Monday, May 23, 2005

Idle thoughts of a driver on an excursion

The temperature reached 37 degrees last Friday, then it dropped to a more comfortable level. Thankfully, even at its highest, the heat is currently tempered by a slight but continuous breeze and cool nights. Sunday morning was bright and warm, so we set off for the beach. We drove through the dry and barren land to 'our' beach, which was truly ours this time (completely deserted, save for a string of four canoes, and their canoeists). The water was a harmonious and, almost Adriatic, translucent blue. Cold, too, so we spent little time in it. Then paper reading on the pebbles and in the sun (my nose tip, unscreened by suntan cream was done au point).

On our way back, through the empty fields and by the salt lakes (more like real salt pans, by now), a host of swallows in front of us made a number of quick low circles and then dispersed in mighty grace and speed. I immediately thought of the fiery, ever-focused, many-eyed seraphim, surrounding the throne of Mercy and singing their minimalist anthem to the One who sits on the throne. Then I realised that the image these swallows really had evoked in me was not that of a beatific vision and the transcendental seraphim: my cultural baggage is that of a child of the '80s, after all. No, the swallows were to me just an earthlier, homelier, kindlier squadron of cherubim, like those ethereally blue ones guarding the Ark of the Covenant by encircling it. In the Bible? No, in that Indiana Jones film I liked so much when I first saw it in an open-air cinema, in nineteen-eighty-whenever. Not to mention that even my seraphim are derived from Bach's Mass in B Minor and Mozart's Requiem and, primarily, Nick Cave's Mercy Seat.

Have a great week.

1 Comments:

Blogger Francis S. said...

Seraphim were always somehow Handelian for me, straight out of children's choir when I was 13: "Cherubim and seraphim harmonious join. Allelujah, Amen."

And then I read Philip Pullman, and they seemed suddenly like syophantic and scary Bush minions.

26/5/05 23:51  

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