The many faces of autumn….

Autumn Leaves, by Millais

On ‘let’s talk’ we occasionally look at the way we sense our feelings are reflected in the work of artists, poets, film-makers and writers. Creativity and mood are very closely linked and many who find no other way to express their feelings find an outlet in creative expression.

The season is now definitely changing. We have temperatures in the late ‘teens, gentle warmth still lingers and any sunlight seems to glow across the landscape in a gentler fashion than in the height of summer. But there is little doubt that dusk is coming earlier and more of us are waking up for work before the sun has risen above the horizon.

Autumn means different things to different people. Many love it – the smell of bonfires, of the earth and the ripe fruit. Others find it lowering, having a sense of things dying and of the coming end of yet another year. Those who experience Seasonal Affective Disorder (S.A.D) come to dread the lower light levels and the feeling of darkness closing in.

As we know, more than one thing can be ‘true’. We can choose ‘To Autumn’ by John Keats to enjoy the sensual pleasures of the season and revel in the ‘last oozings’ of the year. Here is a reading by actor Ben Wishaw:

Or we can approach it like  François-René de Chateaubriand in Memoires D’outre Tombe

“A moral character is attached to autumnal scenes; the leaves falling like our years, the flowers fading like our hours, the clouds fleeting like our illusions, the light diminishing like our intelligence, the sun growing colder like our affections, the rivers becoming frozen like our lives–all bear secret relations to our destinies.”

But for an expression of BOTH truths, how about the words of Edward Thomas in one of his two poems entitled ‘Digging’…

To-day I think
Only with scents, – scents dead leaves yield,
And bracken, and wild carrot’s seed,
And the square mustard field;

Odours that rise
When the spade wounds the root of tree,
Rose, currant, raspberry, or goutweed,
Rhubarb or celery;

The smoke’s smell, too,
Flowing from where a bonfire burns
The dead, the waste, the dangerous,
And all to sweetness turns.

It is enough
To smell, to crumble the dark earth,
While the robin sings over again
Sad songs of Autumn mirth.

Those ‘sad songs of autumn mirth’ are with us now. Live with them and enjoy them.

How do you approach the season? What does it mean to you? We would love to hear your views.

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By popular demand – a digest of our ‘Relationship tips of the week’

quotesFor the past three months or so The Terrace has been sharing a ‘Relationship tip of the week’ on Facebook each Friday. Short sentences of supportive words to take into the weekend, they have proved very popular so we thought a digest of tips might be useful. Perhaps you have missed one or two, or are new to our Facebook page. Or maybe you are a fan and would like to see them all together for the first time….

So – here they are. Not all of them will have meaning for you, but something will resonate and we would love to know what your feelings are as you read them. Is there a topic you would like Jane to cover? Could they be shorter? Longer? Clearer? Would you like more than one a week?  Do comment below (or better still, ‘like’ our Facebook page to comment each week) and we will be certain to take everything you say into account as we continue to offer the words for the weekend, and for life.

‘Change takes time – change needs patience, care and attention.’

‘Constant joke making and laughing can deflect from saying what you think. Reflect – what is the function of making jokes all the time. What am I avoiding saying?’

‘Forming a shared dream is a relationship maker’

‘Do I look away when I am saying something which I find difficult? Check yourself out.’

‘Am I feeling gratitude for what I do have in my relationship? If not, think of 5 gratitudes. See what difference this makes.’

‘Less is more – going on and on does not work. Figure out what you would like to say, shave it down to one ‘digestible’ sentence, then say it.’

‘Speaking loudly does not get us heard. Speaking softly but clearly gives us a better chance of being heard.’

‘Being assertive is different from being aggressive. We need to be assertive to say what we believe in.’

‘People come together through their similarities, but they grow an intimate relationship through managing their differences.’

‘Taking your time is no sin! Reflective responses can hold true meaning.’

‘If I am not saying who I am, and what I stand for, then the other cannot know me…’

‘Communicating anger is well done when you are no longer feeling it. …’

‘Notice – am I listening? Or just formulating my response? Listen, receive the information, and then see how you would like to respond.’

‘What is important is what the other hears and takes in – not what you say. Check what they have heard. It may be different from what you intended to say….’

(From Jane Gotto, UKCP Reg Psychotherapist & Founder of The Terrace)