“Here comes the cold, break out your winter clothes and find a love to call your own.” It’s Fall again. When John Mayer wrote the opening line of “St. Patrick’s Day,” sure, he was probably talking about a lady. But I for one believe that lyrics can mean something different to the listener than they did to the musician when he wrote them. So that “love to call your own” doesn’t have to be a pretty lady (like the lovely ladies Missy and Harte whom I work with here at the office) it could be a book (Harte), a cat (me) , or even a cactus (Missy)!
The first chills of Autumn have come and gone–and here I sit, just as I have since early June, gazing out the window at the last green holdouts of the trees of Cambridge, waiting to change their colors. Today is one of those lovely seventy-degree October flukes that makes the inevitable cold snap that much more insulting. In Boston we must cherish these rarities, knowing well that by Halloween that familiar chill will be here to stay. November only furthers Winter’s procession, and December fools us with fluffy snowflakes and dazzling lights; it’s not until January’s bitter cold turns the streets into a post-apocalyptic wasteland that we realize Winter’s power to endure.
For many, the insurgence of autumn brings an unshakable sense of foreboding. Summer’s idleness flees in the wake of the responsibilities left behind in May. The cycle begins again just the same as always–yet we can’t help but feeling that something is different this time, leaving us off-kilter, stressed and vaguely concerned. And now, another shameless Mayer plug, ‘When autumn comes, it doesn’t ask/ It just walks in where it left you last/ You never know when it starts/ Until there’s fog inside the glass around your summer heart.” Well said, John. Thanks for that.
The changing of the seasons hit some of us like a freight train (I’m looking at you sniffling over there, Silas) and others like a gentle breeze–either way, it affects our mental and physical health, and in turn, our writing. In times of emotional turbulence, it’s easy to get stuck in a lurch of writer’s block. Sometimes our thoughts get so cloudy and mixed up in our befuddled brains that we convince ourselves they aren’t worth recording–but often writing down what’s troubling us is all we need to make sense of it. Telling stories and working out our thoughts on paper is a writer’s way of getting back into a good headspace.
So as autumn makes its march on through the country, be comforted by your own ability to create. Sometimes the simple feat of writing is the best medicine there is.