I went out that morning looking for November, which I found crouched and waiting on the underside of a log. It was glowing like a phosphorescent jellyfish and it took me a minute to shift into ultraviolet, like a bee, but once I did I saw the blossom in the dank rot growing like a weed. Two weeks in and I finally found November, though I admit I wasn’t looking too hard. Despite what you might think I’m no fan of the autumn and I want to hold it off as long as I can. I understand that all things must die, and the cycle of rebirth, and I know this is the time of change. The fungi feed on the corpses of the trees and the forest devours itself. The light must ebb and it’s always darkest before the dawn. I know. November is the entire year distilled and it fills my soul like no other month with a palpable sense of time. It’s as if I can feel the stars churning. It creeps up so fast, this feeling, that I have to go out and find it, I’ve got to stick my hands inside the guts of the solstice and feel around for the spleen. This is I suppose how I anchor myself in time. But it’s not the minutes that matter, or the months, it’s the seasons. Each has its milestone and with autumn it’s November. The earth is beautiful and mysterious and it offers treasures and surprises that are not really surprises once you realize they were there waiting for you the whole time. When I left the house Sunday morning I knew where I was going and I knew what I would find – some neon metaphor like a roadsign in the dark, This was it.
Later that day I opened Marcus Aurelius and turned to a page where he said to be like the rock that juts out into the sea. All around you the water is crashing and foaming but you remain, unbroken, unmoved. Let what happens, happen, and persevere. Be grateful you can do this, he says. Be thankful for your predicament, whatever it may be. Be like a rock and endure, because you can, and be your shining, kind, and good self, despite the tossing seas.
November opens with the Day of the Dead and closes with Thanksgiving which are holidays laden with recollection. Guy Fawkes’ Day urges us to remember, remember. This is the time of memory. Maybe that’s why I have to sear November into my soul with a visceral gesture like grounding myself in the natural world, where I always find the not-so-secret reminder that this is all just body-memory, this gravity, this time, and bodies like mine are always in flux and, ultimately, not real. I am not time-bound. I am spirit. Only spirit endures and spirit knows no such demarcation as lines on a grid.
November is a pungent, reticulated mass of fleshy folds that sprouts from the grave of yesterday. Forgive my morbid allusions. I only wish to recognize the turning, turning, turning of a world that is tilted on its axis at twenty three degrees. So much of who we are is the result of that tilt. I don’t know. In November, it seems, the tilt becomes more obvious. I can feel it. I can feel it Dave. I can feel it. Would you like to hear a song?
o O o