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Monday, October 12, 2009

You were walking smiling

On Sunday, summer suddenly bowed goodbye and retired behind the curtains. Autumn came to play a violin tune - there was no breakfast on the terrace, we didn't take the kids biking in the park either. I performed a ritual of anticlimax - removing the summer shirts from the hangers and packing them high up in the wardrobe. I did exactly the opposite so recently. Where is expectant March....

Driving back to town today I was thinking that my body and mind have to adapt to the new circumstances: the new gray light, the lack of regular biking in the morning, lunches in the kitchen instead of the sunny meadow. I even subconsciously played Leonard Cohen in the evening who is not exactly a merry influence.

Florence street in rain, 1888
Bernardo Strozzi

However, rain can be so beautiful when we adapt to it or....when we forget how wonderful the sun is. I thought of Jacque Prevert and his Barbara.

Rappelle-toi Barbara
Il pleuvait sans cesse sur Brest ce jour-là
Et tu marchais souriante
Épanouie ravie ruisselante
Sous la pluie...

...Cette pluie sage et heureuse
Sur ton visage heureux
Sur cette ville heureuse

It translates roughly:

Remember, Barbara
It rained on Brest that day
You were walking smiling
Relaxed, enchanted and dripping
Under the rain....

...this wise and happy rain
on your happy face
on this happy town....

Raindrops are beautiful on a loved face.

Autumn rain and bad weather make us turn inside to ourselves and suddenly a wall is built between us and the outside world. It reinforces the cosyness of inner spaces, it makes us fix the lights, adapt the music, take out the good books. It's good to listen to autumn rain from the bed, very early in the morning in the dark or late in the evening.

On the other hand, it is also good to venture in the rain. One gets a feeling of a mini-exploit. I remember once going to pick tomatoes almost naked under a very strong rain. Well, we had drunk things as well but I was also happy.

Rain also accelerated the rotting of fallen leaves and this gives a nice deep smell.

When it is raining outside and I am working it is also good because I don't have a feeling that I am missing something. Suddenly, work becomes so much more appealing which, most probably, is the fundamental reason for the economic success of Northern countries versus Southern countries.

But, let's not forget that spring is New Zealand.


Marianna said...

I have this strange discord: Budapest is my favorite city and autumn is my favirite season. But put them together and I feel myself cringe a bit. It is just a bit too grey and wet there come October. But I do have this very clear memory of reading in my favorite chair by the courtyard window with, here is a bizzare coincedence, Cohen CD playing in the background, the smell of coffee from across the courtyard and rain falling quietly outside. This was when I was still living in the IX ker, so some 10 years ago at least, but the feeling of the peaceful quiete and somehow contentment, is so very vivid, as if this happened yesterday. One of those small moments frozen in time. So thanks for writingy your post and bringing this back to the surface.

Ruslan said...

Dear Marianna,

What a nice comment!