Sunday, August 30, 2009

Ebb and flow


Olivander said...

That's beautiful, both Hawthorne's description of Autumn, and yours.

I've always found the creative energy to be humming much more strongly throughout me in the autumn and winter. The days shorten rapidly and the long, low rays of the sun rarely breach the rooflines of the buildings on the south side of the street. Here in the Great Plains, Autumn is often the Time of the Slate-Grey Sky. All of these elements are perfect triggers for my seasonal depression. (Actually, I have pretty much year-round depression, but it hits its peak--or low, as it were--from about October till March.

I've noticed a personal correlation between depression and creativity. I seem to require at least a touch of it to write at my best, though too much and I stall out altogether.

Anne said...

This is a gorgeous description of the most lovely season of all (to me). I can't wait for the crisp air that carries my breath visibly away from me in little clouds, the sight of the brilliant bright blue sky against the multi-colored leaves, and the taste of fresh apples picked right from the tree.

Joe V said...

Wonderful essay.

There was a period of my life, maybe 30 years ago or more, when I was writing "poetry"; going back through the several books full of poems, the ones written during the autumn months seem to possess a certain quality lacking in the others; as if I periodically each year awoke around autumn -- fully awake, not merely sleepwalking -- and, being more fully aware of life, captured something intangible of the essence of life.

Perhaps it's the anticipation of the coming winter; knowing that one's lifespan is limited, that we only have a few days, weeks or seasons left with which to do all that we were set here to do, that draws out of us the real essence of creativity.

Whatever it is, I look forward to these coming months. And thank you for the nice reminder.


Mike Speegle said...

Great post, LFP. Once again you have mined the collective subconscious of the typosphere and given it corporeal form.

I also have to agree with Olivander. Part of the reason that I like Autumn so much is that it makes me feel slightly grim. And truth be told, I really can't write anything at all without at least a smidgen of soul-crushing despair.

Strikethru said...

I too have noticed the autumnal vibe of recent days around here in the Pac NW. It always fills me with dread about the starting of the school year, whether I'm in school or not.

Depression and creative inspiration is an interesting topic. I think existential despair (a creative inspiration at times) is not to be confused with true clinical depression (in which something like writing isn't even really possible). As someone who has been treated for depression, I have to say it helped my writing rather than hurting it.

Little Flower Petals said...

It's fascinating to me how light and seasons and the patterns of the year can affect our moods, and thereby our writing--for better or worse. Looking back through journals and notebooks, I can *see* the peaks and valleys. In the fall through mid-winter and again in about May, I almost always tend toward what I guess I could call melancholy...and those are often the times when I write the most. Apparently I'm not alone?

If I'm really down, I don't write at all, but that in-between place where we feel restless and aware--it seems to help somehow.

Duffy Moon said...

Nicely written, E. I'm an autumn person as well. Always assumed it was because I was born in the fall, but maybe its unrelated.

Ohio in October is pretty nearly as close to heaven as I think I'll be for a long time (God willing and the river don't rise, mind you).

(word verif = "ebrisp", which sounds kind of fallish and apple-y and good)