Sneak Preview of Autumn

I’m extremely not used to waking up at 5:30 am to get to school by 8am for my 8:30 teaching yet. So, when I got home around noon I wound up sleeping within an hour or two and for the whole afternoon through most of both games of the Mets’ doubleheader. So, I wind up waking with only about an hour of daylight left and suddenly it seems prematurely dark and, so, quite a bit like autumn.

So, I had this swirl of nostalgia in my gut for autumns past. The fall is a time of year that has rarely been terribly good for me but for some reason I get painfully nostalgic this time of year. I actually wind up feeling a longing for past miseries of past autumns. It’s as though emotionally I remember fondly any time that I felt deeply and intensely, whether that was good or bad. I’m nostalgic for all that intensity and it fuels a new sort of miserable intensity of enjoying being alive struggling against the blackness that gets longer and longer by the day.

This is a poetic season, it’s when I wrote the most poems and when I feel the way a poet feels, like everything around you is pregnant with meaning and symbolism and pain and joy. Every mundane thing is recontextualized as a harbinger of the autumn and all it represents to me.

At bottom what does it mean to me? It means loneliness and the season that would be the sweetest not to be lonely in—and both for the same reason, the dark and the chill in Autumn are the most exhilerating and beautiful aspects of the whole year to me.

No denying choosing to listen to Bob Dylan’s Modern Times tonight was pretty much just rubbing it in for myself :)

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About Daniel Fincke

Dr. Daniel Fincke  has his PhD in philosophy from Fordham University and spent 11 years teaching in college classrooms. He wrote his dissertation on Ethics and the philosophy of Friedrich Nietzsche. On Camels With Hammers, the careful philosophy blog he writes for a popular audience, Dan argues for atheism and develops a humanistic ethical theory he calls “Empowerment Ethics”. Dan also teaches affordable, non-matriculated, video-conferencing philosophy classes on ethics, Nietzsche, historical philosophy, and philosophy for atheists that anyone around the world can sign up for. (You can learn more about Dan’s online classes here.) Dan is an APPA  (American Philosophical Practitioners Association) certified philosophical counselor who offers philosophical advice services to help people work through the philosophical aspects of their practical problems or to work out their views on philosophical issues. (You can read examples of Dan’s advice here.) Through his blogging, his online teaching, and his philosophical advice services each, Dan specializes in helping people who have recently left a religious tradition work out their constructive answers to questions of ethics, metaphysics, the meaning of life, etc. as part of their process of radical worldview change.