I’ve gotten used to hearing people (myself included) kvetch, annually, about how autumn came and went in a flash. Well, you won’t hear any kvetching from me this year: It has been a true, gorgeous fall, and I love the season’s thrum of activity. There’s so much going on: Readings, book launches, art openings, and, for me, anyway, evidently no end of whiskey tastings.
In truth, I’m bewildered by my own productivity, because I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, a workaholic. Left to my own devices, I have a powerful indolent streak of which I have long since ceased to feel ashamed. Unlike, say, Shirley MacLaine and General George S. Patton, I do not believe in past lives, but if such things were possible, I like to envision a past life for myself as, perhaps, a very minor Persian court poet, lolling about in a lush, rose-perfumed garden, eating from an endless supply of dates and pomegranates, discreetly drinking wine, reading and thinking about the works of better poets, eavesdropping on palace intrigues, and, only when pressed, hastily hammering out a ghazal.
But lately I’ve had plenty of work to do, and I couldn’t appreciate the opportunities more. I was moved by the response to my “Drink” column this month, a tribute to my late husband, Frank. I was lucky to get to contribute two pieces to the The New York Times Magazine’s terrific Food & Drink issue. And, out there in public, away from my desk, I got to pay tribute to Kingsley Amis at a great event at Housing Works, and read with a host of other drink writers in the drink.think reading series.
And next week, I’ve got this event happening at The Algonquin. I’ll be reading a few short selections from Drinking With Men, and shaking up some cocktails. It’s part of the “Penguin Previews at the Round Table” series, and I’m beyond excited about it.
Maybe I’ll see you there. Until then, here’s a curious little autumn poem by Emily Brontë. I like it very much.
Fall, Leaves, Fall
Fall, leaves, fall; die, flowers, away;
Lengthen night and shorten day;
Every leaf speaks bliss to me
Fluttering from the autumn tree.
I shall smile when wreaths of snow
Blossom where the rose should grow;
I shall sing when night’s decay
Ushers in a drearier day.