VAC Website

Influence Scope

Table Two


The Fifteenth of March, Friday

I spent a long time looking out the window again. The tide had gone out beyond the line of the dunes, and now only small whitecaps covered the water surface: they formed in the shallows, and only the most stubborn reached the shore—and were very ragged by the time they got there.

Although the sky was overcast, there were plenty of locals and holidaymakers on the beach: they were all bent over as they slowly moved along the water’s edge, occasionally getting stuck in the large clumps of seaweed that had been washed up on the beach by the recent storm. The lucky ones uncovered fine specimens of amber in the slimy muck, although everyone was perfectly aware that the real treasures would be found by the early risers, who despite the freezing cold water had been digging in the seabed with their shovels since the morning.

The wind that had been raging all night, disturbing my sleep, had now calmed down. When I went for a walk in the afternoon to see if the storks’ nests are already occupied, as I had got into the habit of doing, I was pleased to find that some families had already begun to rebuild their dwellings, and that their neighbours were flying high in the sky, as if accompanied by the timid sun.

This sight brought a smile to my face, and I immediately headed to the forest clearing: I was eager to see if the delicate flowers of snowdrops had sprouted from under the fallen leaves of hornbeams and yews, which were still green, for some unknown reason.

The Twenty-Eighth of June, Thursday

The morning was fresh, but the scent of roses that enveloped me as I entered the garden promised a hot day. Indeed, the long absence of rain and wind had already warmed up the sea as well as the air. By noon there were plenty of people on the beach. Although I was not eager to join them, it gave me a great deal of pleasure to observe this rather motley company. After bathing, the shivering ladies wrapped themselves in brightly coloured stoles, and their pretty but rather ridiculous Swiss straw hats were carried away by the wind, though it left no trace on the surface of the sea. Running after hats on the half-deserted beach seemed to be their main amusement.

On my evening walk I went to the fishing pier. The figures of the fishermen against the lilac sky seemed poignantly sad, though judging from the fish that were piling up next to them, their efforts were quite successful. Turning my back on the sea and heading toward home, I saw a lone flounder lying on the planks, futilely flexing the rays of its fins towards the sea.

The Twenty-Fourth of September, Wednesday

By the time I had finished breakfast, the garden was already a hive of activity. The nut collecting was ended, and the scent of their natural iodine mixed intoxicatingly with the density of the autumn sea, hanging in the air on these still warm days. The shelled walnuts were placed in bottles filled with vodka, to make an aromatic liquor that would be ready by Christmas.

Although nature still delighted us with walnuts and chestnuts, and the boars in the woods feasted on fresh acorns, there was every sign that a downpour was about to begin. All day the clouds in the sky had shifted from pale grey to steel, and then to hopeless anthracite, but by evening, to my incredible delight, the sun peeped through them—and the horizon was coloured with a delicate agate haze.

The Ninth of December, Tuesday

By dawn the wind had stopped lashing the windows, and I managed to get some sleep. Later, feeling rather the worse for wear, I ventured out for a walk and was amazed at what I saw: the tide had gone out much further than usual. Where the waves had raged at night, there was now a gloomy expanse of grey sand, and yesterday’s beach was covered with a crust of ice. I stepped on it fearfully, though I knew that this strange sandy ice was never slippery.

There was a vast panorama from the water’s edge, and everywhere in the distance you could see the sky continuing to unleash precipitation. But everything was quiet—only the seagulls were squawking as they circled in search of easy prey after the storm.

Table Three

The Twenty-Second of March, Saturday

The heady smell of the sea and the chaotic cries of seagulls burst into the room through the balcony door that had been open since morning. The waves crashed against the rocks with such force that when I went out onto the balcony and held out my hand, I felt sharp drops of water. I couldn’t believe that on this morning the sea would be angry with me, but I still decided to retreat from it and travel into town. From the train window I saw the sea pulling a cloud over me with a hand of concealed annoyance: expanding and contracting, the cloud drove thousands of tons of barely restrained anger across the sky.

I took in this terrible metallic blue with my gaze, but continued to smile. Even when I was in town, and all of this water began pouring down on me, I smiled and delighted in the spring, although I was not dressed for the weather.

The Seventh of July, Tuesday

I had been walking for several hours, and my sandals kept getting stuck in the sand. I constantly heard the sea, and saw it on my left, and a couple of times I even felt the urge to swim. But the strawberries won; it seemed that the whole thin strip of land was covered with them. I wandered along the slopes of these strawberry fields—from the sea to the bay, and onward again to my temporary goal, where cobwebs on the broken windows of the wooden house and a rucksack full of books awaited me, along with the prospect of a long swim away from the shore, away from the hot day, across the silent sea to the still trembling reflection of the moon.

The Twenty-Fifth of October, Monday

I spent a long time travelling by train, I flew for a long time to get back here again. The warm shadows of hills covered with fir needles were waiting for me. I wrapped myself in them, wrapped myself in that salty air, in the transparency of the day, in the barely perceptible rustle of the waves behind the veil of foliage.

I trusted the sand and the surf, and trusted the coolness in every step I took. I trusted it as I walked along the hard shore, slipping into the sandbanks, walking toward the sunset sky, where the sun was dissipating, clinging to the cape. Where white threads of clouds fringed the horizon and filtered the last light of this day.

The Thirty-First of December, Sunday

In the morning I went to the beach. The waves were crashing unevenly, the blueish-grey clouds were rushing by and seemed to break into hundreds and thousands of small ones, different and the same. The wind blowing from Sweden bent the dry grass on the dunes down to the sand; it was long and became tangled up in the briar bushes. The gusts struck me in the face, ruffled my hair, and caught me under my elbows; had they been a little stronger, I could have laid down on this wind and flown away.

By evening, only the circling white specks of seagulls served as a reminder of the disturbance. The sky was red and beckoning, tumbling into the steel water, splashing onto the sand mixed with amber, seeping between the trunks of trees that once had been so steady, and embracing everything.

Table Four

The Twenty-Second of March, Wednesday

The tree trunks sway, the branches and twigs bend, the tall grass lies flat on the ground. Walking against the wind is difficult. The wind is whistling around buildings and motionless objects (a weather station). The telegraph wires hum. The crests are outlined by long banks of wind-driven waves, the foam blown off their crests by the wind begins to stretch in strips along the slopes of the waves. The wind is westerly, thirteen to fifteen metres per second. The number of altocumulus clouds, wavy and opaque, has increased over the last hour.

Moderate, unfrozen rain constantly falls. The ground is damp and unfrozen. For the last three hours, the barometer has shown a steady drop in pressure. The air temperature is five degrees Celsius.

The Twenty-Second of June, Thursday

The leaves and thin branches of trees are constantly swaying. Tall grass and cereal crops begin to sway. The wind flutters flags and pennants. Small crests of waves begin to topple over, but the foam is glassy, not white. The wind blows from the southwest, three to five metres per second. In the last hour, the puffy, fibrous, tangled clouds have scattered. Precipitation does not reach the ground. The soil is moist, without puddles. For the last three hours, the barometer has shown even pressure. The air temperature is twenty degrees Celsius.

The Twenty-Second of September, Monday

Individual leaves sway, sometimes rustling; smoke rises diagonally, showing the wind direction; flags show no sign of significant movement. There is a ripple on the sea. The ground fog has weakened to a haze, the sky is visible, and visibility in the area is over one thousand metres. Puffy layers of fog-like clouds spread across the sky. An unbroken shroud of clouds is over forty-five degrees above the horizon. There is an interrupted, weak unfrozen drizzle. The soil is moist. For the last three hours, the barometer has shown a rise in pressure. The lower boundary of cloud cover does not exceed four hundred and twenty metres. The wind blows from the northwest, up to one and a half metres per second. The air temperature is sixteen degrees Celsius.

The Twenty-Second of December, Saturday

The foam covers the slopes of the waves in wide, dense, merging strips, turning the water white. The air is filled with water mist and spray. Horizontal visibility is very seriously affected. Minor damage to structures can be observed. Some trees are broken; small objects are displaced. Sand is lifted up by the wind and carried in a whirl, along with individual snow crystals in the form of stars. Cumulonimbus clouds predominate, with a thunderhead. The soil is damp and unfrozen. Pressure is stable. The wind is northerly, twenty-two metres per second. The air temperature is minus three degrees Celsius.

{"css":".editor {font-family: Diagramatika Text; font-size: 20px; font-weight: 400; line-height: 20px;}"}