Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Margaret, are you grieving
Over Goldengrove unleaving?
Leaves, like the things of man, you
With your fresh thoughts care for, can you?
Ah! as the heart grows older
It will come to such sights colder
By and by, nor spare a sigh
Though worlds of wanwood leafmeal lie;
And yet you will weep and know why.
Now no matter, child, the name:
Sorrow's springs are the same.
Nor mouth had, no nor mind, expressed
What heart heard of, ghost guessed:
It is the blight man was born for,
It is Margaret you mourn for.
Gerard Manley Hopkins

Let it loose, let it all come down....
the Stones

In the Autumn of 1985, I saw Stanley Jordan, the jazz guitar player, in Boston, and his opening act was this comedian who poked fun at all the people driving around New England looking at “foliage.” What they were going to so much effort to see, he pointed out, was nothing but decay and death—which is true, in a way, but, ya gotta admit, those leaves know how to go out in style....

The soothing sanity and blitheness of completion,
The pomp and hurried contest-glare and rush are done;
Now triumph! transformation! jubilate!
Walt Whitman

That in mind, this could be a good time to look at some things that keep hanging on, but just might be ready to drop off and die: old hatreds, maybe, or unrequited loves and lusts, old anger, old frustrations and disappointments, old wanting, old losing, old getting, old insults, old flattery, old thoughts, old beliefs, old masks, old lies, old sadness, old let it all out in glorious color, then watch it fall and turn to mulch....


Lydia said...

I so love this Hopkins poem and have considered it as the dying poem for my mother, Margaret, whose birthday would be Sept. 27, and whose deathday in 2000 followed on Oct. 27. In that last month, that autumnal time, she was in her own bedroom flooded with light, where she could not see the trees in her yard, but where fall winds brought the colored leaves dancing at her window.
Eight years later, the old sadness has now become a memory of love. Thank you for this post, Jay.

TragicComedy said...

Nice comparisons. I may never look at the colors of fall the same.

Lynn said...

"Let drop off and die" I have done this the past few years: old hurts/pain from someone I love and guess what? That person came round again proclaiming of all things love! Worry about aging...and guess what instead I put energy into eating and exercise and guess what? I feel and look much younger!
I was one of those people a number of years ago driving through the roads on the East Coast states from Boston MA to Rockport Maine exclaiming over each colorful dying leaf...'Oh God, I'd exclaim pointing this way then that...clucking my tongue and saying it again, and again, and again, and was unbelievable. And after awhile it was overwhelming. Too much. Too much beauty. Can you believe?

I hope life will be that beautiful at the time of my death. Too much to ask for?

roadgurl5 said...

...old George Bush. Just a thought! Seriously, a beautiful poem and nice post for the change of seasons.

Jeff Baker said...

OMG... I was not prepared for the chills that I received reading your post. A delightful surprise as was the birhtday wish.

You are very thoughtful, and quite a writer to boot. Did you simply look at my profile, or are you also a psychic?

Blessings for your Autumn and your everyday -- jb

Tikkis said...

trees are dropping off all those leaves, as we drop our clothes when going to bed, and trying to get some sleep

Citizen of Earth said...

My thoughts too
Sometimes wither and turn brown
And fall

But there are times that they shine
And rise higher than I have ever been

Thanks for your thoughtful comments on my blogs
I’ve been slow coming around
But life has it’s distractions
And I’m a sucker for

JMorris said...

It never ceases to amaze me how just the right words and sentiments are always there to remind me of God's beauty in life. It is very appropriate that I stumbled across this post at this time of my life.

Thank you for stopping by my blog. Otherwise I would have missed this reminder of how I need to let go and move on with life.

Varun said...

beautiful poem! falling leaves have always made me feel mellow inside.I often wonder how nature shows beauty,even in death :'(

Melinda said...

I really don't know why--but I always look at fall as the season of change and rebirth--much more so than spring. Perhaps it is because I grew up as a skier in Montana and winter was THE season there--much more so than summer was. I always looked forward to the winter and fall seemed like winter's infancy to me.

Also, how lucky you were to see Stanley Jordan--I am a jazz guitarist (have played guitar since I was 8 but played mostly rock until about 10 years ago). What a great concert that must have been.

Take Care,


Starcasm said...

Fall's the best season. Time to let go, for sure.

Lana Gramlich said...

Unfortunately I don't look nearly as good as the leaves do during the process. ;) *L*
Good advice, of course.

Nancy Ellyn said...

And those you have wronged, you know
You need to let them know some way
And those who have wronged you, know
You'll have to let them go someday

Don't you want to be there?
Don't you want to see where the angels appear
Don't you want to be where there's strength and love
In the place of fear

Thanks to Jackson Browne for those appropriate response to this lovely post!

Bird said...

Bonfires are cathartic and seasonal in just the same way. I write all my stuff down and then burn the crap out of it. Sometimes I toast bread in the flames and eat it.