Monday, 12 October 2009

What signs can be summoned from the rain? This week has seen the return of autumn, retrieved from its locked cupboard, stored somewhere in the recesses of last year. A tiptoeing recollection brings pleasant thoughts too: hot coffees and soft pastries in the open fronted bakeries somewhere in the north of the city; long rides home through slick piles of mulch and dense drifts of clammy, sweet leaves; the setting of the fire each morning, slow heat warning off the frosts with white briquettes and tapers of glowing paper.

So, then, what signs? Alphas and omegas tumbling through the insistent drizzle, a fluid language, no longer two dimensions, no longer a simple planed form, but in fact now of three dimensions - line, volume, chronology. Letters suddenly appear with depth, written serifs and majuscules faint into the distance and loom forward once more, taking time to expose themselves. Entire stories are written into single characters that stretch on forever.

A winter ahead. The fear sets in, even during the dry times. Occasional throes of low sun dispense with the blues for an hour or two, but then that spectacular grey Berlin cloak sets in, scattering people out from the centres into the forests, the deep secret forests that belt and bank the scowling metropolis and its thick mantel. Those not native, flee. The time has come to board trains, to queue at airports, to huddle into recesses and renew passports. An exodus presents itself to the quietening city.

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