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11
Thursday
11 June 2020

The weather forecast

Alfred Stieglitz, Equivalent, 1923

Another of our penfriends, as well as return guests, is Luca Mercalli. His letters travel all the way from the Piedmont mountains, and we thought we would share his personal weather forecasts. Considering he is one of the most important Italian meteorologists and climatologists, his musings will certainly enlighten us. Giulan, Luca.

Time stands still, giving us more time to think, study, read and contemplate the sky. Time to foresee what type of world will emerge. One thing is clear: we will live on a hotter planet; however, we can still decide how much hotter that will be and determine the fate of the earth’s temperature. If we know how to reduce waste and useless consumption, it will rise by two degrees; if we are swept away by a wave of consumerism, by five. Hotter temperatures mean glaciers melting into nothingness, sea level rise, raging storms, unrelenting droughts, and scorching infernos. Migrations and wars among siblings. What, I wonder, is the sense of devouring all this time now, accelerating the production of waste we will have to deal with tomorrow? I hope for a slower pace, as much as necessary to count our blessings now and admire the clouds scudding in the sky. White clouds, free from pollutants. Nino Costa, a poet from Piedmont, placed clouds as the top priority in a person’s life. And rightly so.

Forse vojautre, nìvole sorele,
lo seve ‘l mè rìgret andoa ch’a l’è.
Ma ‘ntant ch’i guardo ‘l vent com’ av radun-a
e ‘l sol ch’av fa pié feu come un brazé,
sì ch’am n’an fa se j’autri a fan fortun-a,
se am passo anans e am lasso mi ‘ndaré.
Quand ch’aj rivrà l’ora pi granda: l’ùltima,
e ch’am ciamran lòn ch’i l’hai fait ëd bel,
mi rispondrai ch’i l’hai guardà le nìvole:
le nìvole ch’a van… travers al cel.

(Sister clouds, maybe you know where my regret is.
While I look at the wind herding you,
and the sun setting you ablaze, what do
I care if others make a fortune,
overtake me and leave me behind?
At the arrival of the most beautiful hour, the last one we have,
they will ask me what I have done?
I will answer that I looked at clouds:
clouds that race across the sky.)