Saturday, October 25, 2008

Mellow fruitfulness

The New York Times describes the fall foliage as "maize and goldenseal and magenta," words I felt envious not to have used myself, as I clambered over red and yellow and orange...but the greyness of the clouds and their reflection in the Hudson river is in stark contrast to the color of the trees here in Rhinecliff. I could get used to this so easily, just slip into it, in a little cottage with a stone fireplace, a cozy bed, a field with a spinney of trees. I'd like to walk my dogs here, by the river, in boots traipsing through leaf mulch, watching the wild geese fly over in wide vees. The river is perfectly still but a just a little dappled, and I could be wrong, but I believe a puffin flew by, settled on the railway tracks and then off into a browning butterfly bush. This is a melancholy season indeed, but there is beauty and truth in it. We've taken to smoking cigarettes and cloves (just a couple) at night on the balcony before we sleep, while staring up at the stars, like we did in college. It's nice to have to put a coat on before venturing outside. It's nice to have cold fingers again. Part of me (most of me) dreads having to go back to the dry, brown heat of California. I've discovered apple butter and farm stands, and like a fool, I want to pick up red maple leaves and press them into the pages of my book.

My son was explaining last night why Los Angeles is such a special place for him, how he easily defends it. There is magic there, interestingly. Someone once said that it is easier to find the truth in a place full of illusion, and certainly LA has its own share of facaderie, fakery, chicanery, but there is beauty, too, underneath it all. But I like the earthiness of the east coast. I like to be able to push my fingers into the ground and watch things die and grow with soothing inevitability.

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