“O most honored Greening Force, You who roots in the Sun; You who lights up, in shining serenity, within a wheel that earthly excellence fails to comprehend. You are enfolded in the weaving of divine mysteries. You redden like the dawn and you burn: flame of the Sun.” -Hildegard Von Bingen (1151)
Our spring-y relationship begun even before I was born.
I met you for the first time when submerged in the amniotic fluid of my mother’s womb,
and I’ve been looking for you ever since.
For the warm embrace of your green peace,
for the profound lack of stress that you represent,
only achievable through a complete lack of future.
Only possible as you, Green, exist only in the infinitesimal frontier of the present.
You sure know how to become blue when looking back,
and often appear orange when spotted from the distance.
You are in some sense the color of the things I love or have loved,
including of course the synesthetic color of the anxious out-spelling of love,
like I now take my turn to do for you.
You are the color of walking for the sake of walking,
which is perhaps the most human of the activities.
You are the color of talking to ourselves.
The color in which all love letters should be written,
because of all colors of ink, Green,
you are the only one that feels dirty and natural
and makes poets and lovers wash their hands
before and after writing,
like the most conscientious surgeons.
You are the unfortunate color of madness,
the reminder of the fragility of our minds
which can very well, at any moment, steer away and drift
either to the past or the future and never come back.
You are, without contradiction, the color of serenity,
because once again you are the present that all sane minds necessarily inhabit.
But the most important thing you represent for me is the Truth. My life has been a search for that pre-material simplicity of yours, as I was still green at that point in time where truth was all I knew, the infallible truth of those who have not made any assertions yet. The truth is in the grass and the leaves and the trees, in the cacti and the weeds and the reeds, and it grows just like them: unprompted and unaided. As thorny as they are, you might not always inspire awe or fear, like the red fire or the purple lavenders. But you are there still, with the raw force that is conferred to you merely by virtue of your unquestionable existence. For as long as our ears are open and our throats are clear, we receive your sharp words of life, and you seem to grow. In the overlooked deserts or the claustrophobic clay pots, we have chosen for you on top of our impossibly tall buildings of glass. Just as the truth, you are the color that doesn’t need any of our help. Ever glowing, post nostalgic, too opaque for iridescence, too mature for a shining, you are the peaceful bed where our eyes go to rest. You are as well the color of love. Not all forms of love perhaps, but some of the relevant ones. The form of love that manifests only while suffocating in a pillow, or in those who hold a giant green knife opening our flesh, downwards from the sternum, special bone that solidifies our fear. You are the deeply rooted loss of love, of the human that connects down with the earth, even from the attics of their ivory tower. The inner monologue while walking that takes place particularly there, in the confusion and incomprehension of dissipated love. You are the honesty in love, the channel and the river where the ineffable flows. You are realization, the second after the Eureka, when fireworks have ceased and the calm has come with a warm fuzz: this calm is new. It is different from the previous tranquilities because this time there is one more thing we understand (or that we believe to understand, which is the best we can hope for anyways), and although the puzzle is infinitely large, we instantly feel as we have placed one more piece, hugging the rest that were waiting for her. You are of course the color of the majestic northern lights, but more importantly, you are the color of the green flash in every sunset, right when the last beam of sunshine hits the eye, and you remind me always of that time in the dunes when after I saw you a first time I jumped to the ground, and thus, having lost some feet of altitude I managed to see you again, and then I understood that you are present for us infinitely often and with infinite span, and if we don’t see you more often it is only a proof of the limitations of our size, never of yours. You are, as I was saying, the realization of truth in love; the transitional step from a fraction of love that is ecstatic and overly exciting to a more general and rounded form, that feels almost like a dinosaur egg, that is finally a true object of the world, consistent and coherent with it, and thus at least a candidate for eternity (or 50 years, which is the best we can hope for anyways). A feeling that is suitable for communion with the perennial trees of the Tundra, and the eternal snows of the Andes. You are the realization that in the seventy-seven seas of love there aren’t princesses nor princes: we are all green frogs kissing green frogs, and we always have been. You are the color of that which lives inside me, of the cuckoo bird that lives in the middle of the clock that hangs in the middle of my heart and goes out sometimes to announce that it’s noon in its timeless little land. You are the color of the whisky that comes out of the mouth of the worms that come out of the bird that comes out of the clock that is my heart and you keep me drunk and high, with virtue or madness. You keep me up there, in the tiny airplane that is your love, and the thirteen thousand and eight hundred sixteen feet of altitude that you make me reach before the bomb explodes in my jacket and I spiral all the way down until I can swim in the shores of a crystalline island. You are the color that paints the benches in which we kiss while drunk in parks after midnight, wishing that time would stop for a few weeks but knowing full well that it is like asking for pears to the elm tree. It is just not how green works. You are the color of work, and the color of compensation, and I have come to peace with the fact that you are the color of the green American dollar and even then, you manage to be, in a weird and twisted way, beautiful and strong and solitary. Green of the evergreening trees that inspired Hildegard von Bingen1 almost a thousand years ago: you have kept going, and I am confident that despite the current tribulations you will be okay. You were her Viriditas2 her mixture of truth and greening and you are now my Viriditas, and I find happiness and relief in writing you this love letter that will never reach you, because precisely what I love about you is that you need no words to flourish, you green and green and keep greening, and the words flow by your side without touching you, and it seems better that way. I spoke and you didn’t listen, and that way I understood that I didn’t have to speak in the first place. That I could quietly green by your side, and we would then be happy. And then, even for that happiness, you wouldn’t care. You don’t have the ability to care, fortunately. And if there is one lesson that I, hardly ever green human, should take from you, it’s just that you, Green, just are.
Hildegard Von Bingen was a woman born in 1098, current Germany, considered a Saint by the Catholic church. Hildegard was a Benedictine abbess, a mathematician, a writer, a composer, a philosopher, a medical practitioner, and a mystic. Arguably one of the most fascinating persons of history. ↩
Regarding the title of the poem, “In Viridis Veritas” is Latin for “In green, the truth”. It’s also a play on the classic “In Vino Veritas”, Latin for “In wine, the truth”. ↩