Wednesday, October 5, 2011

On Autumn Mornings, Too

I don't know if it's true, but it feels like this was the rainiest September ever. I was so happy to see sunlight this morning when I walked into the kitchen.

Autumn is just beginning here, but even still, the light is changing.

With that certain slant of light, as Autumn begins, the sun makes its way through the kitchen window and casts magical shadows along its path. This morning, I had to stop, before frying up eggs for the 11yo's breakfast, to take some photographs of how the sun was dancing with my kitchen still life of gold frame and dried coriander.

There's a certain Slant of light,
Winter Afternoons –
That oppresses, like the Heft
Of Cathedral Tunes –

Heavenly Hurt, it gives us –
We can find no scar,
But internal difference,
Where the Meanings, are –

None may teach it – Any –
'Tis the Seal Despair –
An imperial affliction
Sent us of the air –

When it comes, the Landscape listens –
Shadows – hold their breath –
When it goes, 'tis like the Distance
On the look of Death –

I had a long and heated argument with an English professor at college about this Emily Dickinson poem. I insisted that he was incorrectly, or at least unnecessarily, interpreting its message as negative. I argued that the awe we feel in nature, while humbling, reaffirms our sense of belonging, of being alive. I was so passionate that he not only gave me an A in the class, he begged me to switch my major to English. It wasn't my poetry expertise talking, though. I just know that feeling when you're in the woods on an autumn or winter afternoon as it's starting to get dark and streams of sunlight make their way through the trees and find you.

May the sunlight find you today.


1 comment:

Hayley said...

Lovely pictures and poem.