My favorite time of year. Autumn.
I’ve been waiting for the feeling I got in Fall 1988 to go away – some mixture of anticipation, loneliness and yearning for something I hadn’t found yet. Nine months out of the year, I’m fine. But each late September, it creeps back into my psyche, and I’m returned to Berry College, a homesick, lonely student trying to find his place in the college and in this world.
I write about this every year, starting with my original post introducing this mix. Fall has become a ghost haunting me, but it’s a welcome ghost. These feelings – no matter how painful or sad they can be, tell me I can still feel. I am the same person I was 26 years ago, even though so much has changed – marriage, children, a mortgage, full-time job.
Fall is a time of contradictions. The leaves are beautiful but they’re dying. The birds fly over our heads, looking so graceful but reminding us that they’re getting the heck out of Dodge because it’s about to become too damn cold. It’s turning cool, but soon we’ll be miserable as we wrap up in our coats and scarfs.
The songs in this mix try to reflect the mood and those contradictions. It all started with Siouxsie and the Banshee’s “The Last Beat of My Heart,” which was playing as I prepared to go to a fall carnival in Rome, Ga., not far from Berry College, in 1988. Some have been added over the years; playlist orders have changed; but they all reflect the bittersweet feeling I get every year at this time. And yes, I cry when I listen to this playlist, partly due to sadness, but partly because I remember those feelings so well, and it was a wonderful feeling being so melodramatic at that age. I smile at my naiveté but remind myself that, really, the naiveté has never left.