The Wind

A wind-beaten tree by Vincent Van Gogh



There is a wind here called the Tramuntana, which swirls down from the Pyrenees. There is no end to the wind, though there is a discernible beginning to it, that is, there have been days before the wind: Monday for the sake of argument. Or Thursday. The wind had been before, and then gone, after having stayed for an eternity, after having evoked the kinds of comments that we hear when it is around, comments that resound with the lifetimes and inherited memories of a people inundated with this mountain wind. And though we know that it will go away (or die down, or diminish, or seep into the masonry, the woodwork, the skin, the pores, the cell structure) the wind is so much an article of the present moment, of the now, that there is little sense in considering a prospective time of no-wind. Stillness is a remote memory, and cannot really be conceived of during days of wind. It spends these several days infiltrating every corner, becoming absorbed in our furniture and in our minds and bodies: it acts like a swirling incubus, growing inside each perception, every mundane act, and takes them over utterly. So that my knowledge of these crooked olive trees will change; my understanding of the cypresses become distinct; as will the silent apparition of the postwoman at the doorway, of the dead fox lying by the roadside elm, and of my own reflection in the mirror. The truth is, I feel diminished by the eventual departure of the wind. It takes a part of me with it.




3 Comments on “The Wind

  1. “A very queer thing is the wind
    I don’t know how it beginn’d
    And nobody knows where it goes,
    It is wind, it beginn’d, and it blows.”

    John Masefield


  2. Yes, well done… btw, “tramontana” also exists in Italian, and it means ‘from the sunset’ or ‘tramonto’…. there are other winds which may have a counterpart in Spanish….


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