|Hammarby Sound at 3.45 am|
I am again in Stockholm since two weeks back and am enjoying the "white nights" of Sweden's Summer. Temperatures are agreeably temperate, I am glad to say, hovering around 20° (Celsius) in daytime and cooling off nicely during the night.
My apartment lies smack on a seafaring road, which provides me with never ending panoramas for putting on this blog. But it has its disadvantages, especially if Summer nights become hotter and more inviting. If that happens, the normally restrained Swede turns into boisterous "Southener". Juvenile frolicking crowds tend to congregate on the quay just below my balcony, feasting, drinking and singing way into early morning. But not this week at least; serene calm is reigning, at least after midnight.
Sleep does not come easily, even so. Today, I woke up already around 3.45, by seagulls eagerly screeching to rouse the resting old-timer. But I was glad to get up, looking at the forerunner of a raising sun on the Eastern horizon.
The warm pastel colors of the sky suddenly made me think of an old song, "Le temps des cerises". This may be a surprising association, but I was not thinking about cherries, with their intensely red color, but rather about the color "cerise", much like the color of the low horizon in the picture, even if more rich and saturated.
From the color "cerise" there is but a small step (in thinking terms) to take to the above mentioned famous song. When I looked it up on Youtube, I found a Greek singer who gave an intriguing interpretation of it. Her name is "Nana Mouskouri" and she somehow found the right tone between romanticism and revolutionary verve that characterizes the text of this genuinely French chanson.
Now, the Greek, more so than present day French, still seem to linger in a dreamworld, a mix between romantic delusion about past grandeur and anarchistic longing for changing the world, rather than themselves. So what better song to sing for a Greek than this:
Où l'on s'en va deux cueillir en rêvant
Des pendants d'oreille...
Cerises d'amour aux robes vermeilles
Tombant sous la feuille en gouttes de sang ...
Mais il est bien court le temps des cerises
Pendants de corail qu'on cueille en rêvant!