It is not only in poetry and verses of music that October is present as an important moment of withdrawal. Rather, the end of summer’s splendour changes both our external and internal landscape. As Mina sings in Ballata d’autunno:
“Si gonfia di grigio il cielo (The sky swells with grey
e il suolo è già grondante di foglie. and the ground is already drenched in leaves.
Si è profumato d’autunno”. It is fragrant with autumn.)
The display of the matchless colours of the leaves readies us for the sensation of coming back down to earth; the weightless drifting downward, a sign of the transitory nature of time. The sense of our activity reaching an end seems to take on an unexpected significance.
Joining the Marcia della pace Perugia Assisi to be held on Sunday, 11 October, is one of the activities available in October 2020. In fact, it won’t be a march this year: because of Covid-19, people will stand still and form a 25-km human chain. The participants will occupy fixed spots, confined to an area of one square metre each and distancing one from the other by at least two metres. But each one will bring some kind of line to tie to that of the person on either side, linking them together.
All the other October days will be good for admiring the shades of gold, orange, yellow and brown in the scenery while we prepare ourselves for the smell of damp earth and mist.
And so, it might be a lovely time to listen to the songs of a great Italian singer, Alice, who in 2012 published Samsara, an album of unreleased songs that includes the marvelous Autunno già:
“Autunno già (Autumn already
ma perché rimpiangere un eterno sole but why miss an everlasting sun
se siamo alla ricerca della luce divina if we are seeking divine light
lontano dalla gente che sulle stagioni muore, far from the people who die over the seasons,
sulle stagioni muore.” who die over the seasons.)
Discovered by Franco Battiato and now a lovely melodic part of the Italian scene, Alice is an artist who reflects the times she lives in and expresses her own feelings. Like autumn.