"I don't remember my jeans."

I stood in front of the credenza where a stack of denim lies folded on the top shelf. My husband, poor man, happened to pick that moment to pass within earshot.

His raised eyebrow told me that he didn't quite know what I meant. Whatever. I did.

It happens every year--at some point in April or so, I quit wearing jeans so much and start wearing shorter versions of jeans, or more lightweight workout pants, or (gasp) dresses. And at some point in the fall, I go back to the long pants.

In the interim, I forget my jeans--the individual quirks I used to know about each pair. That one, the most comfortable pair, has a small rip near the zipper. I remember now, vaguely, that I decided in April I'd think about later.

Later is now, and now is later, and I can't worry about the times I've worn them recently without remembering that rip. I can only hope whatever else I was wearing covered it up.

Because I realized I didn't remember, I tried on all the pairs. And information came back to me. The legs on this one will fit into boots; the legs on that other pair also will but only if I take extra time to wrap them. This pair I can wear all day; this one is itchy against my skin after a morning.

I've bought new pairs, too, and am learning their strengths and limitations.

Is there a metaphor for writing in this? How well you know me! Many metaphors are possible: getting to know characters again, the ones you needed space from before you can really tell their story. Returning to a different phase in the "writing process," like drafting new work vs. revising existing drafts. Even allowing yourself to return to the yin of winter, after a yang-y summer.

As for me--I'm not quite ready to wear the flannel-lined jeans, but otherwise, I can do autumn.