Perhaps one day of glorious color, one blustery downpour, and remains nothing but memories.
  • After math, there will be geography …  The etymology of words and phrases can seem strange.
  • Peak color passes quickly, as do many strong climaxes.  A furious blizzard or hurricane transitions to deep calm.  An election leaves winners and everyone else figuring out what happens next.  Soon, such moments of reflection recede.
  • How much snow has fallen, how many branches are down, how many bags of leaves must be picked up, what does this election mean for laws and taxes?  What next? Sometimes it is as trivial as picking up the detritus of foliage, sometimes there are life-changing repercussions,  sometimes the political landscape actually shifts enormously.  Making sense of what happened can take a while.
  • But mostly, after these cyclical happenings, life just adjusts and goes on.  There will be another week of peak color a year hence, other elections, more storms.  We will overlay their fresh challenges onto fading memories of past excitement.
Not the primrose path _ leaf drifts lead only to snow, ice, bitter cold, and dreams of another summer.
  • After the excitement of events, when the circus leaves town, there remain lingering changes.  The leaves are down and cannot be put back up.  The government will do things it would not otherwise have done.  I must clean up the driveway, I must endure the new regime.  I fit my life, as always, to my environment, changed as it might be.
  • Aftermaths take a while.  Leaves cling to trees in some cases well into winter.  Inertia in government guarantees that few dramatic changes will be in place until next year, if then.  Meanwhile, I must sleep, eat, and carry out the mundane business of staying alive each day.
  • That does not mean changes are not real.  Trees become bare, snow falls.  Taxes and laws change.  I enjoy each day partially in the recognition that it is unique in all time and space, and will never exactly occur again.
Fog is common this time of year, warm to cold, cold to warm, air different than water _ but always mysterious and quieting.
  • Fog is a good metaphor to illustrate aftermath.  Nothing is certain _ there may be immense upheavals or the stability of the world may return everything to “almost normal.”  As we pass through, we cannot tell, dim outlines prove deceptive.  Only when looking back, as time clears our vision, can we truly evaluate the final effect of intense events.
  • Another perfect metaphor, of course, is sex.  So much anticipation leading up to frenzied climax.  Then endorphin lethargy (which used to be accompanied by a cigarette.)  And finally _ sleep.  Followed by days exactly as days have always been all our time before.

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