Friday, 13 April 2012

Soave sia il vento

I could not sleep last night, my mind migrating the waves and mountains of this complicatedly simple world. I set my iPod to shuffle and tried to doze. As I half-slept the sublime, arresting strains of Soave sia il vento brought me back to consciousness. The women pour their sadness at their suitors' feigned departure into prayers for their safe return. May the wind be gentle, may the wave be calm, may all the elements submit to our desires.

This month sees many journeys, among my friends. Friends feathered and featherless. I lie in bed with all these journeys in my mind. Some friends will sit in planes, crossing the Atlantic in both directions. In Asia the moaning bar-headed geese that studded India's lowlands are soon to cross the mighty mountains of Himalaya. In my once-home in Bolivia, vermillion flycatchers start to appear in the garden no doubt, fleeing the coming cold of the Southern Cone. Here, at the tipping point of spring, we wait for reed warblers, tree pipits and nightingales, winging through the night, surfing the stars, knowing the pull of the earth. It's silly, I know, but every tiny corpse which falls in the vastness of the Saharan nothing or in the salty Mediterranean pains me.

Soave sia il vento. May the wind be kind.

Soave sia il vento
Tranquilla sia l'onda
Ed ogni elemento
Benigno risponda
Ai nostri desir.

Lorenzo Da Ponte and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Così fan tutte

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