Thursday, May 09, 2013

It makes you cry. Makes me cry, at any rate.

The nightingales came back yesterday; or at least yesterday, I heard them for the first time this spring. I have written about them before. They feel meaningful to me, I don't know why. I feel privileged to live in a place where I can hear them, even though I live in a city.

I don't know of a place where spring comes like it does here in the north. Nowhere do I know it to be simultaneously so delicate yet so furious. It explodes upon you; if you blink, you will miss it and it will suddenly be summer.

I debate with myself, and sometimes with other people, which is the most hideously ugly month, November or April. April? I hear you say. Oh verily, April is the cruellest month, I believe. In both, the world is grey-brown, muddy, dead, albeit in November, recently dead, and in April, still dead, and complete with piles of the dirtiest grit-covered piles of snow you would think industrial waste from some outlandish factory of the future, if you didn't know better. But what really makes the hideousness scales tip towards April – is my current opinion – is the amount of light. At least November is so dark, has so few daylight hours, you cannot really see the ugliness. April brings exposure, with its bright, white, new-born-world light.

And then, lo. Out of the ugliness, within days in May, the most heart-breaking beauty comes forth. Springs forth, yes. So delicate, so swift, so short. Is it any wonder we know the deepest melancholia, the inevitability of loss within the joy of birth?

A few years ago, I used to take photographs quite extensively, trying to document every iota of beauty I saw, so I could share it. I haven't for some time now – but perhaps I will try and dig some out, at some point, from the depths of my external hard-drive, where these documents of the beauty of life and love were banished a couple years ago when I changed computers. We'll see.

I bet you can't wait, no? But don't hold your breath.


Reading the Signs said...

Cucù, cucù,
l'aprile non c'è più.
È ritornato il maggio
al canto del cucù.

What a lovely post, Mr. Anna. Apologies for sending cuckoo instead of nightingale, but 'tis in the right spirit, I think, though it does not touch on the exquisite melancholia you refer to. I also love what you say about the still-deadness of April.

You are a talented photographer. I might just be holding my breath.

more Italian birds… said...

Ride la gazza, nera sugli aranci
- di Salvatore Quasimodo

Forse è un segno vero della vita:
intorno a me fanciulli con leggeri
moti del capo danzano in un gioco
di cadenze e di voci lungo il prato
della chiesa. Pietà della sera, ombre
riaccese sopra l'erba così verde,
bellissime nel fuoco della luna!
Memoria vi concede breve sonno;
ora, destatevi. Ecco, scroscia il pozzo
per la prima marea. Questa è l'ora:
non più mia, arsi, remoti simulacri.
E tu vento del sud forte di zàgare,
spingi la luna dove nudi dormono
fanciulli, forza il puledro sui campi
umidi d'orme di cavalle, apri
il mare, alza le nuvole dagli alberi:
già l'airone s'avanza verso l'acqua
e fiuta lento il fango tra le spine,
ride la gazza, nera sugli aranci.

Just saying, Segna vera della vita, just saying.

And thank you for bringing the lovely poem, and for the nice things you say. Holding your breath is still ill-advised, however.

My word verification here today?
Yes, really. They know stuff.