Autumn goals

The change of seasons doesn't at all seem slow or uncertain this year. This autumn, I want to drink in every falling leaf and golden ray of light. And I'm already torn between the long-awaited place I'm going to and here, where autumn is the most beautiful season. I wonder if that's a mistake I shouldn't repeat; trying to be in two places at once. Or if I'll get enough of both and be satisfied.

And there are goals, of course, because we bloggers can't seem to change seasons without them. Especially the later seasons, when you start to feel the wind-up of the year and the time for something profound running out. Growing dread that this too will be just another year of coasting. But then I go to make a list of goals and it's hard to make bullet points hold what I mean.

Taking good photographs might be a goal, but how to explain the feeling I want to capture? Only that I want it to be something about land and place, home and age, some perfectly finite sense of moment and murk mixed with yellow autumnal light.

And baking apple pie is one too. Sharing it with friends makes it even better. Hell, I'll throw a harvest feast. This is something we can all get behind. The future blog post writes itself. But, instead leave it all undocumented and let the idea of it hang loose and unstyled. Better still, let it be completely unblogworthy.

And there are goals even more banal: Lose weight, exercise and save money. Old faithfuls. And in the next lines a list of things to spend money on. Boots and something woolly, most likely, but also something for the home. Don't forget to throw in something with a little more gusto. Books! Perfect.

Still something missing. Maybe I should add wanting to really look at my parents when I go home. To notice their hands and eyes especially. And ask questions about family history I don't have straight. But also mention the quiet I look forward to, sitting in the backseat while Dad drives, listening to music while they bicker about directions and anecdotes they probably made up anyway.

But something with more marrow still — a confession: I spend my time lately wishing for a quiet refuge to write from. Wishing sometimes I did not always have to interact. And at night I'd like to just climb into bed and have somebody kiss and wrap their arms around me. But I dread all the talk that goes with that, all the figuring out the ways we fit together and when it's okay not to. And that's the difficulty with relationships for me (not just the romantic ones). I want it all to be easily unsaid. But it never gets to be like that.

And more than a person, I dream of that place, with mossy stones and improbable flowers. It's slightly drab but in all the lovely ways, smells of rotting leaves and turned earth and wet stone. This place I long for haunts me and I search for it without knowing how to strike forth, looking for signs of something not arbitrary. And in my dreams it's there too, both familiar and elusive. But now my list is wandering off course...

This is the problem with goals: It feels all wrong to try and parse out dreams into bullet points. And what about leaving room for the unexpected? Because maybe that's where the magic's really at. Let it be just that.
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