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Autumn Soul

fall1

This morning I woke early, barely sleeping the night before, and completely exhausted from insomnia. I got up, went for a walk and stumbled upon this slice of autumnal heaven right in my neighborhood. Few trees have changed in the DC area due to unseasonably warm temperatures, but this little nook a real treasure. Maybe it's the shade of this park, or some divine intervention handing me a gift of inspiration. For many, autumn is a depressive time but it's now when I feel most creative. A reminder that everything lives, shifting from one vision to another. In the short span of autumn, nature mimics all phases of life, spanning the breadth of human emotion. One moment trees colorful and full of bounty and then quickly stripped bare. Autumn - a canvas on which all colors of the soul are painted.

I came back and spent the entire day in bed. Not sleeping but rather in a complete state of relaxation. Staring at the Washington Monument from my bedroom window, occasionally a cool breeze floating through the air, momentarily penetrating my bones. I ate a spice muffin, drank freshly brewed pumpkin coffee and lit a cinnamon scented candle. A complete feast for the senses. I dug through an old notebook of poems written during university, all of my favorites composed in October or November. Something about this time of year makes me want to love. To crawl into bed, kiss passionately, cuddle and smell the drifting scent of firewood and rain. A few years ago, I was completely infatuated with a man yet never told him or verbally expressed my emotions. In the notebook, I found a poem dated on this exact date, 26 October 2009:

Butterflies

I am unsettled now
an ocean
in the midst of a storm
a sky
without recurring moons

Your head
lifted toward the sun
eyes echoing passion
lips soft and full
like clouds

Only
a harsh wind
can awaken me now
only the beating of hearts
or the hurricane
that has crossed our city

You are scared
morning prayer
beneath my pillow
painting of horizons
I've longed to hold

Help me
with these feelings
full like the wings of a dove

Steady these thoughts
pulsing like rain
and the reckless
dance of heart

Hold me
close to the fire
the butterflies
are beating
only your wings
can rescue me now
***********************
Each year, autumn is a gift to me. So many wonderful things around the corner - cooler temperatures, time with family and friends as my favorite holidays approach, and hopefully more exciting journeys!

Maybe the trees are now stripped bare in Russia, with the grey skies of winter already afloat. The first snow will soon fall and many of you will be burdened with the doom and gloom of winter. For me, complete beauty so be sure to post photos when the first snow arrives. And remember, there's grace and beauty in all seasons. The key to life is always having open eyes and an open spirit. To never let imagination and dreams die. To never let the common burdens of life suffocate your soul. Neither easy tasks, but essential if you wish to not only visit this world, but truly live, feel and experience it.

Pleasant Sunday to all!

flower copy

Comments

( 61 comments — Leave a comment )
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fesma94
Oct. 27th, 2013 03:57 am (UTC)
Beautiful park and beautiful women )
peacetraveler22
Oct. 27th, 2013 04:07 am (UTC)
Women? There's only one of me, but thanks! :)
(no subject) - fesma94 - Oct. 27th, 2013 08:18 am (UTC) - Expand
onkel_hans
Oct. 27th, 2013 04:03 am (UTC)
The fallen leaves and the memory of the fallen leaves ...

IMAG1089-1

Incidentally, Saturday was Hillary's birthday.
onkel_hans
Oct. 27th, 2013 04:05 am (UTC)
and I envy the view from your bedroom. I am very much nostalgic of DC. Used to walk down from the Zoo to the Capitol. Parked always by the Capitol.
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 27th, 2013 04:09 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Oct. 27th, 2013 04:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 27th, 2013 04:07 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Oct. 27th, 2013 04:16 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Oct. 27th, 2013 04:22 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 27th, 2013 04:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - onkel_hans - Oct. 27th, 2013 05:00 am (UTC) - Expand
andrey_kaminsky
Oct. 27th, 2013 06:25 am (UTC)
Хиллари и осень
Has Hillary already commented on hilarious Obama's habit to eavesdrop on Angela Merkel's conversations?
I wonder if Obama wears the uniform of the WWII before delight own ears and lights a cigarette without the filter ... I envy him. If he dances as well as Michael Jackson, he is the luckiest man on earth.
peacetraveler22
Oct. 27th, 2013 11:13 am (UTC)
Re: Хиллари и осень
In fact, Obama is an excellent dancer! :) Just watch videos from his inaugural balls. He's a common man, people easily relate to him, smoking during his presidential candidacy, drinking beer, shooting basketball hoops, etc. And, yes, he's also a "smooth criminal," as Michael Jackson wrote - stealing the intimate thoughts of world leaders by eavesdropping. You don't believe your government attempts to do the same?
Re: Хиллари и осень - andrey_kaminsky - Oct. 27th, 2013 02:34 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Хиллари и осень - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 27th, 2013 05:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Хиллари и осень - andrey_kaminsky - Oct. 27th, 2013 05:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Хиллари и осень - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 27th, 2013 05:53 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Хиллари и осень - andrey_kaminsky - Oct. 27th, 2013 06:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Хиллари и осень - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 27th, 2013 06:13 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Хиллари и осень - andrey_kaminsky - Oct. 27th, 2013 06:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
ypolozov
Oct. 27th, 2013 06:36 am (UTC)
Death! Halloween!!!
peacetraveler22
Oct. 27th, 2013 11:15 am (UTC)
Yes, the glory of autumn! The New Hampshire area must be magical now. I know Russian adults celebrate Halloween by dressing up and partying, but it's my understanding that Russian kids don't go "trick or treating" as they do in the States.
(no subject) - ypolozov - Oct. 27th, 2013 10:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
mybathroom
Oct. 27th, 2013 06:37 am (UTC)
Thanks for the post, Shannon!
peacetraveler22
Oct. 27th, 2013 11:17 am (UTC)
You're welcome! There aren't so many readers on LJ on Sundays, but I wanted to share a nice photo and some thoughts for those who visit the site on this day.
andrey_kaminsky
Oct. 27th, 2013 08:47 am (UTC)
Таланты и поклонники
I do not want to upset you, but I'm more talented poet:
Спит мой кот.
Спит, калачиком свернувшись,
Носом в задницу уткнувшись.
Бестолковый идиот.
peacetraveler22
Oct. 27th, 2013 11:19 am (UTC)
Re: Таланты и поклонники
I don't like cats, so your poem is uninspiring.
real_marsel
Oct. 27th, 2013 08:57 am (UTC)
I am shocked by this text. I feel the same: every season brings beauty and charm to my life, even cold rainy autumn.
peacetraveler22
Oct. 27th, 2013 11:22 am (UTC)
Why shocked? I find little beauty in summer, but there are always small glimpses if you open your eyes. Btw, comments to that post written by morena-morana yesterday were so interesting! Unfortunately, she doesn't speak English or I would comment more often in her blog. I wrote to her and asked, but she said her English is very poor.
(no subject) - real_marsel - Oct. 27th, 2013 01:03 pm (UTC) - Expand
pasha1980
Oct. 27th, 2013 09:35 am (UTC)
This is beautiful and very true Shannon. I find your concluding idea about the importance of not just visiting this world but genuinely living particularly moving. Just last night I was thinking along the same lines. In my part of the world, soon after being born people are run through an entire sequence of social institutions that are designed to narrow down the range of emotions we can experience as our birthright. In the family setting, the emphasis is on obedience and quietness. Whenever a child starts talking aloud on a bus or in a public place, the immediate reaction of the parents is to hush him/her down. Whenever there is a misunderstanding between a child and a schoolteacher, the parents usually take the side of the teacher - unquestioned respect for and fear of authority are so deeply inculcated in their minds that they displace love for their own children. In school, the emphasis is on memorization and indoctrination rather than critical thinking, because if the students become good at critical thinking, they are bound to begin to question en masse the legitimacy of the current political regime and the competence of civil servants, and this is viewed as a threat by the ruling elite. All of this and many, many other things lead to the emergence of certain "no-go" areas in the minds of the people here and to the self-censorship of emotions, so that happiness and unhappiness, bliss and anger that are located at the top and bottom of the emotional range get cut off, and a person is left with only the middle of the range to go about their life. The legal framework is designed in such a way as to severely penalize the slightest manifestations of anger or protest. I and about a hundred fellow-protesters were once sent to jail and got 500 dollar fines for participating in a peaceful protest - at that time my income was only about 300 dollars a month, so the fine was very hefty. A human rights organization helped me out and paid the fine for me; a couple of years later the director of that organization was imprisoned on trumped-up charges of tax-evasion - he is now doing a 4.5-year-term in prison.
I guess what I'm trying to illustrate is that there are some countries in the world where people's self-expression and emotions are muzzled in ways unimaginable to residents of democracies, so millions of people end up having to be just visitors in this world. But "the key to life is always having open eyes and an open spirit" as you beautifully put it. Thank you for sharing your very intimate feelings.

Edited at 2013-10-27 09:42 am (UTC)
peacetraveler22
Oct. 27th, 2013 11:31 am (UTC)
These feelings aren't so intimate, just general observations. I've never been the type of person who sits and complains about life or circumstances because, as I wrote, I don't want to end up having simply visited this world. Ultimately you control your own destiny in life, though there are curve balls along the way. We all go through difficult times, and yes bitterness and anger sometimes set in, but I try to find saving grace when I recognize that these emotions are becoming rooted. You can search the Wyoming tag on my blog and read about a brief but very wrong relationship in which I recently found myself. There are always answers to be found if you take the time to look - and I found them in the mountains of Wyoming. Travel - it's the best way to keep me grounded and instill hope and wonder. As one of my favorite poets, Mary Oliver, wrote - "I'm a bride, constantly married to amazement." :)
texnic
Oct. 27th, 2013 09:52 am (UTC)
offtopic: the main difference between autumn in Russian and autumn in US is that in Russia almost all leaves become yellow while leaves in US become red :-)
qi_tronic
Oct. 27th, 2013 11:15 am (UTC)
Why is that? Different plants?
(no subject) - texnic - Oct. 27th, 2013 11:19 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 27th, 2013 11:33 am (UTC) - Expand
pasha1980
Oct. 27th, 2013 10:43 am (UTC)
"This morning I woke early, barely sleeping the night before, and completely exhausted from insomnia." I know that feeling. About a week ago - I think it was last Sunday - I lay in bed sleeplessly until about 6 a.m. Until about 3 a.m. I kept looking at the clock and making efforts to go to sleep because I wanted to go to a tango class at 11 in the morning. At around 3 a.m. I thought, "Screw it", went to the kitchen, had a cup of tea and some food and went back to bed. I gave up my efforts to go to sleep, I just lay in bed and let thoughts flow through my mind without resistance. At about 6 I finally went to sleep for a couple of hours, then woke up and went to the class, but when I came back home I was so exhausted that I curled up on the couch, covered my body with my favorite green sleeping bag that I had brought from America many years ago - it's sort of an energy shield for me, and went into the sweetest state I've had in many weeks. It wasn't deep sleep at first, it was more reminiscent of meditation: all attachments cut off, attention directed inwards, through the ripples of the mind and at the self. And then from that state I went on to blissful sleep. Now and then sleep deprivation sends me into that state of consciousness where I can have some time with my self. I always feel profound gratitude for such moments.


Edited at 2013-10-27 10:56 am (UTC)
peacetraveler22
Oct. 27th, 2013 11:39 am (UTC)
I've never experienced this with sleep, such deep peace or meditation. Even as a child, I never slept well. There's something strange with my body that it doesn't crave a lot of sleep. I usually can function just fine, both mentally and physically, without it. On this recent Eastern Euro trip, I only slept for 3 or 4 hours a night. Btw, my nephew has such a blanket. He's slept with it since he was an infant and still asks for it every night at 5 years old when he goes to bed. It's blue and fluffy, with airplanes on it. Another sign that he will be a future world traveler, just like his auntie. :)
real_marsel
Oct. 27th, 2013 01:04 pm (UTC)
There are many people in my blog, who can speak in English. I suggest write comments there to attract new readers.
peacetraveler22
Oct. 27th, 2013 04:29 pm (UTC)
It's a good idea, thanks. I don't have much time to read a lot of blogs, but sometimes take a look at yours.
qi_tronic
Oct. 27th, 2013 04:49 pm (UTC)
You are romantic!
With this ability to feel so deep I think you could be a perfect meditator.
The best meditation is in the scenes like this when the world suddenly stops and afterwards you just don't khow if only a moment has passed or a thousand years...

You know our most famous poet Aleksander Pushkin also thought that autumn is the best season.

autumn-poem. ru/?page_id=87

I've heard that nobody can translate his poems to English.
It becomes too simple and not interesting.
The beauty of his writings is not so much in ideas but in the language itself.
peacetraveler22
Oct. 27th, 2013 05:26 pm (UTC)
I read the translation of the poem online and like this part, though something is probably lost in the English translation:

I do not like spring;
boring to me thaw stench, dirt - in the spring I am sick;
blood wanders, senses, mind restrained melancholy.
harsh winter I am more pleased,
I love it snow, in the presence of the moon
as a light toboggan run with a girlfriend fast and free,
when under the sable, keep warm and fresh,
it shakes your hand, glowing and trembling!

Yes, it perfectly describes me. :)) My favorite poet is Pablo Neruda. He was Chilean but his poetry has been translated in every language, I'm sure including Russian.
(no subject) - qi_tronic - Oct. 27th, 2013 07:22 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 27th, 2013 11:09 pm (UTC) - Expand
habarforever
Oct. 28th, 2013 11:44 am (UTC)
The fall
Hay, Shannon. Ferris Bueller's Day Off
I recall Central park in fall... Great. I realy love this season. And this fall in Moscow there were no Indian summer at all. Strange. Indian summer in Russian Бабье лето. Women`s one.
peacetraveler22
Oct. 28th, 2013 01:43 pm (UTC)
Re: The fall
Based on all your photos swimming in winter water, I believe you also like the cold! Here in Virginia it is too warm for this time of year. Still having temperatures around 23 Celsius.
Re: The fall - qi_tronic - Oct. 29th, 2013 01:14 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: The fall - peacetraveler22 - Oct. 29th, 2013 01:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: The fall - qi_tronic - Oct. 29th, 2013 02:42 pm (UTC) - Expand
nar_row
Nov. 1st, 2013 06:20 am (UTC)
"Maybe the trees are now stripped bare in Russia, with the grey skies"

In my region - yes. That's why I wait for winter. :)
It will add a little snow decorations.
peacetraveler22
Nov. 1st, 2013 02:09 pm (UTC)
Russian winter is great! I love it. :)
(no subject) - nar_row - Nov. 1st, 2013 08:40 pm (UTC) - Expand
anna_sollanna
Nov. 13th, 2013 01:09 pm (UTC)
Very beautiful trees, thank you very much! I adore autumn too! A perfect day for me is an autumn day, when you firstly go for a walk to admire colorful sceneries then return home, bake something tasty in your oven and drink tea with your pastry. And of course all of this is more pleasant to do not alone but with your partner, so I agree with you that autumn is a time when you want to love!
peacetraveler22
Nov. 13th, 2013 02:52 pm (UTC)
What do you like to bake? I make excellent cakes. :)
(no subject) - anna_sollanna - Nov. 14th, 2013 01:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - peacetraveler22 - Nov. 14th, 2013 03:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
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