The Embers

Hello everyone and anyone. I’m getting lost in October in the thick of the Embers: September, November and December. Why is there no Octember? I’m calling it! This blog post may be deemed Octember as a commemorative fusion of this month to the last. I also want to give a shout out to that dastardly Mercury Retrograde. Well played, well played. That one was a doozie. I am shook.

So if you have had major disruptions in relationships or communication, and an extreme unforetold ushering out of vital sustenance in your life, one could blame it on that. I tell you I don’t generally put too much stock in the stars but when I caught a blip on my radar foretelling such things I could have never imagined the Universe would wipe what it did off my chess board. Don’t even get me started on hurricane Season.
So here we are. I got nothing at this juncture but Autumn ramblings to occupy space and time and a pictorial presentation. Distraction is greatly needed. Speaking of chessboards, I have not yet watched The Queen’s Gambit. However, it was brought to my attention yesterday, that The Queen’s Gambit is part of an aesthetic (also very much associated with Autumn) called “Dark Academia.” So THAT is the thing I have been feeling all these years that I could not quite explain!

So, if you have also had this yearning nostalgia for old libraries, dusty volumes, endless corridors, secret passageways, all things Hogwarts, fall leaves, plaid skirts, Ivy League or Oxford aesthetic, New England fall, Old Salem, Stars Hollow, or Dead Poets Society then “Dark Academia” may also be for you.
It’s hopeless. I should write an ad, “Do you suffer from Dark academia? Side effects may include poetry recitals by candlelight, endless choir practice, flying owls, ghostly howls in the night, and frequent outbursts of, “Oh Captain, my Captain!”

I admit, my dark Academia has been a little more restrained. A lot less like Jude sitting in a pub staring at his own reflection, or Mr. Toad’s Great Adventure with Rory Gilmore, or a bunch of frat boys singing, “I Get by with a Little Help From my Friends.” (Insert golf ball in mouth here). So I researched Dark academia further and how it is rooted in Classicism, tradition, oppression, and historical or religious cannons primarily ruled by old white dudes carrying yard sticks sporting seeing eye spectacles. Downer.
The truth of it is my Autumn has been more along the lines of retail Barnes and Noble than Historical library. I wear the Autumn colors but not a smidgeon of plaid in sight. I am the crazy lady on the street who decorated for Halloween far too early and the most exotic beverage I have consumed not requiring a steam press, exotic spice of any kind, any frothy milks, or a grinder has been an Orange Cream Olly Pop.

A friend and I did get a little crazy and tried a lemon lavender ice cream sandwich. I think I also bought one jug of pulpy pureed apple cider for the Autumnal season.
I try to live my best life. So, another friend and I met a few weeks ago for an afternoon adventure to check out an old church turned antique store that used to house a woman I knew who claimed to have had an near death experience and was visited by angels. My friend about knocked over this heavy wooden corn manger and we sniffed all the soaps under the rafters. We just weren’t feeling it so we went to the gas station bought some Coca Colas, some Caramellos, a Whatchamacallit, and headed to the cemetery. We put a Caramello and a Coca Cola on our friend’s grave then continued to talk and laugh our asses off way into the golden hour on a Thursday. I don’t know if the dead appreciated it, were appalled by it, or were just plain dead.
Little to my knowledge, my companion and friend friend Jess had parents who owned a pumpkin patch just northeast of us in Highland. So, near dusk we went and picked a few pumpkins and Jess’s mom handed us old Ice cream buckets, and ordered us to go pick some raspberries. I left that pumpkin patch with stained fingers, a bucket full of raspberries and gords that looked like large chestnuts, I thought to myself, “My god (gord) I love Septembers.”

My friend Jess sent me a text message a week later, telling me that I reminded her of Ms. Wardwell on The Amazing Adventures of Sabrina (She is so Zelda) and why wouldn’t a future embalmer with family in the Mortuary business have a certain affiliation for the show? So here’s to having eccentric non-boring friends. I couldn’t make that up if I tried. For the record, I do have a moon face with a pointy chin, but I am a far cry from Ms. Wardwell.

I can be a regular bookish nerd at times. My husband has been out of town for weeks. So, I have passed my days buying mums for myself, lighting fall candles, watching The Amazing Adventures of Sabrina to pass the time. and I bought some Neil Gaiman books and House of Spirits at Barnes and Noble. I Etsy shopped a black shawl with gleaming stars, bought some crescent earrings to accentuate my moon chin, and just allowed my inner witch to just hang out.

You know…The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina is quite dark. At one point, I questioned my own moral in watching it and I made a decision. Without holding space for the dark, how can I uphold the light? That darkness needs a container. One that I fashion into merriment because death, dying, sickness, hurricanes, pestilence, loneliness, anguish, or whatever else there may be, is not going anywhere. I need to sit with it all and be comfortable. Ignoring it is not the answer.

So my Octember has been a far cry from classical Dark Academia, but it has been mine. Irrevocably irreverent to some, but sensibly healing for me and Mercury conspired. Whatever needs to go is going, and whatever needs to stay shall stay. I was recently blind sided by the exits of two essential characters in my life. Emphasis on ESSENTIAL. In the foreshadowing of change, I could not have fathomed this separation of paths I could not have traversed without them. I don’t know if it’s goodbye forever, until later, greener pastures and new opportunities for them, me, or both. I just have to trust that the universe has its reasons and have faith that the path of least resistance is best when the Universe throws down hard, even when it’s ever so uncomfortable and I am in denial of the truth of it.

In essence, they were two very hard send-offs for me and I am wondering where now from here. Perhaps that is the darkness in my Autumnal Dark Academia. Sitting with this crater the universe has left behind and now wondering what to do with it. How now shall I fill these empty spaces? I’ve been here before. It’s always something, and that answer my friend surely lies somewhere in the remaining Embers.
Until next post!
Rachelle Whiting

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