Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Inevitable Endings

A few years ago, I wrote the following:
Anyone who knows me well knows that I am all about September and October. Let others wax lyrical about the miracle of rebirth in the springtime, and all those little green shoots poking their hardy heads through the last of the snow. I say it doesn't take much skill to be born. Anybody can do it. The meaning of life, I am convinced, is in how we deal with ripening, harvest, and the onset of winter. Yes, those little green shoots grow strong and tall in the summer sun, but they don't last forever. When September comes, they begin to grow old, as will we. In October, they begin to wither and die, as will we. The lesson of September and October is that while the end is inevitable, we can at least expect to share some moments of indescribable beauty before we go.
If forced to state a philosophy of life, I think I could stand on that. The central fact of our existence is not so much that we're here, but that all we have while we're here will eventually slip away. Thus we'd best enjoy what's beautiful in our lives while it's here, all the better to cherish it after it's gone.

All this month I've written about my October experiences and the music that brings them back to me each year. From the 10-year-old riding the school bus, to the 15-year-old discovering the meaning of home, from the 16-year-old getting kicked out of the park after closing, to the 19-year-old meeting the woman who would become his wife--all of those people are still inside of me somewhere, and the experiences they had on their autumn days have contributed to whatever the 46-year-old me has become today.

I warned you when this blog began that sometimes, it was going to be so personal that maybe I'd be the only one who'd get it. I thought maybe the October series might be one of those times, but I'm pleased by the comments indicating that many readers could relate to them. If you've missed any of the series, you can scroll down to the bottom at this link and read up.

Here's one more bit of October music before November arrives in an hour or two. It didn't make the Hot 100 in the United States during the fall of 1978, but it had been a Top 10 hit in England during the summer. I remember hearing it on the radio that fall and liking it, but I couldn't have known then how appropriate it would come to be in later years. On the face of it, Justin Hayward's "Forever Autumn" is about missing one particular person, but you can also hear it as an acknowledgement of what I said at the start of this post: Endings are inevitable, but at least we get to share some moments of indescribable beauty before we go.

(It's a WMA file this time. Buy "Forever Autumn" along with hits by the Moody Blues here.)


At 7:38 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ah, from the "War of the Worlds" album by Jeff Lynne, right?

Yep -- I remember playing that one at my first radio station.



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