We’ve been talking a lot in the office about what it means to be a woman, what sisterhood is, why our vaginas have stories to tell, and how we can speak to the true creative enchantment that resides within us. Enchantment—it keeps on being bandied about with the same prolificacy as intoxication. And why? Well for starters, when we delve, it’s enchanting! That tingly light of the golden hour, falling under your own beautiful spell, making friends with all your senses or foreseeing magic? ENCHANTING!
This time of the year feels magical. The impending darkness, comforting not scary; the twinkling absolutely nostalgic. I feel stirrings of wanting to wear layers and layers of tactile fabric, wanting to lie by a fire for hours (ok, days) on end. Oh and socks! With apologies to the sun, prime sleeping time, otherworldly light and the implication of intimacy and camaraderie is an objective fact that’s deliciously thrilling. I’m not sure anyone puts the case more compellingly than Herman Melville, in an early passage from Moby-Dick that finds the narrator keeping warm overnight at a boarding-house on the Massachusetts coast:
To enjoy bodily warmth, some small part of you must be cold, for there is no quality in this world that is not what it is merely by contrast. Nothing exists in itself. If you flatter yourself that you are all over comfortable, and have been so a long time, then you cannot be said to be comfortable any more… the height of this sort of deliciousness is to have nothing but the blanket between you and your snugness and the cold of the outer air. Then there you lie like the one warm spark in the heart of an arctic crystal.
As I often lament on this blog, I don’t live in the midst of nature. Because if I did, I would stroke the spines of leaves, bow down to the aristocrats of the woodlands—them old oaks—and maybe even roll around in dense foliage. As Robert Browning wrote: “Autumn wins you best by this, its mute appeal to sympathy for its decay.” A period of memories and melancholy calls for candles and chestnuts, stoicism and fragility.
I feel like I’m burning bright in an oasis of calm which is comforting and terrifying all at once. The music I’m hearing is completely spellbinding and very powerful. It really affects me. Hopefully my voice will float just above it.