Jeanette Winterson: Autumn is a season for senses and the soul
In the autumn time feels short, but that there is enough of it, which is paradoxical. Time being a tricky thing to think about is best done alongside Nature, where it seems to make more sense than it does by clock or by calendar. And the memory place that autumn is uses time itself as a container for the things that we keep returning to and trying to understand.
The reflective melancholy of autumn helps me to cope with change and loss, and to find both beauty and necessity in things passing. Ageing has a splendour to it.
Our culture cannot accept that. I think of those lines of Donne: “Nor spring or summer beauty hath such grace/ As I have seen in one autumnal face.”
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Filed under: * Christian Life / Church Life
Religion & Culture
* General Interest
* International News & Commentary
England / UK
Posted October 16, 2009 at 4:36 pm
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The URL for this article is http://www.kendallharmon.net/t19/index.php/t19/article/25921/
1. Kendall Harmon wrote:
She thought of John Donne, my thoughts go to Gerard Manley Hopkins:
Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By & by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep & know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow’s springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
Fall is the season of Goldengrove unleaving….
October 16, 4:42 pm | [comment link]
2. magnolia wrote:
that was a beautiful op ed. thanks very much for posting it.
October 16, 5:04 pm | [comment link]
3. bwd wrote:
More John Donne:
God made Sun and Moon to distinguish seasons, and day, and night,
and we cannot have the fruits of the earth but in their seasons;
But God hath made no decree to distinguish the seasons of his mercies;
In Paradise the fruits were ripe the first minute,
and in heaven it is always Autumne,
his mercies are ever in their maturity.
From Devotions, no. 4. Listen to a setting of this text by Richard Rodney Bennett on the King’s Singers’ CD, Sermons and Devotions
October 16, 5:31 pm | [comment link]
4. Larry Morse wrote:
An excellent citation, Kendall. Here, the trees are burning as they die, and when the sun shines beneath the cloud cover, the trees seem lit with their own internal fire. It is an odd thing, but it seems that some things, like hay and autumn leaves and freshly pressed cider, have to die before their sweetness can be released.
October 16, 10:06 pm | [comment link]
There is snow in the mountains now, and one hard frost after another. The next wind and rain will bring the leaves down to be felted in the ruts and angles of the walls. Yes, it is the blight that man is born for. Ripeness lasts such a little while. This, as Thoreau reminds us, is the language all things speak, copious and without metaphor. Larry
© 2013 Kendall S. Harmon. All rights reserved.
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