Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Invocation for a Most Beloved Month

This envoi to Ray Bradbury’s re-purposed Dark Carnival is one of the greatest, most evocative pieces of writing ever, hands down:


OCTOBER COUNTRY
...that country where it is always
turning late in the year. That country
where the hills are fog and the rivers
are mist; where noons go quickly, dusks
and twilights linger, and midnights stay.
That country composed in the main of
cellars, sub-cellars, coal-bin, closets, attics,
and pantries faced away from the sun.
That country whose people are autumn 
people, thinking only autumn thoughts.
Whose people passing at night on the 
empty walks sound like rain....


Welcome, October, when the afternoon sun shines golden and elegiac like no other time of the year. T
he sky turns a lonelier shade of blue, the sunset a red-orange blaze without heat. The evening air is seasoned with woodsmoke, the smell of cold. There’s an icy sharpness to the stars as they sparkle in a darker, deeper kind of night, steeped in a mystery summer can never know.

That is, if you live in a reasonable climate.


Welcome, October.


Painting by Joe Mugnaini from the early 1970s paperback edition of Ray Bradbury’s The October  Country. Hauntingly beautiful—and flat-out haunting, as befits the stories within.