November 24, 2008

Autumn, again

Here it is, the rich golden light that announces for the umpteenth time that it’s autumn in the world. We are all hurtling toward a new year, resolved to make a difference, to make sense, to produce something.
After the losses of this year, there seems to be more room in the world, there are voids everywhere.
Two thousand-eight was a particular grievous year. People we loved died, people we love are struck by disease, people we love draw closer in an ever-tightening circle of grief. Dying and illness have a sober set of requirements. How does one say anything? No book can help you with this, because what you say must come from the heart and what’s in your heart is never in books, not even in the best ones.

Our friend Brigitte was the last of those who died recently. The past two years have seen carnage among my contemporaries. Our generation, all gone at once, in a boom, the way we have always been perceived, destination Comet Hale-Bopp.

Fall narrows like a wind tunnel and the end of the year is in sight. If we come out of it we should meet the new exigencies of the future, their faces veiled, their shapes unknown, their mysteries more promising and terrifying than ever. The future always lies in the womb of the autumn-the inevitable fruit of loss and promise. But hard like a seed in the flesh of it is the bitterness of this year.

And it was bitter.

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