I love this time of year. The few weeks that hang between summer, and autumn. Even here in Texas, where the heat lays like a heavy blanket over the flat of the Earth and the trees hum with the afternoon sun, I can feel the equinox coming early in my bones. It’s there when I wake up - a lightness, the smell of shaken leaves and the yearning for some kind of warm drink to hold between my hands. The feeling that something’s coming. Or that something’s going - I can’t tell which.
It reminds me of every love I’ve ever had. Of Jackson, and Marshall, and Travis. They were all the feeling of a quickly approaching autumn. Something fleeting - the feeling of coming, and going, and you can't tell which.
You're the only one that's ever felt like the whole season. Like finally getting there. Sinking in. You're the earthy sweetness of autumn, all pumpkin spice and woolen hats, day after month after year.
87 strange, half summer, half autumn days. That’s all. And then, we’ll pack our boxes and board a plane and shake middle fingers at the state of Texas as it shrinks into the past. One chapter is ending quickly. We’ll lick our fingers, grab at the corner of the next page, turn, turn --
It’s during these in between times - between summer and autumn, between Texas and California - that I feel I need to force things. Because the new season isn’t coming quickly enough. And there isn’t enough money in the bank account. And I haven’t written my book yet. And --
So I force stories to come, and art to form in pencil and ink, and money to appear in our bank account, and plans to line up, and then I throw it all away - backspace the stories, tear the art, erase the plans - because of course it isn’t very good. Those kinds of things - the ones that are hammered into existance with a hasty heart - never are.
My God, I’m sure that’s what happens when folks force the big things, too. Beyond work and art and stories - when they force motherhood, and lovers, and memories to be made. When their entire life is a rowdy push from behind. They’ll feel so strangely unsatisfied with everything that they throw it all away.
Nothing is ever quite right when you force it. This I’ve learned. There’s no need to sit and burn, clenching and unclenching fists, cracking eggshells just to get at the golden center. The only things worth having are the ones that are cared for. That are loved into existence. That hatch on their own.
Folks only need a little. Someone to be there, and be warm, to pull the blanket under their chin and maybe say something kind and maybe not say anything at all. That’s all I need. That's all my art needs. And my writing. And that’s all she’ll need, too. I can do that.
I need to be here, now, relaxing into it. Into the book ideas, the art, the writing, the plane tickets home, the gestation, the labor, the delivery. Into motherhood. Into my own skin. Into autumn.