Tuesday 16 September 2008

Memories in the body

Which of us doesn't feel a tide of emotion at this season, imprinted
by all those years when we began the new school or college year around now? I walked right back into the concrete realities of it all, of course, coming to work most recently as a university administrator, but in all the years between it never really went away. The memories in the body, re-aroused every September - completely normal, if less than completely explicable.

From the corner of an eye I see myself facing the challenges of my busiest time in a routinely busy job, here in a tired, late-middle aged body, but still besieged by feelings of fear and ineptitude that belong to a four-, an eleven-, an eighteen-year-old. Best, then, to honour those feelings, but briefly;
focus on what I treasure here and now: the feisty Autumn air and low, strong light, the scrummy socks I have to finally finish knitting before it gets cold. If my eyes had been open, at four, eleven or eighteen, to the natural world, or if I'd had an absorbing, soothing creative hobby, I'm sure these would have helped me in demanding times. I'm so very glad to have them now.

Other diversions, too: speaking of knitting, Stephanie Pearl-McPhee describes her feelings on holding her new book for the first time. Just lovely.

And this. Aw.


Anonymous said...

Wonderful image. And how well-put these September feelings, which I too have every year of my life, ever since I started school. I think of it as the start of a new year.

Dale said...

September! A chance to do it all over again and be a new person!

That's how it always hits me. And May is the sad season, the no more chances, I'm just me after all, season :-)

Anonymous said...

Lovely photos. And it's great to hear anxiety described so well.

Sky said...

oh, how i love the smells of autumn, the clear, crisp air, the chilly nights and cool mornings, the light falling lower in the sky...all of it. i am always reminded of returning to school and briefly recall waiting for the school bus on our front porch. as much as i seemed then to dread the end of summer i must have enjoyed returning to school, because fall was always my favorite season.

Dave King said...

Being a retired teacher it sort of hits me on two levels. Thanks for reawakening memories.

Natalie d'Arbeloff said...

4....11....18, your magic memory numbers: maybe you could do a series of pictures/posts/poems based on them? Would be fascinating.

I like September but hate the back-to-school or back-to-work feeling. Always a sense that the away-time wasn't used well enough.