Wednesday 5 October 2011

The Turning.

Autumn has always been my favourite time of the year.
A sudden awareness of changes.  Awareness of the slow, internal movements of the earth.  Of time.

Lovely things have been appearing on our table.  
Chestnuts collected by my younger son on the way home from his soccer game.

A last harvest of garlic brought for us from a relative's mother's garden in Bosnia.

Apples given to us by a neighbour from her allotment nearby.

I find that I read more at this time of the year.  Curled up on the sofa with a cup of tea.

I've just finished an inspiring biography written by Charlotte Gray.  "Sisters in the Wilderness: the Lives of Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Trail" covers the lives of two self confessed bluestocking sisters from England who decide - at the urging of their husbands who have a misguided hope for a better life financially - to emigrate to the backwoods of Canada in 1832.

Susanna Moodie and Catharine Parr Traill (nee Strickland) in spite of being completely unprepared for the rough, hands on life of pioneers in the Canadian bush, did manage to carve out a lives there, though very modest and not always comfortable ones.  They kept homes, raised families, and in spite of hardship after hardship (including loosing their homes to fire, the deaths of children, and at times a lack of any financial means), always managed to find the time, energy, and ideas for their writing, which was published on both sides of the Atlantic.  

As someone who is trying to juggle many of the same things - though under much more comfortable and less adverse circumstances - I found the spirit and will of these two women an incredible (and perhaps timely) inspiration.

And so, to work.

This is also the time of year when I find myself wanting to wrap up unfinished projects.  Especially after the kick-in-the-butt that book gave me.  I took over the living room floor once again and got to work finishing my Spitalfields collage series.

This lady's line is: "She collected shell after shell - ever searching for the one that would sing her the sea."

And I finally decided what to do with this fellow.  "Page after midnight page saw the feverish scribbles of his laudanum dreams."

There's one more lady, and she's just about finished.

Since there's no chance of my getting back to London in the near future, so I shall have to find a source here for old photos.  I don't like the idea of buying them on-line.  It's much more fun to walk through a market and riffle through musty shoe boxes of old photos looking for ones which speak to me.  

Seems an Autumn thing to do.
Perfect at this time of passages and of ghosts.


  1. Yes, this is the best time of year. There is this sense of expectancy for me, even with systems shutting down for the winter months ahead. I love your collections of apples, garlic, chestnuts, and collage supplies. You inspire me in so many ways Lynn.

    I, too, need a kick in the butt ... we'll see what'll deliver that to me if anything. lol.

  2. Those collages are beautiful! I especially love the line 'ever searching for the one that would sing her the sea'. Autumn is my favourite time of year, too. I hope you do find a market nearby with some musty old shoeboxes to rifle through.

  3. Your collages are wonderful, as are the photos of Autumn's bounty! This is my favorite time of the year as well... so much beauty!

  4. Wonderful post... I love the turning here, and, of course the amazing burst of color in New England. I don;t think I could ever be anywhere else for autumn, its so inspiring. I agree that the full-sensory experience of a store is much preferred to internet shopping, especially if you're searching for something aged with patina.

  5. Lovely photos, lovely post. Horse chestnuts (conkers) have always been my tactile favourite: such a brilliant brown, and so glossy, waxy, and warm to the touch as they tumble out of their pithy beds.

  6. I love it how blogging has allowed for people who have never met can get inspiration and ideas from one another, Jan. To me that's one of the most important things about this whole blog-sphere thing. Looking at the five comments posted here, I've been inspired by each and every one of the posters. (As for kicks in the butt, I've always found that they come from the most unexpected places!)

    I'm glad to have finished them, Claire, but also a bit wistful as I loved making them. Must find another source soon!

    It's amazing that the Autumn seems to be a favourite of so many, Donna! Its beauty is so different to that of the other seasons, with a maturity and a melancholy.

    I have never seen New England in the Autumn, Valerianna, but I've seen pictures - stunning! I'm used to the Ontario Autumns which are more extreme than what we have here - here it's not quite so ferocious and fiery. And, yes, I need to actually touch things like old photos before buying - it's all part of the experience.

    I too love the feel of horse chestnuts, Katherine. I had one in my pocket for a few days - used it like a worry bead. And I love the English name for them: conkers! I hadn't heard that name for them as a child. Wish I had.