The colors of autumn

3 12 2011

I love Autumn. I will say it again, I LOVE AUTUMN. The smells of firewood, the colors of the leaves, the feeling I get from reading on the couch with a steaming cocoa in the hands and a purring cat on the feet is my true emotional home. Fall brings a deep peace to my core that I am not always able to reach in my daily life.  I am one of those people who likes bittersweet. One of those people who need a tiny dash of melancholy with our happy to truly feel good.  I have always found a beauty in the socially avoided emotional states and as I inch closer to integration within myself, they become more beautiful. I love emotions, I enjoy a good laugh, a good angry stomp around, a long sigh, a quiet contentment, a distant unfulfilled yearning, and a big gusher of a cry. They are all beautiful in their unique colors and sounds and, I believe, all equally necessary. So for me when the harvest starts and the pumpkins get their short lived faces, I relish the opportunity to listen to the cellos and oboes of the emotional orchestra.

This is not new, as a kid, one of my most cherished things was the 64 pack of crayons that came with the built in sharpener. I loved looking at all of the colors that I could use. I particularly loved the blues, Robin’s Egg, Prussian Blue, Aquamarine, Ultra Blue, Cerulean, Green Blue, and it’s mirror mirror twin Blue Green, Sky, Turquoise, Cornflower (which used to confuse me), Violet Blue,Teal, Cadet Blue and especially Blue Grey. I always had a 64 pack that contained 38 crayons and 16 nubs (including White and Black).

I had very little use for the warmer colors like Saffron, Maize, Tangerine, Brick Red, Orange Yellow and it’s mirror mirror twin Yellow Orange, Canary, Dandelion, Golden Rod (a good male stripper name), Lemon Yellow, Peach, Red Orange, Scarlet, Sunset Orange, and Mulberry. I used them but only when necessary and always sparingly.

It doesn’t take Freud (thank God, because crayons are all penis shaped) to see that I was responding to my environment. Self regulating in the way that kids brilliantly do. I grew up in a loud, put on your best happy face, not much privacy, household. In my little, deep south, Irish Catholic corner of the world, I seldom felt safe to express sadness or loneliness. Therefore, I used to retreat regularly to a “junk room” in the upstairs of our house. It was painted blue (cerulean) and filled with the accumulated stuff that everyone seems to manifest. There amongst the continuously replicating waffle makers, bedazzlers,  fry daddies and electric hotdog cookers, it was safe to feel the feelings that seemed unwelcome in the family room.

The beautiful thing about growing up and being an adult, is that I don’t need to escape to the junk room to enjoy my blues. I can cry while listening to Tom Waits as I cook a pot of chicken sausage gumbo, or sit on the couch and sigh with glorious ennui while brushing the cats. ( cats totally understand ennui). I can take a hike to the far end of the beach where I might see one person all day. There I can be the only person on a deserted island. Then I get to hike back to my car and rescue myself. (No volleyball needed)  Instead of finding a safe place for my emotions, I make my world a safe place for them.

It is December now and fall is giving way to winter, which for Northern CA, means wet and cold. It is time to put the kettle on, que up Sigur Ros or The Smiths, and read Pablo Neruda on the couch. Life is Grand.

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3 12 2011
susielindau

Welcome back!

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