I think the best of the leaves have fallen and with the rain and winds we're expecting this week, that'll likely be it for fall. On Friday, I was thinking along these lines and got off partway home from work to go to Edwards Gardens and walk the trail by Wilket Creek.
It was beginning to rain and there was a hush down there. I was quite alone a lot of the time and without the touchstone of a nearby city street or shopping area. I kept my keys close all the time. And yet, I relished the quietness of it, the sudden rustle of leaves and the muffled gurglings of water.
I came home and pulled out a book of Irish ghost stories I have that's more than 100 years old. And I prolonged the chills by reading simple stories of spirited people, up and down familiar places in Ireland (and all the more chilling because of the familiar towns and houses and roads).
The rain persisted all weekend, making every venture outdoors more of a production than it ought to have been. But it was worth it to see Paul Auster at IFOA and chat briefly with him afterwards as he penned my name next to his own in my book. Auster is way, way up there for me...
Afterwards I ate at momofuku (yum!), drank cocktails and rode a subway home full of girls dressed up to look like slutty versions of a whole cast of familiar characters.
I like Oíche Shamhna though. When I was growing up, people would carve turnips rather than pumpkins (I don't remember ever seeing pumpkins in Ireland as a child). And our bonfires and guising were much more primitive affairs, still with spiritual connotations and more effectively chilling for that.
But even here I feel the remnants of all that, and I can't help but think the commercialization has failed to entirely strip this time of year of some kind of mystical underpinning. I feel it when I'm alone these dark evenings and mornings in a visceral, earthly way and I relish the air as I step outside. I feel the season now drawing to its close and I'm not quite ready for what's next.