Monday, September 27, 2010

Diagnostics at the waterline

A seashore, two friends and I. Further away, there's a man working in a garden or an orchard. He is far away enough for us not to ask him where we are. We have been suddenly transferred to this place while reading aloud and discussing a text depicting that very gardening activity; in a children's book, perhaps, or some publication concerning food.
We don't know where we are, and we can't ask the man. The landscape is restless and varying, with great contrasts in altitude, and a rich, unfamiliar vegetation which indicates we're not in Scandinavia (not even the Norwegian coast, despite the steep cliffs). I look at the sea.
"What if this is the Mediterranean", I say.
The others become silent and ponder the possibility. In my head I try to picture the coastlines of France and Spain, because if the sea is the Mediterranean, this place surely would have to be within that region.
I think of a combination of three characters that would be diagnostic:
1) To confirm this is a sea at all, we'd have to taste it. But for some reason I don't feel like tasting the water.
2) If this is the Mediterranean, its surface should have a distinctly green hue. It does, partly, show a blue-green shade, but I'm not convinced it's enough.
3) I feel the temperature of the water with my hands.
"It's warm", I state. "That means this really could be the Mediterranean."
But I'm not yet thoroughly convinced. I think it feels warmer than the Atlantic would (and that's the only alternative sea), but my experience may not suffice.

/ IÖ

No comments: