Praestigiare

Iteration III

Autumn is something I require

November 16, 2009

I went down to the lake to take pictures just as it was starting to get dark. I’ve taken a lot of autumn pictures lately and I am a little tired of leaves as a subject. Sometimes it is not about the pictures, though. It’s about walking slowly and letting my focus shift further and further outward until all my thoughts are about light and shapes. It’s my personal form of meditation.

Most of the leaves have fallen now. All of the paths are covered with a thick slippery mat of them that smells woody and sweet. It is a smell that carries me away into memory very easily.

The last time it struck me so powerfully was in Boston. I think it was 2003. I was walking through Jamaica Plain from the green street T station to my grandmother’s house at about six in the morning after a red-eye flight from San Jose.

I always arrived in Boston early in the morning, and this was before I had learned to sleep on planes, so I was tired. I had not been able to get in touch with my grandmother since the week before, and I was not sure where I would stay or what I would do if she was not home. But turning onto Sedgwick St there was a giant maple in one of the yards, and the leaves surrounding it in piles and drifts just smelled so good, so right, that it all seemed like it would be okay. And it gave me the strength to manage what came next.

Autumn is something I require. It is something I cannot do without. I am weak in the other seasons, but in autumn I can be strong.