the chapters of autumn.
8 November 2012 § Leave a comment
In Spanish, there are two words for the verb ‘to know’ –
ser – which is to know of something, but not personally: Sé que la música de Opeth, pero yo no he oído. (I’ve heard of Opeth, but not listened to their music.)
The second is conocer – to meet, to feel, to experience: Conozco San Clemente; yo he estado alla. (I know San Clemente; I have been there.)
I love it when words, ideas, and concepts cannot be translated into another language – they were born of a specific culture, and unlike their speakers, they cannot travel and truly know, or be known, by strangers. There is some elitism in that, for those who do not venture to another language, who do not seek the intricacies of another culture, could be missing out on something that is important, even vital, to someone else.
Yet, if they do not reach out to learn in that way, they miss nothing, and still carry the secrets of their own language.
As the temperature drops toward freezing, and as the mist rests inches above the grass on black fields at night, and as the falling leaves hint that someone is following, watching, even in the cold and starry orangeglow, I am certain of my love for this season. Autumn has seldom been so beautiful as in the city of roses and trees, many of which are closing their eyes, shedding their petals and shade, and inhaling deep the last warm breeze before falling asleep.
I once chased autumn to every corner of the Atlantic Ocean my meager budget would take me. It lasted no longer than usual; all the trees were empty by 6 December. The snow arrived the next day, and blanketed the crunchy, yellow earth. Inebriated on travel, love, and plenty of holiday drink, I decided that it was time to go home. I’ve been looking for a season like that since. Breathe in the cold; the taste is divine.
All that to say:
Conozco la textura del otoño, y la amo.
[and now, back to your regularly programmed onset of winter]