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Friday Open Thread (with October's end)

Dear Friends,

This whole month I’ve been taking stock of what October means to me — how bright are its days, how glistening its nights — and how important it feels to dwell in the fullness of autumn before it’s gone for another year. I recall with crystalline clarity how, mid-October last year, I felt miserable with the loss and slippage of it, the mountains of work that made the year feel already over, until Stu and I set out on a roadtrip; as we drove, the sound of the Broadway cast of Hadestown intersected with the concrete beneath us and the brilliance of red and gold trees around us and something fit, unclenched, relaxed: a key slid into the lock of my feelings and opened me up to the season.

So I’ve been thinking about what works to make me feel the fall, to make me part of it, inhabiting it, while staying in place — things besides the obvious, like wandering in a golden wood or sitting around a fire, or attempting to build a treasure hunt for one’s nephew in lieu of Trick-or-Treat-ing on Halloween.

Here then, for you, are a handful of things that sink me into autumn, raked together like so many fallen leaves.


Clare Bowditch, “Autumn Bone”
Every Hadestown album (2010 concept album, NYTW cast album, Broadway cast album)
Patrick Wolf’s Wind in the Wires
Loreena McKennitt’s The Visit
Emily Portman’s The Glamoury
Iron & Wine’s Woman King


Night in the Woods


Over the Garden Wall


Hocus Pocus


Tam Lin by Pamela Dean
A Night in the Lonesome October by Roger Zelazny
Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke
Piranesi by Susanna Clarke
Through the Woods by Emily Carroll

How about you, friends? Tell me what brings you to the season most fulsomely.