books · faith · fall · · seasons

The Dying Season

“The Garden of Earthly Delights” (the “Millennium”)  Hieronymus Bosch

About ten years ago I discovered and fell in love with the literature of Flannery O’Connor. Her form of horror let me experience the cathartic nature of the grotesque (and literature’s role in purging), and how grappling with evil is an intricate part of the journey of faith. Often times I believe horror to be deeply and honestly religious. Confronting my own evil is what it is all about, and this is horrifying. Literature by O’Connor, Twain, Poe, King, and the like make good people nervous.  It’s hard to accept that ordinary people do evil things, I do evil things. That is what should scare me the most….not the Other, the delusion that evil exists in the Other and not in me. Every year about this time I revisit Flannery…I love her writing.  

 Autumn is a time of year when the themes of death surround. Grey rainy skies, cold dark nights, bare branches on trees, leaves falling purple, yellow, orange, and red, and gusts of chilly wind.  It’s beautiful…this dying season.  It is the perfect time of year to be frightened, a little unnerved.  And yet there is a peaceful quality to autumn that reassures me that death has no sting…Pascha, death has passed us over. 

Halloween brings out all of my ghosts..the things that haunt me.  Fear is a wonderful gift, a purging gift.  I would not want to live in this fallen world without fear.  A fallen man without fear is a monster.

For a good autumn read try:
A Good Man is Hard to Find
Wise Blood 


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