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Ann Duvall


Something in the air leaves an impression

There is something in the air and I can feel it calling tonight. An evening of despair, or despondence, a shift as autumn prepares to call it quits. A carpet of leaves will lose life, wilt, and give way to the winds knocking down whatever solemnity is left. But don’t be fooled. There is a compassionate sacrificial dance at play honoring those leaves that contribute to our very existence, as they are to be recycled into the earth gently stoking a fire within.

Fanning the flames within to prepare for winter’s treasures through an acceptance of this mild melancholy without judgment, possibly even yielding to it, can be a welcome slowing down. I remember the day before I moved from my makeshift space in the corner of the basement into my real writing room upstairs. My heart was bursting with anticipation, as it felt larger than anything I had ever done. French violet walls everywhere, even in the closet. I wondered what shades of blue I would mix there. Blues that soothe. Blues that sadden. Fourteen years later and my journal still tells these stories, and some days senseless script says it all. It is on those days I know to light a candle to clear the fog amidst the shortening of these days so I can see what really matters.

We might contract a bit defensively at the air around us, blunting the potential to expand towards transparency, but through the miracle of deepening the breath we can heighten our experience towards clarity. What is the air quality around you? Is it clear or obscure? Can you expand that dense mentally contrived shortened breath from something that has been compulsory to a gentle soothing active in-breath, the kind with that slow deep even quality?

Let the breath sharpen your perceptions and gently release what no longer belongs, expelling naturally, a gray like smoke to be replaced with white clear mist-like light. Notice what is all around and inside of you. Awaken to the dance of never ending gracious movement, witness dusk sharing the sky with night, and night giving way to dawn.

Breathing in now I see the blue sky, a blue you ache for, the trees respond exhaling chlorophyll green and all I need to do is pluck from them. I can taste it. It all becomes me. I become it in this place where all the worries of the world are truncated and leaves leave a lasting impression.

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Ann Duvall

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