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The Living Room General The First of Autumn
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The First of Autumn
Autumn’s first morning tucks back into the hours, seasoning to winter.  Waking to the straw quiet is forgotten.  They say the globe circles the sun.  Let them say that, here there is something tangible pulling the hands of the sun together on the southern horizon.  Summer stretches its hands, and then subsides but one knows, because a certain day tells us, that life will not close loudly.

That hasn’t happened for any of us, not yet, every year the terminations of the sun turning back at the shortest day.  But a certain day passes, as if we need—no, not a whole day, just an hour—or a moment each year, a single moment to get us used to the idea of silence, of peace.

The first day of Autumn is like no other.  So significant in its lack, it remains in the subconscious even after its easily missed importance is replaced by more celebrated days.  A single point on the orbit, you remember your love affair with breath only after the last of dream wears off of the night before, a small window you look out of into the still field.  You stop breathing for a moment, as if to make a deity of that breath—the day is too quiet!

The first day of Autumn.  The fields have all been carried ant by ant to a single spot, and brought back to light empty.  Inside the husk ring the yard swept down to minutiae.  If you’re lucky enough to be on your belly, the tops of the little mountain range at eye level, the morning rising bright behind you huge in your miniature condition, maybe a crow somewhere protesting such miniature silence, you’d see even the year’s quietest sunrise under each little husk, tiny shadows about the fly away, lift the rubbish back to begin anew.  The year is finished, taking with it all the dreams you never needed after all.

Apart from individuals Man, that collective force, never ceases to invent new ways of saying tired things.  I think today is Memorial Day, or maybe Labor Day.  They tell me this day marks the end of summer, forgetting about the low quiet.  But the Great Recession doesn’t prove Autumn enough.  Not enough to interrupt <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Enterprise with a little thought or doubt.

Enterprise, a season so fundamental, a shadowless fundamentalism.  Its one flat season sends down shadows into the Soul.  The Shadowless Outside Soul, and shadow moves inward.  Holiday rises, a shadowless thing against silence.  Men take their women and children out into the bright activity, where brightless duplicates of them rise flat from every surface to make dark literature of hearts.  And we’re all marked with our neuroses.  The smell of incomplete combustion.  Thank God for Gasoline and the color Red!

I may have compatriots in quietness here at THINQon.   Is there such an hour for you?  Is there an hour so quiet you can wear red shoes?
Now here's where a breathalyzer lock for a computer keyboard might come in handy.
Geez Virgil gimme a break!  If I didn’t think there was some vauluable point I would’t have bothered.  I defend the question, if not the style.  However, the style did deepen my experience, helping me ask a question that I couldn’t have apart its development in style.  Please, allow me that much.

You bothered to insult me, which I don’t really mind.  It wasn’t much, not a big deal.  But why don’t you spend a little time, bother to think about the question?  Do you miss something, and what is this something, a shy something that only answers to the callers quiet and surrender?  Would acknowledging it allow you to “wear red shoes,” to act more yourself?  But was the question really so obtusly asked that I had to simplify it?

Relative to THINQon, should we be using ridicule to limit risk taking?  Why police absurdities?  Yes, there was something absurd about me, my question in both point and style.  Must we be so certain that the absurd is a disqualifier?

But I should be honest.  Asking it did make me a little high.
Thanks for noticing the change, Ted, and for reminding the rest of us to pay attention. It was hard to notice summer's end here in the northeast -- we were surprised by a glorious weekend -- capping ten weeks of the most heat and humidity in recent memory. We've had an old fashioned summer. There was a time -- some years ago, I'm afraid -- when, the Sunday edition of the New York Times would record the solstice and equinox in a reflective piece much like yours. Sometimes those reminders would come a little early, like yours. (All the better.) Often they followed meandering paths somewhere between prose and poetry, adding a note explaining the way many of our city streets were traced in colonial times. (They tended toward the purple end of the prose spectrum, which happens to be a weakness of mine.) In any event, it was nice to be reminded to pay attention and not to be afraid to toss off a line or two that seems a little lost between the rules of prose and poetry. What follows (if I can figure out how to patch it into this template without destroying the sestet's a young Robert Frost must have struggled over) is another slant on the same basic events that your lines brought to mind. Best\J


Reluctance___
Out through the fields and the woods
And over the walls I have wended;
I have climbed the hills of view
And looked at the world, and descended;
I have come by the highway home,
And lo, it is ended.___
The leaves are all dead on the ground,
Save those that the oak is keeping
To ravel them one by one
And let them go scraping and creeping
Out over the crusted snow,
When others are sleeping.___
And the dead leaves lie huddled and still,
No longer blown hither and thither;
The last long aster is gone;
The flowers of the witch-hazel wither;
The heart is still aching to seek,
But the feet question 'Whither?'___
Ah, when to the heart of man
Was it ever less than a treason
To go with the drift of things,
To yield with a grace to reason,
And bow and accept the end.
Of a love or a season?___
Robert Frost (about 1915)
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