s o l s t i c e

[ 23:57 tuesday – shipton street ]

the final minutes of the solstice. i sat on the roof watching the moon materialise, huge and yellow, from liquid wisps of cloud. in london the past few days have been sweltering. there is a feeling of being somewhere else, a thrilling sense of danger and possibility on the midnight streets.

one month and a half ago i was on stromboli. the words i wrote have remained unsent. perhaps i was shaken by the strength of my feelings to be there.

[ 16:00 friday 6 may – piscita, isola di stromboli ]

these are beautiful days stolen from the prevailing madness. i arrived here last sunday and tomorrow i depart. almost a year has passed since my previous time on stromboli. for the first four days the island was enveloped in a magical stillness. scarcely a ripple on the purple water. the air saturated with the sun’s silent bombardment. the ground exploding with foliage and blossoms, raised high up the volcano by the winter’s exceptional rains.

i have spent many hours alone, motionless against the black rock or slicing through the soft water. not thinking. just sensing, absorbing, knowing. the rest of my time i have been with my friends.

immediately on arrival i was enmeshed as if i had never been away. it was a homecoming, a feeling that a place in the fabric of the community had been kept open for me. during the months in london perhaps i forgot how much i love these people and how vividly alive i feel when i am amongst them. my friends in london are no less dear to me but the complex inter-connection of a community is absent and i am diminished by its absence.

today the weather changed.  the wind rose and swung to the north-west sending windows and doors banging. thunder menaced from the horizon. fat drops of rain introduced a deluge. the sea rose and started throwing grey waves at the shore. the island shows a different mood as i return to london. what does it mean for me?

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