Songs of Autumn 2019


Only lovers
see the fall
a signal end to endings
a gruffish gesture alerting
those who will not be alarmed
that we begin to stop
in order to begin

– Maya Angelou

Autumn is my favorite season. Though it harbingers the onset of the death of the year, it rings in a peculiar melancholy, a bittersweet life of its own. The harvest ensures the strength of the community, the leaves fall to give renewed life to the earth, and the winds and wildfires cast away the detritus and make way for new growth.

Autumn is equal parts grief and compassion. It is the soul’s twilight: the dusk of reflection before the solitude of winter.

In 2014, we were in the midst of a serious drought, and it felt like the seasons of my childhood were gone forever, so I created the Visions of Autumn series so I could cling to the wisps of remembrance. While we finally had rains last year, the climate crisis is only becoming more and more critical. Now, as we face the encroaching horrors of climate change, my visions of autumn seem so much further away. This year, I have composed seven songs of autumn that capture either my memories of seasons long past, or my fears of a scorching, smoldering, flooded future.

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