I recently noticed that one of my fellow commuters was a satyr. Presumably he still is one. His severe dress and stony countenance suggested that he was a barrister, judge, or civil servant; but who would employ a goat-legged monster from ancient Greece? Musing on stories of satyrs' wild debauches, I anticipated that he would smell of civet or musk. Instead, he diffused the pine-scented disinfectant used to obscure the smell of urine in public lavatories. Thus I was reminded of rankly animalic odours by smelling the familiar resins of their arrest. Later, however, he smelled of a forest undisturbed by winds, and that saw little light. A place of sylvan melancholy that was simultaneously so worldly, and so hostile to reverie, that it could make a satyr seem prosaic as he waited on the platform of a country railway station. An almost incense-like pepper underlay the low throb of cedar and pine, and I think he must have risen that morning from a bed of lavender. This floral part of his bouquet was subdued, and resembled the French flower more than the British one. I guessed that his pillow had been stuffed with the dried peels of lemons and limes. I was musing on these things when the train to the capital appeared. As it ground to a halt, I said to the satyr: "May I wonder, sir, from which bleak grove or gloomy copse you have stepped? I know the forests around here fairly well, and cannot imagine you in any one of them. Perhaps they have a side I had not discerned. Would you please tell me the name of your ancestral wood?" "Blen'm," he bleated, then boarded the train with a stiff little leap. I have not seen him since.
20th September, 2012 (Last Edited: 21st September, 2012)
When I first wore En Avion, I was overwhelmed by the sort of tactile transport that I have come to associate with Caron extraits. Dense and heady, indeed. I think of the thick cloud within which Venus hides Aeneas when she wishes to render him invisible; or of the concluding lines of the Ode on Melancholy: "His soul shall taste the sadness of her might, / And be among her cloudy trophies hung."
04 January, 2012