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The Touch of Autumn

If I were more the engineering type, I would create a spreadsheet of my allergy symptoms, and when they are the worst, and then attempt to correlate the data when particular plants are producing pollen. Then I would know exactly what I am seasonally allergic to. (I am always allergic to fine dust. Blow off an old dusty book and I will start sneezing convulsively). Since I am not an engineer I mostly wonder about it, and notice certain changes in the ebb and flow of my allergies.

There is an ebb and flow to my allergies, with one bad period probably aligned with when ragweed is in bloom. The other severe periods I am not sure what to blame. Mid-late summer was bad with the itchy nose and snot. Earlier there was a period with itchy eyes. Sometimes my ears will itch as well. But the base line of having allergies for me is if I wake up in the middle of the night and my nose starts pouring snot. I’m not sure of pollen issues are worse then, or I just haven’t blown my nose for hours so it all builds up.

The last bout of allergies had pretty well fizzled out as the summer waned, then it rained this weekend and they were back. I woke up to the sound of rain, and my nose running. And so it has been every morning since. 5AM I had a heap of tissues from all the snot. It was like a faucet. This wouldn’t be such an issue in the middle of the day, but it is very hard to get the last hour or so of sleep when I must keep turning over and blowing my nose.

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I can feel the touch of autumn. The herald comes in the breeze, and proclaims itself in the weakening, slanting sunlight. I like the vigor of autumn, and the particular blue of the sky that comes with the sun angle. I like the color that comes in the trees. It is a comfortable time to work outside.

The bitter edge is the slipping daylight. If only I was unmoved by the darkness of winter then autumn wouldn’t have the weight of being a harbinger of dread.

When I stepped out on the porch late this afternoon and felt the wind and the sunshine I decided I had better take advantage of the weather while I could. One can’t sit on the porch writing in the middle of winter. So here I sit.

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There is a cliche that women have more emotions than men. People like the narrative, but I’m not sure it is true in the expansive way it is said. If we are going to make sweeping statements perhaps it is better to say that most men have feelings, but ignore their feelings.

For myself, I am often surprised (after the fact) but how much I see feelings influencing certain times and events which I did not acknowledge at the time, but can see clearly in retrospect. Often the observations can be mundane, but I think shed light on more meaningful events if I were to tease such out.

To illustrate the mundane: I was feeling a stewing mixture of grumpy, apprehensive, discouraged–and a whole bunch more things I am sure. I wasn’t sorting it all out today–I just dimly realized I was emotionally clenching my teeth (metaphorically speaking). And I only really became aware of this when something mildly nice, mildly encouraging, happened and all of those bad feelings became markedly better. But I didn’t even realize how much emotional weight I was carrying around until that load became lighter.

You see, I have three speaking events this week, and they are weighing on me. They always do. There are the questions about whether they will be a failure. But I know I can’t change what is going to happen so those feelings don’t help anything–what will happen will happen. So subconsciously I tell all those feelings to shut up because they aren’t helping anything.

If we want to say something sweeping maybe we can say that women are more verbal about their emotions. Such a woman might feel the emotional struggle with upcoming events, and share them with everyone. The average man may feel the very same, but has locked his emotions into his inner closet. To the outsider the woman is more “emotional” but what is being observed there is actually the woman’s verbal sharing, not necessarily a different in emotional inner content.

Feeling things strongly is one of my writing strengths. But when I realize how much my mood swings on the small eddies and currents of daily life I sometimes I wish I were as stoic as the proverbial man. It would make life easier. But, I suppose, not as rich.

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P.S. Fun as it is to write in the sun, the contrast on this laptop screen is abysmal under such glare. I couldn’t do this for long term productive writing.

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