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Fading Lavender on the Abyss

Cassis (France) Calanque de l’Oule
Viewpoint over the Calanque d'En-Vau
Sunday, 28 December 2014

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A herb that grows at a particularly inaccessible spot must surely be more aromatic than one that you can simply pluck out from the edge of a path. And when it is not, then it must have at least a more thrilling story. In any case the herb is certainly not conscious about the fact that it hangs over nothing in the winter air. I’m however very conscious of it. The abyss over which my feet dangle constantly sends a mild shiver up my spine, which swirls around inside my head and forces me to now and then close my left eye in a sort of cramp for a few seconds. So, on the 200 metres it’s supposed to go down – fairly vertical. From the depths a regular, barely structured swish buzzes in my ear – now and then a bird flits by with a brief pfiff. In the distance I see how the waves plunge with such force on the rocks in the water that they create swathes of spray which shiver over the water like dancers tossed around by the wind – before dissolving quite suddenly again.

If something seizes me now, a little weakness that lasts for a fraction of a second, then it is all over. That holds true also when you, for instance, cross a street – only, crossing a road is part of my daily routine; not sitting on the edge of an abyss. And what’s more, roads hardly have such a magnetic pull – here, it is as if there’s a promise in there, a temptation. I sense a great power within myself, which, at the abyss, I must resist – a voice that whispers to me: «Try it out!! Let go!» A peculiar game.

Despite the cold during this time of year the rosemary plant has plenty of little flowers: whitish, pale lilac, and faded lavender. They appear like wide-open beaks, screaming griffons – a tragic choir. Shall it praise itself – or, better still, my next ratatouille.

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First Publication: XXXXXXXXX 6-4-2014