jeudi, novembre 23, 2006

Prospero never knew winter

"To see a world in a grain of sand
And Heaven in a wild flower
Hold infinity in the palm of your hand
And eternity in an hour"

- William Blake, Auguries of Innocence-

After Poe, it's my turn to dust off and re-use a Shakespeare character in a story. Remember Prince Prospero? The dude who impersonated man's tragic flaw in Shakespeare's "The Tempest"? If you don't, we'll basically he's just a guy who thought he could control fate by being more clever than death and time passing, and it's precisely what killed him.

So today I was walking back home from the bus stop and at some point I had to cross this small park. Because there is no more budget to re-build all the stuff that was broken by vandals, this park turned in the past years into some kind of blank empty space. And since all the kids from the neighbourhood progressively grew old and left for the new residential developments to have kids of their own, the park is dead silent, all day, every day. So it's some kind of mini-Sahara: an empty patch of grass in the middle of nothing but bungalows and old men raking leaves.

But today, it was special. First of all, it was the first sunny day since forever. After such a long period of rain and shitty weather, mid-afternoon sunlight hits you so violently when you go out that you feel like you're gonna have a heart attack. But it feels great after you got over the first shock. It was also one of the first real snow days. Somehow it's such a relief after a long period of dark, short cloudy days to be surrounded by white. Light therapy I guess. So basically it was a good day.

But where's Prospero in this whole story? I'm getting there, just wait.

So I was walking across this empty space half-covered with snow and the sun was still fairly high but you could already feel this kind of "well, that was a good day" feeling you get sometimes when the sun sets. And all of a sudden I noticed it: the grass. It was still there, under the snow, still dark green and yet completely frozen. As if time had stopped. As if overnight as the snow fell down, summer just stopped its course. No fall. No orange or red leaves. No Halloween, no nothing. Just green grass covered with snow. That's when I started thinking of Prospero.

I suddenly noticed the fact that the only thing that could move, the only thing that did not stop in the picture, I was surviving the immobility, the frozen time. It was such an empowering feeling to be aware that I was speed walking through a completely still and empty landscape, that it came to me that if Prince Prospero had felt this, if he had been conscious of being alive in such a clear way, attempts to win over fate and death would have become futile. He would have known that in fact, he had the course of time in the backpocket of his Levi's all along. I purposely paused for a second in the middle of the park, smiled to the soon-to-be-set sun and kept walking.

And I knew it was going to be a good winter.


Anonymous Anonyme said...

Even though I already knew pretty much what the story was about since I already rea an early version, I think this one thruly captures what you wanted to say with the story. It's more defined and clearer. An allround great story which I really personnally would love to live for myself. It's the kind of thing that happens rarely and those times that they do happen, their precious. And by the way, VERY good analogy with Prospero. Kind of a Double edge sword heh? ;)


26 novembre, 2006  

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