Of my childhood summers the memory of only one flower has remained in my mind: pigeon coop bladder campion, I learned years later, is its name. Silene vulgaris is a plant that seems to belong to another time, not to an ancient or olden time like the Silenos, after which it is named, but simply to a time when flowers had other forms and other colours. The pale and brownish stained lilac-blue of the cup appears outmoded, like the bell forms or the frivolous tassels on the rim of the cup. Its inflated vein-net looks similar to the skin of an aged or a particularly fine-skinned person. And the movement of the plant in the wind appears as though it is holding something inside itself. The outmoded look of the pigeon coop bladder campion had grabbed my attention even when I was a child. In a peculiar way, in my imagination, this flower is representative of not just the summers that I have experienced, but of all the summers that have gone before: of the summers of, as it were, my parents, grandparents, and the rest of my ancestors.
My own childhood summers now seem to me like a hazy dream, and they merge with the summers of my ancestors to form a diffused, shimmering, and vibrating summer picture – and, in here, I find it quite difficult at times to tell the difference between myself and my ancestors.
First Publication: 16-7-2013