by Daniel Link for Perfil
Summertime is when newspapers, which are not immune to the season, give up the pages they normally dedicate to the Real (i.e., death) in favor of the Imaginary (i.e., entertainment). For a brief period we surrender to natural cycles, climatic variations, seasonal foods and the rhythms of a single day. Such occurrences were the only possible subject of conversation back when the peasantry and the rural world still existed: life was experienced in kinship with the sound of the wind and the song of the birds; and a glimmer of lightning on the horizon might forecast doom for the entire community.
Then came cities, followed by Nations whose capacity for evil was bent on the conquest, or simply the annihilation, of nature.
Now summer is the only time in which we experience a fit of anguish or a tremor of joy in response to the Earth’s phenomena: it is in our holiday guise that we yield to our nostalgia for a lost world.
As I scribble these thoughts on the last page of the book I’m reading, seated under the willow tree I planted some years ago, a spider hidden in a nearby shrub lets a brilliant thread of saliva float out onto the air. In order for her to successfully weave her sticky trap, the thread will have to find a safe place to anchor. Will she make it? Is there enough of a breeze? Will some other animal in passing wreck the spider’s minute design, of which she knows nothing? Being in the grip of the Imaginary (the spider dreaming, the cat dreaming, all of us dreaming), her anchor might well turn out to be my summer Virgil. Like the spider I let a shining thread of imagination fly out on the wind, wondering what it might encounter. In April at the latest we’ll be shutting the house down for winter.