17 February 2010
on Time, with Irene
Tall Pines in Georgia stands for more than trunks and needles, resin and fire-signalled seeds. It is a song. And a song can be with you anywhere without the weight of a pack slung around in turbulent flights. Songs pass the time without pages or folded corners, and bus stops reverberate splendidly in dry winter air. Crisp, clean, clear.
One morning while waiting I envisioned a man saddle a horse and cross the Blue Mountains through tall, dark pines filled with mockingbird mimicry - all the way to the Allegheny, and all for love. The same day showed me Sweet William and Lady Margaret flowering beside a bench in musical ignorance, oblivious to seasons, to sunlight. It was winter in the air, on paper and peoples' faces, but nevertheless, Tall Pines in Georgia clung to their needles white-knuckled and didn't mind being the only ones in green. They grow on.
And the song. The song stays in my head like stars in the Arctic darkness, hiding above clouds that pass by below but there all the same, all the time, light years away, and fills me with warmth. The clouds today are lithe, stretching thinly over the Barents like a furrowed field of Mama's white hair. Sometimes the earth needs a gentle covering; sometimes the stars shine too sharply. The ocean needs its islands, as much as it abuses them. And empty bus stops call out for songs from travelers' mouths, even if only in passing.
Irene on Sommerøya, Troms, Norway