Autumn…even the word is cool and active. The lazy, hazy summer is simmering to a close and the world starts to get serious again. A summer breeze picks up speed and becomes an autumnal wind and every year I feel energized and ready to restart the year.
Autumn is the best time of year to clean out attics—both real & metaphorical—and we all know what lurks in attics: secrets, surprises and monsters! Inside my late mother’s attic crawl space there were suitcases, photo albums and an old Smith Corona portable typewriter. I took one look at it and recalled the absolutely terrible things I wrote on it! You have to start somewhere, right? And for writers, the first outings are usually pretty bad.
The typewriter reminded me of my deep and abiding affection for my COMPUTER! The migration from chunk, chunk, chunk through rat, tat, tat, tat, and on to soft click, click, click-ity click, is that wonderful evolution from heavy, manual typewriters to my light weight laptop.
I set aside the photo albums and gave the suitcases to a young cousin leaving for postgraduate work abroad. The secrets? They no doubt lurk in the boxes of papers. As for the monsters, they are everywhere. Cleaning out my parent’s home, I’m haunted by our shared past and the past before me. I’m running out of people to ask, “Is that a picture of cousin X?” or to confirm, “Did my dad do that painting or is it my uncle’s?”
It’s still hot and humid in NYC and I’m waiting for the cool autumn wind to sweep me from the malaise that overcomes me while I sort through the past. I’m looking for the autumnal wind that will send me back to writing fiction.