Friday, 29 July 2011

Quiet Defiance
It has been raining for Days on End
So what?

Quiet Defiance
It seems the rainy days will never end.
Not for the timid to insist on having the daily dose
of coffee and newspaper in the outdoors.
You also need waiters ready to risk
getting wet while sprinting between the sun umbrellas
should the clouds decide it's about time to visit another
round of showers upon the intrepid.

It may have to do with genes,
or childhood conditioning, like the
Salzburg childhood summers with my grandparents.
A few clouds would not hold us back
from enjoying days by the lake. If it rained,
we'd play cards under some makeshift shelter
or go for a round of miniature golf.
In my memory the rainy days by the lake
were sheer bliss, balsam for the soul,
no hurry, a blessed languid mood
taking ahold of all of us.

I imagine the people in the picture
falling asleep to the sound of rain,
the room filled with mountain air,
their dreams with strawberry Napoleons.


at Café-Konditorei Zauner
Esplanade along the Traun river
Bad Ischl

Upper Austria

Image and Text
© by Merisi


  1. I love the rain on a summers day. I also loved Cafe Konditorei Zauner when I was there a few weeks ago.

  2. Oh Merisi, we so much need the rains to come here, send them over. Hot, humid, dry and just plain miserable and not even August yet~

  3. That phrase "balsam for the soul" intrigued me, and so I googled it. This is what I found:

    "Liquor Hepatis was the name given to a sulfurous liquid used by the
    alchemists. Considered the arcanum of the soul, Liquor Hepatis was
    prepared by distilling a solution of sulfur, lime, and sal ammoniac.
    The early alchemists secured lime (calcium oxide) by heating
    limestone and made sal ammoniac (ammonium chloride) by gently
    heating camel dung in sealed containers. The distillation for Liquor
    Hepatis produced a combination of hydrogen sulfide and ammonia
    gases. Since no solids precipitated, alchemists considered this an
    ascending reaction only. That was a significant fact to the
    Egyptians, who associated the Liquor with the soul. They believed
    the soul resided in the liver, and the reddish-brown color of Liquor
    Hepatis convinced them they had isolated the soul's essence. The
    name comes from "hepar," the Greek word for liver. The Liquor exuded
    an unnatural, pungent odor that the alchemists found quite
    mysterious. They assumed it was due to an ethereal presence
    concealed in the sulfur and activated by the fertile principle in
    ammonia. To the Egyptians, the odor symbolized a soul or a
    spiritized presence hidden within the liquid. They solidified that
    presence by adding wax and fat to Liquor Hepatis and turning it into
    a thick paste. The emulsion became known as the Balsam of the
    Alchemists or Balsam of the Soul. The possibility of coagulating an
    invisible potential into a second body, like a balsam, became a
    basic tenet of alchemy."

  4. Lovely, Merisi! When I first saw this post, I thought I was looking at a painting, and I thought...hmmmm...I'm not familiar with this wonderful artist! So yes, languid, and ethereal. Your words are so evocative here...

  5. Your imagery of a rainy night in the mountains makes me sigh in desire. Cool summer nights - a distant memory.

  6. Popping by to say hello, Merisi and enjoyed you post very much. Very best wishes ~ Eddie

  7. Sounds so nice to seat at a Café.

    Have a pleasant weekend.

  8. Everyone seems to be sweltering in the States. Images of this cool, damp loveliness are a balm to them -- if not to you!

    I hope some sun touches down in Vienna soon. xx

  9. It's been the same in Warsaw and the cafes on the Royal Mile look the same.

  10. 'a blessed languid mood ' pervades this post...
    I would like a little languidness right NOW!!!


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