The Holy Lake

2024-01-18 @Creative
By Vitaly Parnas

Dique Do Tororo, Salvador, Bahía

Something eerie about this site. Let’s start with the Orixas gathered in a loop atop the waters like a squadron of messiahs. Facing outward, poised, paraphernalia astir, such battle formation suggests a defensive maneuver for a party grossly outnumbered and, should this not be samurai folklore, clinging to slim prospects.

You say, trifles. But I don’t know. This being more than a mere proverbial expo, for the moment I’m inclined to question and scruple.

Defense against which latent powers?

The Greeks across the street? Yon there, barely discernible even by ye, spirits of gargantuan altitude: those Greeks, beyond the distant shore?

Surely you fear not these jaded decrepitudes!

Granted, their ranks once rebelled and overthrew the menacingly overambitious race of Giants to devastating consequences. But these hardly live up to their own crumbling effigies.

Formationless, scattered about that prairie like a regiment of wallflowers, the vista evokes not the Neoclassical Hellenistic exquisiteness, but Chirico’s skeletal, limbless, phantom frameworks.

The parodies have sunk to insignificance, their pagan dust of interest but to the subconscious.

Is it the stringy, grotesquely acute pelican birds in ceaseless zigzag migration along the periphery, or otherwise frozen in penitential pensiveness? Melville raised an interesting thought: something clerical in their aspect.

I understand your concern. Your position, though officially sanctioned where man heavily favours the Saints and the Holy Trinity, is far from sturdy; your influence, anything but widespread. The Catholic nation has received your kind not without scorn.

Eight of ye stand erect there atop the ripples. A handful of your satellites surveil along the shore in similarly vigilant promptitude.

But what is that magnanimous, swivelling cataract there dead center of the lake, gushing and spouting mist to impressive lengths and altitudes, governed only by the whimsies of the wind.

Viewed at an opportune vantage point and time, the canopy of that ejaculation catches aflame by the interjecting rainbow.

Mid-afternoon, taken by the optical illusion and otherwise lost in the above meditations, I circumnavigate the lake and approach a section of trees from just such an angle that the already low fiery Titan glares but through the slim cavities of the fibrous overgrowth.

(The Titans long deposed as sung above, Copernicus and the astronomers have taught us that we record what’s long gone.)

Just then, the misty cataract invades the projection, resulting in a splendour indescribable: intermittent spots of that misty, webby damask now in vivid, polychromatic crispness.

Surely, some revelation is at hand.

Yeats, restrain yourself. That’s twice now.

And that pervasive favella backdrop across the two longitudinal bearings of the lake.

And these strained, dogmatic clashes felt by none but the heedful observer.

Haunting polyphony! I know not what to do with you.

Questions, comments? Connect.