Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Autumn of the Matriarch
... where can you be Manuela Sanchez of my misfortune that I came looking for you and cannot find you in this house of beggars, where is your licorice smell in this pesthole of lunch leftovers, where is your rose, where your love, release me from the dungeon of these dog doubts, he sighed, when he saw her appear at the rear door like the image of a dream reflected in the mirror of another dream wearing a dress of etamine that cost a penny a yard, her hair tied back hurriedly with a back comb, her shoes shabby, but she was the most beautiful and haughtiest woman on earth with the rose glowing in her hand, a sight so dazzling that he barely got sufficient control of himself to bow when she greeted him with her lifted head God preserve your excellency, and she sat down on the sofa opposite him, where the gush of his fetid body odor would not read her... (G. G-Marquez, Autumn of the Patriarch)
Each in their own power, autumn & matriarch, wield a brimming chalice of reverie, replete with a surplus of symbolic meanings, musty smells of first-edition books and molting leaf piles, hot throbbing bosoms that beat a lullaby of nurture and rest, scratchy confident voices full of self-neglect and the peace of death. As long as I have been child, I have been matriarch, and as long as I have been matriarch, the autumns of my life have whispered to the earth of my beginning. The womb of my origin, the red and gold ocean winds, carrying the kind of chill that penetrates marrow and siphons blood from each joint, a gale that stings each nostril with sweet cedars, hoary fires and dewy grass staving off the frost.
My heart grieves when the flames atop each tree fade from their incendiary vibrancy to an ashy yellow, declaring the end of my time and the beginning of an entombed season foreign to me. Winter scolds me like an irreverent child at the hands of a long since irascible nun who caught me playing hangman during Latin. My very birth mocks her impending quiet. To her I am but a matador, full of color and pomp, implacably swinging my red décolletage as she paces behind the gates, snorting white fog in ire until the moment she is released and her icy pursuit tests the veracity of my posture and the power behind my promenade. But, to fear winter now is to snatch breath from my blessed autumn. To berate the child or hasten the matriarch is to neglect the soul. Come today. Step forth this moment and I shall meet you in the milky unknown with hope for my now and contentment for what can only be then and even then a mystery.