Where I live, the colors tell stories Of innocence, nascence, and rue, Of habits habitually forming, And letters between me and you. Where I live, the autumn in blankets Comes nestling over the cold, As everyone weary grows silent, And everyone silent grows old.
(The essay below is of a style known as a “stream-of-meandering”. You have been warned.)
The autumn here is gorgeous, or certainly this autumn has been.
The way modern life works, beautiful weather is met with news stories about droughts and warnings from the authorities of a heightened risk of fire. Because otherwise, we might be enjoying the weather.
Which is not to say that there isn’t a heightened risk of fire, just that telling us is a little like telling people swimming in the ocean that there is a heightened risk of drowning. We already sort of know.
The counter-argument, of course, is that we almost never really know what we obviously ought to know, hence the “do not take internally” warnings on things like bottles of shampoo. It is of course crazy that people have to be told this.
One of the basic rules of life I’ve observed since early adulthood was that any time there is a situation where people’s behavior makes absolutely no sense, there is a lawyer involved somewhere at the back of it. So there are lawyers in every shower, etching their wisdom on bottles of shampoo and conditioner.
I use conditioner, which is odd, given that I have little-to-no hair. We develop personal grooming habits when we are young, then continue them the same basic way long after it has stopped making sense. I mean, I look like a a grown-up, bearded Charlie Brown Thanksgiving parade float these days.
Parades mystify me, and always have. My parents would take us to various community parades, and when we each got old enough, we were part of them as members of school bands, clubs, and so on. I never quite felt the excitement of parades the way others around me did. Maybe it is because I dislike crowds and noise, and am frankly puzzled at the sight of women on the back of flatbed trucks vaguely waving at no one in particular while smiling bravely in the face of the meaninglessness of the entire enterprise.
Or I might be overreacting.
The autumn here has been gorgeous, though, or at least this one has been…