The Wall

I left the road and went into the wood. The path was large and smooth. I had been told that it would lead me to a circular stonewall, the remains of a common house or a sacred ground built by one the people who had anonymously ventured into the island. Not much was left of the little colony that had settled there around four thousand years ago. A few weapons and fragments of pottery had been excavated, and were now exhibited in a little-known museum. In the wood, there was no signpost - you just had to follow the path till you bumped into this circular wall made of heavy and reddish stones. Turning on the left, I found the opening, a very large stone adorning its top. Inside, I discovered a shell carved in the heart of the forest: you could bend your back and venture into little rooms arranged all around the inner circle drawn by the rough wall. The upper ranges of stones had disappeared, but the design was reminiscent of a hut or a big igloo. One could easily imagine a kind of rounded roof, a space left on the top for letting the smoke fly towards the sky, together with the songs, the laughs or the curses that were exchanged around the fire.

I sat outside the circle, against the wall. From here, one could not distinguish the valley, so heavy was the cover of the trees on the slopes. But the space around the remains was half cleared, and I could see the evening sky. It was still intensely blue, though, from place to place, it now seemed to mirror the shades of the stones and the trunks. The moon was already present, discreet and ill at ease like a guest who arrives too early for dinner – in this second half of the month of June, the light would just not go away, and was bathing earth and sky as long as it could. It took hours before the night was night at last, ruled by a small moon crescent and by strong, vibrant stars, all of them glazing at the wall and surely also at myself, as I was now lying on my back, defiantly watching at whomever was watching me.

And then… after this long vigil, music was suddenly flowing - a rarefied music, music that emanates from the shell of silence; from the shell of the ear, from the shell of the inner rooms this wall was encircling, from the birds and the beasts of the night, from the blind wind hesitantly touching trees, grass and stones, from the earth and its bones, from my breath and the stars, from what was dark and what was not. Maybe this ground had been chosen and erected for giving pulse and vibration to the music that flows by night, to a music that was seeking for whomever will capture it and will then offer it in sacrifice to the forces from which music comes. Till the time the wall had been erected, the ground had been the meter and the diapason through which sounds and rhythms were finding their shape and master, and were, night after night, spelling the sentence that all things were meant to utter and repeat in new and endless variations. The harp now was resonating faintly, but to the one who would apply his ear against stones and earth the sentence was still audible, as clear as the stars in the cloudless night.

And I finally closed my eyes, not looking anymore at who was watching over me, and not even conscious that I had become one with the silence running under my voice – one with the voice hidden in the silence I was reaching.

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