How one perceives the landscape depends on the weather. There are some regions that one simply cannot imagine without bright sunshine – others however appear icy and cold or windy with constantly changing skies. The Barolo region is damp and misty. The low hills, with their endless rows of grapevines on which Dolcetto, Barbera and Nebbiolo ripen, lie under an static sky from which a light drizzle falls onto the earth and bejewels the shiny bodies of the grapes with mirror-work consisting of millions of little raindrops. It smells of intensely damp earth and of fruits rotting in the soil. The atmosphere is hushed; in the distance one hears now and again an automobile that scratches like an acoustic pencil through the landscape. The impassioned cries of a couple of magpies, which seem to be perennially quarrelling over something, fade away into the depths of the hills. A clock strikes faintly, once, twice, thrice – so timid is the sound that it seems as though the clock knows not the hour it should proclaim. Those who have seen this landscape shrouded by mist can barely imagine that it can also be brilliantly suffused by sunshine – or by snow. Or, in other words: even if these hills are found basking the following day under a steel-blue sky, our heart will proceed to cover them with a veil of mist.
Does this mean that the mist comes out of the strength of our imagination? As well as the landscape itself, perhaps. If we can spread the mist over things, then we can probably also spread the sunshine. One can ask oneself why we don’t do that more often. But perhaps our soul needs the mist and the rain – as much as it requires the sun, or indeed something more.
First Publication: 20-10-2013