25 June 2006


Every once in a while my job demands that I travel abroad; sometimes down to the southern hemisphere, to this island on the Indian Ocean. It is often one week or two weeks, depends, but regardless it always messes up with my inner compass rose. When I return I am never the same exact person, whomever that is, at least for a little while – like something you lose or gain along the way of unnatural miles travelled. It is not like the cycling way or the walking way where you tick off the miles tenderly. It is not like that at all. It’s a huge flash – most unnatural – where you stop doing what you do in a routine way and start anew on something else. I dislike it very much. It makes me abandon things –this all encompassing way of using my time for nothing else but work.

So it’s a pleasure to return from the beginning of winter to the beginning of summer – to return and pick up the bike and curse my way up the hills. That zero summer. So lovely.

Midwinter spring is its own season
Sempiternal though sodden towards sundown,
Suspended in time, between pole and tropic.
When the short day is brightest, with frost and fire,
The brief sun flames the ice, on pond and ditches,
In windless cold that is the heart's heat,
Reflecting in a watery mirror
A glare that is blindness in the early afternoon.
And glow more intense than blaze of branch, or brazier,
Stirs the dumb spirit: no wind, but pentecostal fire
In the dark time of the year. Between melting and freezing
The soul's sap quivers. There is no earth smell
Or smell of living thing. This is the spring time
But not in time's covenant. Now the hedgerow
Is blanched for an hour with transitory blossom
Of snow, a bloom more sudden
Than that of summer, neither budding nor fading,
Not in the scheme of generation.
Where is the summer, the unimaginable
Zero summer?

T.S. Eliot