Last night at sunset, a big chill, dark red clouds to the west. And the half moon, above the black cypress trees to the right, silhouetted against the fire of the dying sun.
Below Bellosguardo, that silent little wall where sometimes a black cat walks, and to the left you can see the snow on the mountains, and, below, the city of the old enemy, Fiesole….
We go up towards Marignolle, and Marco recites to me the verses of the mad poet, Dino Campana:
To the ghostly garden of mute laurels
To the green garlands
To the autumnal earth
A final greeting!
Walking between the silent walls that hide the secrets of an occult city, we arrive at the villa of the ancient family.
From one end of the great hall, Abraham looks at us in an eighteenth-century painting, as he prepares to sacrifice Isaac; from the other end, the ancestor of the family looks at us in a portrait, and has the same beard and the same look (and faith) as Abraham. And between the two, the menorah, on the wooden sideboard that bears the date MDCXXXVII engraved on it.
We gathered to hear Anastasija Makarieva, black hair, almond-shaped blue eyes and high cheekbones, from the Institute of Nuclear Physics in St. Petersburg. An institution heir to that other half of the world, which not only managed to build Soviet atomic bombs from scratch, but explored worlds unknown to Westerners.
Anastasija (with the accent on the “i”) doesn’t deal with atomic bombs at all, but with forests.
We’ve all heard of the forests of the Amazon, but we never talk about the perhaps even larger ones that stretch from the Baltic to the Pacific.
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