We live in a shady glen here, surrounded by trees, but if I press my face to the glass in the front and back of the house, I can see the hills. If I am mindful, I remember to look at them in the morning, when they are blue and gray, or frosted, like today. In the afternoon they are naked, drastically different hills from their lush and wanton summer selves. Across October, they spent a few weeks turning yellow and orange. Then one morning I woke to find all the leaves had dropped, except the red ones. Now they display fantastic tangles of bare branches and tufts of peacock-shaped crimson, a somewhat Suessian landscape, gray lines exploding with rainbows of red. In the late afternoon the sun wraps the hills in gold and crimson, the long white trunks luminous and glowing, anyway, in the dying light. If I bend down and peer through the arch of trees, I can see the pale cornfield two houses down. Today it is tipped in frost.
I love these autumn woods far more than I loved them in summer.
Yesterday I stood gazing at those hills, at my neighbor's tree which was, indeed, copper like a trumpet call against a bright blue sky. I was thinking about worth. I'm not feeling worth much myself these days. Moving for my husband's job has brought on a bit of role confusion I did not anticipate. I got a job of my own and then had to turn it down, because getting a brewery up and running is placing extreme demands on my husband's time, and he can't commit to being home with the girls in the evenings nor on the weekends. I'm not making any money off my writing, which I set out years ago to do. I want to feel worthy. I don't want to get a job. I want to experience all the world at the same time I want to hide away from it like a hermit in the forest, alone with stories and poems.
There are three things I don't know: I don't know how humans survive the things we do, I don't know why my blogs always sound so melancholy when the heart of me is stupidly idealistic, the third thing I forget. This morning I woke early and went down the hall to find my husband gently waking our daughters, who were nestled into bed together. Moving here has bonded them, I think. They can often be caught hugging one another, fondly cradling and stroking each other's flushed pink faces. Behind them the morning sun shone bright through the window, over the white frosted grass, and backlit them all in heavenly light. For three nights in a row, I dreamed of paths. One through a thick forest of bracken and bramble, one through sinuous brick streets of an old European city, one through canals overgrown with weeping trees and low-slung magnolia. Sometimes I have to remind myself that I am a Gemini. There will never be a singularity to my nature. I have a twin that dwells in me. When I proclaim this to my husband, he keeps a straight face.
When my dad was here I told him about my guilt over my decorative, garage-sale antlers. Guilt that an animal had to die, to sacrifice this blood and bone, so I might adorn my house. My dad told me this wasn't necessarily true. He told me that in the deep of winter, deer actually shed their antlers. They drop them in the forest like offerings, unconcerned, unburdened, and grow new ones again come spring. The people of long, long ago would walk through sleeping forests, gather these things that nature had surrendered, take them home to fires and turn battle-bone into a sacred dance.
Lay down locked horns and dance.
Here is why my blogs sound the way they do: everything is so beautiful it hurts.