Blesok no. 22, August-September, 2001
Weaving the Absent
(Alessandro Barico, Silk)
Ana Dimiškovska - Trajanoska
At the end of the world, on the island enveloped in its own solitude, for thousands of years now, the most precious fabric is bred: the Japanese silk. With the same mystical precision of the rituals and secrets necessary for the its creation, it thins it until the natural relation between the sight and the touch almost disappears: the silk veil, the eye’s dream – the colors themselves, liberated, unfolded in the space – disappears at the moment when the hand reaches to touch it, to capture it with its impregnable flesh. As if caressing air. And when the cage of pressed fingers opens, the endless threads of the fabric unbraid as if alive, they come to existence once again, as if the cocoon in which they had been conceived did not manage to extinguish the memory of their airy nature, their winged origin.
Hervé Joncourt lived on the silk, on buying and selling silkworms, putting himself at risk on the long journeys to Japan, the end of the world.
Hervé Joncourt lived for the silk, the material substrate of the non-existent, the shiny, melancholic sign of the untouchability of what moves the whole life, the glittering absence of the reasons.
He was dying of yearning for something he would never experience.
His story trembles in the air as a veil woven from the finest thread of Japanese silk: the remote – silent, shiny and secret, as the face of the girl whose eyes do not have the oriental shape, the creature from another world fully rooted in the non-transparent ritual life of the far East, the lover of the master Hara Key. Nameless, voiceless, soundless, composed of nothing but gestures with an unspeakable, and perfectly clear meaning, she transforms into an untouchable core of life for Hervé Joncourt, from her first look that pierces him as she lies in the lap of his master, as a rare and precious animal. The veil that is blown in the wind, as a ruthless road mark, even if it leads over the barren landscape, on the other end of the world.
His wife, the close thing, woven into the horizon with the slight unnoticeability of the ceilings that support the world; the silk veil pressed between the palms, in the quiet disappearing of the secret substance that lives on the space of desire. The incapturable nature of the silk: how to prevent the veil of love wrapped around the beloved creatures, too transparent to be seen, too merged with their bodies to feel the passion of its touch?
A space within the space, an open emptiness with invisible walls, harder than stones: it is difficult to resists the temptation to return between them. The cage – the manufactured token of love – that the masters of Orient use to reward the faithfulness of their lovers, giving them, instead of jewelry, birds closed behind the bars. The wisdom of the East: a gift that reveals its true meaning in its own denial – the moment when the colors, sounds and wings return with a royal gesture to the sky from which they had been protected for too long, nested in the cage. You will fill it in with birds, says Hervé Joncourt to his wife, explaining her why the big cage he wants to build in the middle of the park is used, the most you can, and then one day something beautiful will happen to you, you will open it and you will watch the birds flying away. As if you watch the very essence of the joy – in passing, of the silk – in the disappearing, of the desire – in what goes away, leaving behind the empty cage of the caresses.
Where is the presence – in the mute or in the sound? Is it the same message sent by the crystal, beautiful voice of Helene, and the perfect muteness of the girl from the country of the silk? Two faces on the same fabric, two gentle shapes of the same impossibility: to love the beloved man. The same one.
A celebration ritual of the absence: seven pages of paper with thick, cuneiform handwriting, black ink, Japanese ideograms, arrived to the hands of Hervé Joncourt as illegible signs: the ashes of a burned out voice. The voice of the nameless from the end of the world. The voice of Helene after she had left this world. The two joined in one, finally they speak through one another, with the murderous resonances of the yearning, which, to be fulfilled, asks for the supreme mortgage: the nothingness for the one who had yearned. The muteness gushes through the voice, the silence through the passion of the touch, the ashes of the closeness through the fire of the hopeless remoteness: through the letter in which each of them turns into what she had always wanted to be: the other woman. Two magical trails of the same sad desire, parallel, fully separated from each other, that cut through each other in the impossible geometry of the spiritual space – the signs that are interpreted to Hervé Joncourt by a third female voice – the one of Madame Blanche – the white, silky melody of the unnamed.
That is how it is, since always. When there is a name missing for the things, stories are invented. This story about the silk – and the souls imprisoned in its invisible weaving – is not a story about what is called love. It is a story about what can not be said differently except with what will be told precisely with that story. Or about what can not be kept silent in another way except by keeping silent about the things not said in it. The ones that would disappear when touching the word, as the silk when touching the skin. These stories lack a name, and a language to speak about them, and remain outside the shiny, stretched spider web of the arch-story teller. Except, maybe to weave in another thread, that will lure another one in the ancient web of the story – the talk about the unspeakable.
Translated by: Elizabeta Bakovska