Soundtrack in my head: Throwing Muses, “Fish”
It’s weird. Yes, I know seasons change, but sometimes I’m just in denial about it. Last year at this time it was still quite warm out. I remember feeling discomfort from the heat and humidity as late as October 8th last year. This year is completely different. Someone flipped the switch around Labor Day, and particularly the weekend before last, when we had some five or six days in a row of clouds and rain.
Autumn is my favorite season, but this is something that I forget every year until September or October and then it suddenly hits me. Every summer, I find myself pining summer’s end and this summer was no different. The last few days, I’ve been living in abject denial of the fact that it’s getting colder out. I’ve not been wanting to close my windows or even turn off my fan (though I do have it on “exhaust”), which means I’ve been waking up the last few mornings feeling very cold. This morning, when I woke up, it was still dark out, the temperature was quite nippy and I found myself imagining that I was on one of the arctic sets of The Day After Tomorrow. Okay, so maybe my imagination is a bit too vivid.
But then I walked outside tonight at about 7:45 p.m. to run an errand and suddenly a new set of feelings kicked in. I think what triggers it every year is a cold crisp wind and the sound of rustling leaves and suddenly I feel energized, even as I also feel quiet and reflective. And, as I have every single previous year, I don’t remember what fall feels like until I’m actually in it.
Sometimes I think I’m like my housemate’s dog Rudy, who sometimes seems to have either amnesia or multiple personalities. I remember one night it was my turn to take her out for a walk, but when it came time, she was barking and running away from me, even when I held her leash in hand saying, “I got your leash! I got your leash!” Finally a housemate and I cornered her, and I put the leash on her, and at that very second her personality changed. She jumped around in excitement as if to say “Oh boy! Oh boy! I’M going for a WALK! I’M going for a WALK!” The same principle seems to apply here. It’s like I get temporary amnesia nine months out of the year until September rolls around and then and only then I remember why fall is my favorite time of year. You’d think after nearly forty years of this cycle I’d retain some memory of just what autumn feels like, but no, it’s still like new every year.
It’s funny–I don’t think spring and summer trigger any desires to hear specific types of music. But Christmas brings out–what else?–my desire to listen to Christmas music. There’s some music I like to listen to in the fall as well. One is an LP called “October Nights” by an 80’s folk group called Stone Soup that makes me want to light a fire (if only we had a working fireplace here) and curl up under a blanket while watching the flames. Another CD I like to listen to is a compilation called “Lonely Is An Eyesore“–a 1987 compilation of dreamy, moody, reflective and dramatic music by groups who were on the 4AD record label at that time, including the Cocteau Twins, Throwing Muses, Dif Juz, This Mortal Coil, Clan of Xymox, and others. I particularly like the Throwing Muses song, “Fish,” whose swirling cascades of drums and guitars evokes images of swirling cascades of leaves blowing in an October wind.
So let’s hear it for temporary seasonal amnesia–it allows me to enjoy each new season as if I were experiencing it for the first time…