Fall is like an Old Man with a Pipe.

Exhaling and gazing slantwardly up at the corner of the room, obviously in reminiscence and less because he cares about the cobwebs that are there. Each puff is a breath, but one of cleansing. That’s how fall is. Of course I didn’t come up with this image myself. Rainier Rilke did. In Letters on Cezanne.

“At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honeysweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself, darkness, something of the grave almost.” 

Autumn in Montana is something of the gods.  We are entering my favorite sweater and cocoa season, but not quite yet. All the colors are my favorite ones. Rust, ombre, sienna, deep maroons and fading greens. Every wind that blows smells and tastes somewhat crisp–like the apples that sit like globes on trees all around. There’s a tumultuous battle between summer’s heat and winter’s chilling, biting cold. It’s a grave reminder, really. To me, seasons remind me of deeper issues in the world. Issues involving humanity and introspection. If you’ve ever read Letters on Cezanne, you’d know that the artwork of French master Cezanne did the same thing for Rilke. Just as Rilke viewed Cezanne’s artwork daily for a period, many people (especially here) view nature daily in order to achieve some sort of emotional transformation. Or transportation. Whatever. It’s really beautiful how that happens, I think. Something godly.

Dare I say transcendental? 

But I will still maintain that Fall is like an Old Man with a Pipe. For some reason, that image reminds me of the great transcendentalists themselves. Can you picture it?

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Photos by Anna Riedel from Rocky Mountain School of Photography


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