(Polaroid Sun 660 / 600 film)
Standing bootless on the ever cooling brick, feeling vulnerable and a little bit lost, I pick through the pieces of my life that float about like dried leaves. I am learning that every season has an emotion, and over the years I am even starting to begin to understand the consistency of those emotions, the rhythm of living in this land of extreme and distinct seasons.
I always fill up my dance card in the late spring as the long sun filled days generate energy but by the time Halloween starts taunting me with the rattle of bones swaying over the last of the yellow leaves, I am starting to feel spent and overwhelmed. The bare-treed branches lifting up the long shadows of the sun find me sifting through words, sorting through memories as I swirl my pen across unlined pages so the sentences take on their own crooked lines, always tilting up on the right hand side of the page.
I have shelves filled with half written journals and if I look through them, I see that they are mostly filled in fall and winter and then abandoned in the spring. I notice that I usually buy a fresh journal in late summer, a journal that I romanticize filling under the lush sway of a full-leafed tree but that never happens. And so as the leaves swirl about in a riot of burnt colour, I crack open the leathered spine as I start to wrap woollen grey sweaters around my still bare arms.
It always amazes me how many memories surface as I start writing again in earnest and how those memories change and tilt and lead me to a new lesson, a new thought, a new tear drop. Dropping words onto a blank page leave me feeling bare and vulnerable and the more I write, the more layers I pile onto my shaking bones. I pull away more and more from invitations to play, from sunshine wanderings and social gatherings. I pull away from long phone conversations with friends and find myself wanting to cocoon in, to write down the thoughts that sat just on the fringe of my thoughts as I played in the sunlight. I start to feel myself becoming antisocial even as I know I can’t escape completely from the life that swirls around me.
There is a part of me that wonders if my creative cycles are a result of the extreme distinct nature of the seasons or if it is a deeper moon pull, a memory of childhood that untangles like a loose thread. Regardless, I am surrendering to the deep longings that dance about like the last of the leaves and find myself filling pages with cathartic release. I search my stories for the ones that seem to linger with a meaning I can’t quite decipher even as I notice the ones that continually haunt me over and over, revealing new lessons with every word unwrapped.
Have you noticed how the changing seasons affect your emotions or your creativity? I would really love to hear about your experiences with this.
“Standing in Autumn” © Darlene J Kreutzer
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