Autumn Gloom

You stroll home, the warm air turning bitter, just a little, just enough to force you indoors. The sky melts into the darkness on a cold autumn evening. You open your front door, keys clattering on the kitchen counter, boots thudding on the floor. A piercing whistle from the stove, the tinker of ceramic on the counter, the pouring of hot water into your mug, steam fogging up your glasses. You take your cup of tea and sit by the windowsill, watching the sky turn black, your reflection in the window becoming more and more visible. It’s in this quiet moment that you can hear yourself think.

The past is a dream. A story we tell ourselves to save us from heartbreak, from grief. When the trees lose their life, scattering their burnt orange leaves across the ground below, we remember. There is loss in life. There is always loss. None of this is permanent. But all of it is beautiful.

  • Quartet in Autumn by Barbara Pym
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  • Things to Make and Break by May-Lan Tan

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Arrebol (n.) the red glow of the sky. Literally translated to “afterglow” or “red glow.” It is a moment caught during sunset or sunrise, when the sky illuminates in red, just as the sun peeks through the horizon. A perfect autumn moment.

  • Revolution Sunday by Wendy Guerra
  • Lights on the Sea by Miquel Reina
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon

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Han (n.) resentment, hatred, or regret. This word has no translation in English, and is characteristic of Korean culture. It is “a collective sense of bonding based on suffering and hardship,” an interior of emotions that is a state of mind as well as in the exterior of Korean society. It is longing, sadness, and hope, all at the same time.

  • Please Look After Mom by Kyung-sook Shin
  • The Interpreter by Suki Kim
  • My Son’s Girlfriend by Mi-Kyung Jung

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