SANTERRE SAYS

By Jason Santerre, Editor

The Kick of Creation

Autumn is for self-expression and creative outlets

With all the glum faces held up by bodies sulking through the city, you’d think summer was gone for good. Summer, to some degree of heat and duration, will be back. I promise.

Too bad autumn couldn’t last from now until May. I know. Blasphemy! But there it is. I love everything about the season.

Wait a second, you say. Writing about autumn is sentimental and trite.

I agree. Who can care about foliage when there’s so much corruption, hate, and needless suffering destroying the daily lives of people both near and far?

This is not a space for socio-economic discussion. I’ll leave that to the pundits. As the editor of Montréal enSanté magazine, my mandate is to provide Montrealers with information that might help heal bodies and minds.

Autumn is my secret weapon against tyranny. The season soothes my soul. It inspires. I write more. I walk everywhere. My senses zing. Maybe I’ll see something beautiful to photograph. Maybe not. At least I have that creative outlet, a chance to cleanse through self-expression.

The citizens of Santa Fe, New Mexico understand. Every autumn they cast off the hardships of the past year by burning Zozobra, a massive wood-and-cloth marionette symbolizing “old man gloom.” Over the course of 200 years, townsfolk spend 12 months building an effigy only to reduce it to ash in an evening. A year’s worth of stress and worry goes up and away in smoke.

I’m not suggesting anyone burn puppets in their backyard, but maybe it’s time to invent an autumn tradition to call your own. Create (or destroy) something. Mark the harvest, the kids going back to school, that new exercise regime. Get reacquainted with nature.

The days are cooler but there’s no better time to head into the wilds. The bugs are exhausted. The light is golden and the colours pop. It’s a photographer’s daydream. Multi-hued leaves practically beg to be painted. And there’s a poem behind that ancient tree, beneath those pebbles by the river’s edge.

Move in the light. When darkness comes, turn inward and express whatever’s in your heart. Don’t take my word for it. Take a cue from the best author never to win a Pulitzer Prize in fiction, Kurt Vonnegut:

Nobody will stop you from creating. Do it tonight. Do it tomorrow. That is the way to make your soul grow – whether there is a market for it or not. The kick of creation is the act of creating, not anything that happens afterward. Before you go to bed, write a four-line poem. Make it as good as you can. Don’t show it to anybody. Put it where nobody will find it. And you will discover that you have your reward.

 

Fall 2017, Vol 9 N°4

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Fall 2017
Vol 9 N°4

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