The Consecration of Spring

(Original em Português abaixo)

The season, once again, inspired his writing. A piece by Stravinsky, picturing an ancient pagan ritual, was elected to title his story - which could equally have been named "All the world's clichés": he experienced, at the time, a collection of all phrases he had been collecting since his youth. Torn between the two possibilities, and unsatisfied with titles spanning multiple lines, the image and symbolism of Springtime baptised the text.
- - -
The boy, who once believed to have understood the secrets of life by watching stones that wept motionlessly alone, but now understood, in all its strength, the distinction between knowing the path and walking down it, had slept little, being troubled with foolish concerns, foolish for he knew they would not be solved through his restless thoughts. He struggled not to focus his concentration on these troubles, and so, as one who, in the hope of falling asleep, remains awake precisely due to the perception of still being conscious, failed in his attempts by the very perseverance of his efforts.

His therapy, and the only which seemed to make any effect in light of the circumstances, was to ride his bicycle - and he found in the situation surrounding him the best motivation to devote himself to hard training sessions. That first day after the equinox, marking the beginning of the new season, he rode directly against the stiff northerly winds - and, despite its resistance, felt light, almost as if propelled, perhaps by the sun warmly shining on his back, or by the odours emanating from the fields, still fresh from the previous day's rain. He rejoiced the course he was about to tackle - the climb up the mountain of the Fire Stone Castle, an ascent, not particularly long or steep, but having some elements - the twisting hairpins, the section across a small village or through a forest, the view from the top - which reminded him of other climbs, popularised by the French mystic of the twenty-three days in July, whose glamour he had glimpsed when riding them, almost seven years ago. Dancing on the pedals, he was sent back to that period, where, climbing those very mountains, he knew no limits to his two-wheeled ambitions. Brought back to his current state by the lactic acid burning in his legs, sweating and breathing heavily, but with mind and soul clear as few times before, he decided to go for broke and invest in a new quest after those long-forgotten dreams.
- - -
Almost a week later, on the eve of the month of April, leaving his Institute's campus heading towards the parking lot, he was euphoric - and equally perplexed, for he knew not the reason to his euphoria.

The training sessions that week, and his performance in the first race of the season, had been good, but the numbers were nothing spectacular, and his placement, especially given the magnitude of his sporting goals, was not nearly as impressive as he would have expected.

Equally, the latest meeting with his adviser could have been described as productive, but he definitively had had better and more inspiring ones; even his attempt to gain support for attending an overseas conference had been met with only moderate enthusiasm, and he persisted with that partially cynical look towards the importance of his results, which he did not yet know how to fit in the context of those plans and ideals that had motivated him, years ago, to follow down the Thin Grad Line. Nevertheless, making sure that he had positive feelings about his academic developments, he concluded he was satisfied about them, but knew at the same time that the origin of his present state of mind was not to be found in his work.

He also believed that source was not to be found in the - even if far from being troubled, still highly delicate and very much peculiar - beginning of a new relationship. The situation surrounding it, and all its implications, he did not fully understand; and despite some promising signs, there were no assurances, and this was perhaps the only certainty that he took after extensively deliberating on the matter - the absence of absolutes, almost as if a requirement for love, or, on a more fundamental level - if something can ever be described as more fundamental than love - for one's whole being, to be experienced in its full extent.

Still walking towards the parking lot, he observed the beautiful sunset of that spring day - and remembering that he had trained on the inside, and so failed to improve his cycling tan, imagined this was not the reason for his unlimited joy. Heading home after shopping for groceries, he made plans for a romantic date with the revision of an absolutely unimpressive research article intended to be submitted in the coming days - and so, or even so, in complete absence of any indication that justified such, he had the sensation of being the owner of the world, or something very close to it, and felt fantastically well. He briefly recorded his thoughts and feelings in a quick note, and perceived himself to be happy, and did not understand why, but still yearned for comprehension.

He then remembered that, for one unable to listen to the music, those dancing were deemed to be insane. He smiled, and danced to the melody which, inaudibly, made up the soundtrack of his journey.
- - -
He got to work on a Friday morning, where milder temperatures, contrasted with the warm summer evening experienced the day before, reminded him that spring was really just in its infancy. Greeting his colleagues, he entered his office and prepared himself a coffee (the cappuccino, he insisted, was the best north of the Danube). Tasting it, the sweet and now lukewarm milk contrasting the bitterness of the espresso, he contemplated the season, and all the metaphors represented by its unfolding. He was aware the epilogue did not symbolise necessarily an ending. Time was still passing, the wind outside still blowing, and the waters unendingly flowing - but, paradoxically, remembering that the journey was his destination, he concluded, filled with joy, he was continuously arriving.

1 comment:

Lesma said...

Ricky, write more of this. I love reading your blog :).