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Autumn leaves

October 1, 2009

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And just like that, Autumn rolls in. If there was any doubt in September (there was– it’s been over a hundred degrees all month), that doubt is now gone. I sit out on the front steps early in the morning with a sweater and socks on (those big fluffy ugly socks that you only wear out in public at the ungodly hours where anybody who WOULD see them is just too tired to pay attention to the mismatched solids and stripes on my right and left feet). It’s my favourite season… although we don’t really get much of a season in Los Angeles. It’s my birthday season, and halloween season, and the season of all of the good memories I have of living in London when I was young: conkers, and big piles of red and orange sycamore leaves, and leaves floating from the trees falling like colourful snow and the smell of bonfires– I love the smell of bonfires– and pulling out winter coats and hats and scarves and boots and, well all of these things remind me of a time that I was innocent and happy. Which means that they’re tinged with a nostalgic sadness that all of the past is, but because of this tinge they have a richness that something bright and shiny and new just doesn’t have.

The desert is cooling down too. How do I know? Because I’ve been going back every week to recharge.

Living in a city is… hard. So many people, so much stress, so much noise and quickness and sometimes I feel like the only person here who is paying attention. Of course I know that’s not true, that there are lots of good people and attentive people and even wonderful people but when surrounded by so many others, for some reason, I’m just not interested. It’s like anything, in great numbers, just becomes disgusting to me. Even people. Is that wrong to admit?

So I’ve been going back out to the desert a few days a week, spending time wandering around in the wee hours of the morning, playing with shadows, playing with the desert, with that light air and that light earth and those sleeping giant mountains that might wake up one day. I took a walk out into my favourite canyon this morning and lay out on the sand for a while. The sand was cool and silky and dry. I could hear cars in the distance, and crickets chirping, and a few bugs buzzing around, and birds tweeting, but underneath all of that was this beautiful humm. The humm of my favourite spot on earth, and the rocks in it and the air running through it all coming together at once if you listen for it.

And after doing this, I feel ready to go back to the city and the fast pace, because I have something solid and real to hold on to, even when surrounded by all this ephemeral nonsense.

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