Melancholy is

I am finally here in Russia. The leaves have suddenly turned gold within the last few days. I walk through the park, and beyond, the trees stretch the farthest of distances until all their leaves merge with the sky, creating the panorama of a perfect Fall dusk.

A friend wrote about how much I loved Chopin when I was in high school. I did, and I listened to his etudes and nocturnes with more attachment than was probably healthy for someone my age. But I think that it was because Chopin designed, for me, the nostalgia of lost love and of things that, while in reality are far from reach, in our imaginations are as vivid as a pulse.

The only times I've felt real melancholy were in listening to Chopin and in reading J.C. Oates. The Garden of Earthly Delights was my first novel by her. The novel embodies that tenderly painful melancholy of late summers spent wondering and wandering. The character fell in love with the wrong man and though she married the correct one, she still suffered for it in the end. And I thought: "Is that the type of mother I'll have to be?" since I, too, fell in love with the wrong man--twice. I imagined her--I forget her name--in black Chanel suits and elegant pumps with gentle, glove-covered hands, leading her young son around the city. And I swore, that that could have been me.

Chopin created the music for this type of life--the life of subtle melancholy and of tired, glimmering rooftops in the summer sunsets; of the post-rain scent of fresh soil and the vision of dampened streets and glowing street lamps.

I find melancholy in heavy summer dusks and evenings when the setting sun licks the sky a bruised pink and orange, and when the scent of Jasmines and Orange blossoms dance to the orchestra of crickets. During moments such as these, I hear Chopin and I talk with Oates' characters.

aeka at 12:23 p.m.