AUTUMN AFTERNOON

By William Markiewicz

Autumn
(Autumn -- oil on burlap -- WM)

On a beautiful fall afternoon I walked through a lane where the long shadows created a composition with the golden subdued light. There was a feeling of silence in the air; the strange surreal beauty of autumn, so distinct from what spring and winter have to offer. The beauty of winter gives a feeling more of a beautiful still life than of landscape, because there is no life in winter, only resistance to death.

Debussy perfectly expressed autumn's beauty in "The Afternoon of a Faun." For youth death doesn't exist. In "Afternoon of a Faun" Debussy initiates dialogue between life and death, serenity and anguish, as in a beautiful fall afternoon. Debussy's "Afternoon" is anthropomorphic and universal; in youth you're an entity while in the "afternoon" you become an equation between darkness and what still remains of lightness. It's like the "swan song", beautiful for the listener, but despairing from the swan's point of view because it announces the end.

When you're young and full of spring you perceive and admire the somber drama of the fall and winter. But when the fall/winter penetrates you, you perceive no beauty but sadness, which through your talent, like Debussy, you transform eventually into a message of beauty with the last vestiges of energy, of the light-life remaining in you.

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