I must remember…


I Must Remember (24cms x 20cms ink and watercolour 2016)

When I was younger no-one talked of seasonal affective disorder: a cynic would say that giving something a name enables someone to sell you something to alleviate it. Whether it is real or just a way to pharmaceuticalise that feeling that winter may never end, it is the case that many of us endure winter rather than enjoy it.

Where I live, with its typical northern European sea climate, the peaks and troughs of the seasons are somewhat levelled, but when I was growing up in the north of England and later, living in the south of Germany, the seasons were more clear cut.

And winter brings its own rewards. What could be better than a crisp morning with the frost on the grass and a thin mist hanging in the trees; or that peculiar silence when you wake to discover that it has snowed overnight; or even a cold and rainy Saturday afternoon with a log fire and a DVD of The Big Country or that book you’ve been meaning to read?

I saw these cobnuts and thought their papery husks would lend themselves to the looser approach to still life painting that I’m trying to develop. The words, taken from The Thrush by Edward Thomas:

I must remember

What died in April

And consider what will be born

Of a fair November

actually refer to memory, language and perception, but could easily be a call to mindfulness, to living in the moment, to appreciating the seasons as they arrive with their gains and losses. After all, what else is there to do?



25 thoughts on “I must remember…

  1. Every season can be beautiful and anutumn colors are hard to beat in my eyes:-)
    The only thing I really don’t like is leaving home in the dark in the morning and returning home when it is dark again in the evening…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. wonderful! those drawings are so filled with the mood and inflection of autumn – lovely 🙂 also, I liked your statement about the ‘cynic’ … someone I know is very much like that with any medical condition not a “fracture” LOL Cheers, Debi

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Michael, this whole piece is inspiring. I love your painting – the autumn colors, the way you wove the poem around the cobnuts (I live in the US and have no idea what a cobnut is). And the writing – I particularly like the paragraph about the rewards of winter. Your details evoked memories for me. I appreciate the two interpretations of the poem. This post is a delight to the eyes and the heart.


    • Thank you, LuAnne, on all counts. It was a joy how it all came together: the nuts, the painting (I’d already done the under-painting), and then finding the poem. I thought that if anyone wrote interestingly about Autumn it would be Edward Thomas, and this is what I found. I’m glad it spoke to you.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Though I may need a pill to alleviate my “izationation” of “pharmaceuticalise,” this post is a wonderful call to slowness, to mindfulness, to something my spiritual director has been reminding me of for some time. “Slow. Down.” For when I slow down, there is always something near me or within to be amazed by and lift my spirits.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’ve just been catching up on all your recent posts. I just wanted to say that I haven’t had any notifications from WordPress about blogs i follow for three months and I’ve been too busy to register that fact. Really sorry I’ve missed so much of your inspiring work and words!

    Liked by 1 person

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