Autumn Heals: Reflections on Moving Home, 2 Years Later

 Driving through Rensselaer County, autumn 2015

Driving through Rensselaer County, autumn 2015

Two years ago I moved back to the Albany area after spending years in NYC and beyond. I moved back for health, financial, and personal reasons, and I didn’t know what I’d expect of the area after being merely an occasional visitor for so long. In truth, the move left me feeling very lonely. I spent most of my time either with the dog, resting up in bed trying to get back on my feet, or driving through the countryside alone. It was autumn and I’d drive to orchards, buy apples and cider and donuts, and find remote cornfields or cemeteries or roadside creeks and sit and eat and contemplate. Most of my friends lived far away and I don’t always do a good job of reaching out to new people, so it was a quiet autumn, a beautiful one, with gorgeous foliage and all the time in the world to explore and re-discover the area. I look back on that time with a lot of fondness despite the powerful feelings of depression and uncertainty I felt at the time. I was not well, in a lot of ways, and I struggled, but something about having that season to myself embedded that period deep into my psyche. I feel it so much, every single autumn. It’s home, and this area really is perfect for experiencing the season between September through December, an eventful time of transition, but also one rich with solitude and reflection. A time of looking back mixed with preparations for what will come. It was also during this time I wrote some of the poems that make up my newest book, We Are All Terminal But This Exit Is Mine. The book references a lot of solitary exploration, autumn adventures, and wistful reflections, among deeper darker topics, and to have that book come out from Unknown Press in October, my favorite month, well…it just feels right. For all the sadness I’ve felt in this season, there’s goodness and peace as well. I hope this book shows that, and I hope you are able to get out and experience a little of the autumn season in the ways I’ve been able to over the years. It’s a magical healing thing, and we all deserve to be in a place like that from time to time.