czwartek, 25 listopada 2010

marry me - The Cinnamon Shops


When Father studied his great ornithological compendiums, browsing through their coloured plates, then out of them seemed to fly those fledged phantasms, filling the room with colourful fluttering—slivers of crimson, shreds of sapphire, verdigris and silver. At feeding time they comprised a varicoloured, surging patch on the floor, a living carpet which fell to pieces upon anyone’s incautious entry, rent asunder into animated flowers, fluttering into the air, to perch at last in the loftier regions of the parlour. A certain condor remains especially in my memory, an enormous bird with a bare neck, its face wrinkled and rank with excrescences. It was a gaunt ascetic, a Buddhist lama, with impassive dignity in its whole demeanour, comporting itself according to the strict etiquette of its great tribe. As it sat opposite Father, unmoving in its monumental posture of the ancient Egyptian gods, its eye clouding over with a white film which spread from the edge to the pupil, enclosing it entirely in contemplation of its venerable solitude, it seemed, with its stone-hard profile, to be an older brother of my father—the very same substance of its body, its tendons and its wrinkled, hard skin, the same dried and bony face with those same deep, horny sockets. Even Father’s long and thin hands, hardened into nodules, and his curling nails, had their analogon in the condor’s talons. Seeing it asleep, I could not resist the impression that I was looking at a mummy—the mummy, shrunken by desiccation, of my father. Neither, as I believed, had this astonishing resemblance escaped Mother’s notice, although we never pursued the topic. It was characteristic that both the condor and my father used the same chamber pot.
Not confining himself to the incubation of ever younger specimens, my father arranged ornithological weddings. He dispatched matchmakers; he tethered the enticing, ardent fiancées in the gaps and hollows of the attic. And he succeeded, in fact, in turning the roof of our house—an enormous, shingled span-roof—into a veritable bird’s inn, a Noah’s ark to which winged creatures of all kinds would flock from faraway places. Even long after the liquidation of the avian farm, that tradition regarding our house continued to be observed in the avian realm, and during the period of the springtime migrations, whole hosts of cranes, pelicans, peacocks and birds of all kinds would alight on our roof.

 Nie poprzestając na wylęganiu coraz nowych egzemplarzy, ojciec mój urządzał na strychu wesela ptasie, wysyłał swatów, uwiązywał w lukach i dziurach strychu ponętne, stęsknione narzeczone i osiągnął w samej rzeczy to, że dach naszego domu, ogromny, dwuspadowy dach gontowy, stał się prawdziwą gospodą ptasią, arką Noego, do której zlatywały się wszelkiego rodzaju skrzydlacze z dalekich stron. Nawet długo po zlikwidowaniu ptasiego gospodarstwa utrzymywała się w świecie ptasim ta tradycja naszego domu i w okresie wiosennych wędrówek spadały nieraz na nasz dach całe chmary żurawi, pelikanów, pawi i wszelkiego ptactwa.

5 komentarzy: