For the last two days willow seed has been blowing through Berlin. I haven’t had a chance yet to speak to anyone about whether this is something Berliners are used to and so whether there is any accepted explanation as to where it all comes from. Perhaps hardly anyone is aware of its origin. At any rate, I don’t imagine that it will last much longer; the wind will surely change at some point and clear the city out. But for now at least the fibres collect in the streets at the points at which there is the least wind. As you walk through these puddles your shoes part what’s gathered and give it over again to the minute currents of air that eddy only an inch from the ground. Then it all falls again and settles.
I am sitting in the kitchen with the window open on to the courtyard outside. A flautist is practising in one of the adjacent buildings. Someone is drilling elsewhere. Two swallows dart past the window, one following the other, describing the exact same course. Here too willow rises, falls or dances about, though most of it not quite high enough to escape the sump between the housing blocks. Light, clumped strands occasionally float in, drawn by the through-draft between the bedroom and the kitchen. And as I look at the sky, I see lines and dots drifting across my vision.