Monday, 2 November 2009

Season of myths (2)

And now here we are in the other autumn, the season of the night that is separated from Keats's mellow fruitfulness by broad, bleak meadows full of sharp, smoky-scented dusk. If winter is a graveyard, this time of year is a deathbed; and all the sadder and more wonderful for that.

No words of mine could match the numinous prose of Verlyn Klinkenborg in the New York Times:
Darkness seems to collect at this time of year, as though it had trickled downhill from late June's solstice into the sump of November. Fog settles onto damp leaves in the woods - not Prufrock's yellow fog or the amber fog of the suburbs, but a gray-white hanging mist that feels like the down or underfur of some pervasive beast.

White birches line the slopes beyond the pasture as if they were there to fence in the fog, to keep it from inundating the house in a weightless avalanche. The day stays warm, but even at noon it feels as though dusk has already set in. The chickens roost early. The horses linger by the gate, ready for supper.

Usually I feel starved for light about now. But this year I've reveled in these damp, dark November days. It's a kind of waking hibernation, I suppose, a desire to live enclosed, for a while at least, in a world defined by the vaporous edges of our small farm.


  1. Absolutely hate this end of the year, I usually end up pressurizing friends to go down the pub so that we can at least chat and enjoy the lights reflecting of all the beer taps.

    Last year I got through the days by listening to the complete M.R. James Ghost Stories as downloadable audio books on the trusty IMac.

  2. Yeah, gloomy time of year but it does make a pub with a good log fire extra special ;-)

  3. I am with Verlyn. While it can be gloomy, it can also have a haunting beauty all its own and stir up feelings sunnier days can never inspire. It puts me in a pensive (and often creative) state of mind - as if the flitting thoughts of summer have finally had enough time to settle inside my head and take root.

    Plus it makes you appreciate a whole other range of pleasures, like a cup of tea and a good book.