Saturday, 5 September 2009

Music Therapy: Oh Mo Dhuthaich (Oh My Country) by Capercaille

The rim of the moon has been unevenly peeled away like a burl beneath a wood-workers plane. The clouds drift in front of it like something out of a film, dark and slow, with just enough space between them to signify a silent story being told.

A small witch hangs against my window, looking out. She is a kitchen witch but I know she prefers her current place, where she can see the buses and the people below and judge the tides based on the flights of the gulls.

I know that Halloween is coming. I can feel it expand inside me like the scent of bread when it is rising, the warm aroma of long dead grains coming back to life. Today I filled two old whisky bottles with coloured water and placed them in the windowsill. I peeled off the labels but on one I left the face and antlers of a deer. I wanted to see them glow golden when the sun was strongest.

The days are still too long to warrant lighting the candles. I will wait until I know it is time. There will be a smell in the air of dying leaves, or the earth underfoot will take on a softness that precedes winter’s stubborn hold. I will place the candles behind the bottles and lower another behind the beady eyes of the green man. Still more will sit surrounded by coloured glass, two red holders and another multi-coloured. Two hanging lanterns -one small and green and another black and hollow like a bucket, with intricate designs carved through it that cast flickering shadows on the walls.

The blackberries are coming into season, those phantom cousins of the jolly raspberry. All over Britain the apple harvest is being celebrated, and people are looking with greater longing at the heavy cheeses in their pantries.

Summer is a fleeting time, weeks when life juggles madly to do it all, to ram youth and lust in a bag together and let friction do the work. Autumn is the wry, matronly smile, that “I told you so” that judges and forgives in one instant before turning back to the stove.

The clouds have abandoned their webbed drifting before the moon and have collapsed into a single, fat line that crawls low along the horizon like a snake. The moon is an unblinking eye, part of a face so vast I will never see it, its features a collection of moving memories, of all those we have lost.

14 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sophia only you would fill a 12yr old bottle of Dalmore with coloured water!
jp x

LDWatkins said...

I saw the 'Witches' Moon' on the way home this evening, all gold and orange with the horizontal washes of black clouds with witches astride....I love your post this evening, and this time of the year is fantabulous!! Thanks!

Anonymous said...

A single malt too!
tut tut
jp

Ruth said...

Beautiful! I feel the presence of the soft season even more acutely now, thanks to your writing.

Our daughter and new husband just honeymooned in Scotland and brought back a Green Man for her dad. I think I need to know more about that guy, must be some legend/s.

Rikkij said...

Sophia- cool green antlers! You made this all so drawing, making me want to know more of what you are in this time of year. ~rick

Neil Tasker said...

What a simply beautiful piece of writing. Thank you.

Elise said...

Oh WOW, this is so clever ! You have the most gorgeous site here and I had to drop by and leave this comment for you - and say hello of course ! Your posts are lovely and you have interesting pictures. It's all perfect so thank you for sharing them all and best wishes....

Sophia said...

What a well written post. You really drew me in with the first paragraph. Looking forward to hearing what you do for autumn and all.

Jeanne said...

What a lovely post. Thank you.

Michael said...

Beautiful writing. Rich to all the senses. Completely real for me.

C.S. Perry said...

You cause me to long for the days when words would still actually come into my mind.
Some people string words together...others Write.
I guess you can figure out on which side of that line I place you.
I saw a single latern hanging in a tree over the weekend and a wind with an autumnal kiss behind it flickered the flame and threw gamboling shadows into my mind. I knew than that Halloween was near.
I was going to write about it but now I know better.

A Cuban In London said...

Oh, this is one of those thoughtful posts I like. I can feel that October fast approaching, too. Many thanks.

Greetings from London.

hele said...

sigh. reading your words makes me feel ready for enchantment.

so beautiful.

Lucy said...

A wonderful ode to Autumn, with a capital 'A'!