hidden right behind the house next to the tree, maybe it lives in the house, aren’t the windows covered in frost, isn’t an icy wind always blowing out of the door?

Nonsense, you say, and of course you are right.

But the thing is… I am scared. I’ve never been afraid of winter or autumn. I used to like them. I used to love them. I used to love dark and misty November days. I used to love Sunday mornings in the woods with my horse when I could barely see anything except the tiny drops of water on my glasses. I used to cry when I was in the right spot at the right time and could see the sunlight creeping through the trees, divided into rays by the mist and the trunks, spider webs glittering in the grass and between the branches. For years I cried because the sheer beauty of this touched me deeply and made me happy.
It must be a sign of getting older that for the last few years I didn’t want summer to be over. Not because I love it so much, in fact I quite dislike the heat very much indeed, but because I wanted the days to stay long and bright. There was an episode in my life some three years back when I wasn’t sure I would survive winter – not because I was deadly ill or something, but because it just seemed to be dark for a very long time. Looking back I realise that it probably wasn’t always dark outside. It was dark somewhere else – inside. I suppose the words “dark clouds gathered” would describe that situation very well. And I’ve never been quite the same since then.

I still love autumn. More than any other season. The colours, the light, the mist, the dead leaves that rustle under the monsterhorse’s hoofs and my boots as we walk through the woods. The world seems to become a bit more silent. People aren’t half-naked anymore. They smell better. The whole world smells better. Sweet decay.

I’m in a right state, I tell you. This morning I had tears in my eyes, for no apparent reason. No reason except the fact that summer is over. This amazingly hot summer is gone, its struggle is lost.
Were there tears because the world looked so nice? Because I could feel that it would be a warm sunny day, maybe the last one for a while, or was I sad because I realised I wouldn’t need to look for my swimsuit anymore and that it could stay at that rotten place where it’s been hiding from me all summer? A bit of both, I guess. I had plans for this summer, some plans I’ve forgotten by now and some plans I still remember. And most of them are lost and gone, like summer. With summer, probably.

****

And now summer is gone and I am alone, as alone as I have been before, as I have always been and it’s somehow okay and somehow not okay at all.

Because some day not too far from now autumn will be gone as well, and who knows what else might be gone with it, maybe one of my arms or a leg or maybe my head or much more likely just my mind. Maybe that might just be the thing to do, give my mind away with autumn and give my body over to winter, hibernate in a cave somewhere with some bears, I could dress up as one of them and just lie there with them, sleep right through winter and spring as well and only get up when the grass is green again because if I woke up to see the world all dressed in brown and muddy green I’m afraid I would arrange myself nicely on a plate and present myself to a bear for breakfast.

 

{Update March 6, 2013: there is now an audioboo of this post, squeezed into the 5 minute time limit and spoken too fast. http://audioboo.fm/boos/1251560 }

One thought on “leaving.

  1. Next summer will come.
    And until then, remember all the people you got to know lately. Meet them in your favourite bar, ask them to come with you to the theatre. Make your winter warmer. And remember all the plans you have had in summer. Create beautiful things. And silly things. And beautifully silly things. They will carry you through the winter and keep you away from being bear breakfast :)

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