[ 00:31 wednesday 3 may – punta u brunzu, stromboli ]
this is one of my favourite places in the world, though i don’t think i’ve ever written from here before. i’m sitting cross-legged on the corner of the helipad at punta u brunzu, a hundred metres above the sea at the northernmost tip of the island.
walking along the mule track to get here there’s a powerful sense of leaving the settlement behind, entering the wilder presence of the mountain. from here you see no houses, no lights. humanity feels far away.
all around me the bamboo rustles in the warm breeze. above me the inky sky is splashed with a million stars and a few wisps of cloud. behind me the sea stretches mysterious to the dark horizon. nesting gulls grumble on the cliff below. and dominating the scene, in front of me, rises the triangular silhouette of the volcano with its scar of bright fire on the right side of the apex.
it doesn’t matter how many times i sit here watching it, i still feel the same sense of incredulity and awe i felt the very first time. tonight it’s more active than i’ve ever seen it before. one crater is in continuous eruption, emitting a pulsing fan of lava. two of the other craters follow a more typical pattern, blasting out a jet of lava a hundred metres high every ten or fifteen minutes.
during the two years i lived on stromboli i came up here every week or so. when michael died i lit a catholic funerary candle here on the corner of the helipad and sat with it through the night. all my hopes and fears have been brought here over the years. my eyes have seen a thousand shooting stars. here everything is in proportion.
i watch as the final tip of the crescent moon sinks reddish beneath the horizon.
: c :