a text written for Formidable Magazine by Joanna Hruby, founder of Theatre of the Ancientsand creator of the podcast The Wells of Tanit. Part of her ongoing quest into the mythic fabric of an island which for many decades has been associated with sun worship.
Juan Barte collaborates with photographs from his project Ibiza 6-9, a hallucinatory dream posited between reality and fiction where 6 could very well be 9.
If you journey inwards into a thing, a person or an island,
you arrive at a holy grail.
If you journey inwards into a forever sunshine island,
you arrive at a dark stone well.
This is the year of the Coronavirus,
the year that all things have crumbled and fallen –
Kings, Queens, empires, and kingdoms.
This is the year of the broken Crown,
of the retrograde, backward path into
Ruin, and then perhaps rebirth.
On Ibiza, this is the year the darkness
finally faces the light.
Greedy Summer, tempered and controlled by the soothing hands of Winter,
wrapping around it from both directions,
cooling its fire.
The payesa people of the island always called
the Ibizan summer ‘Winter’ for good reason.
Its heat drained all life away.
It was always the time for withdrawing and retreating,
Shriveling from the light,
Holding, and withholding.
Preserving, not giving away.
For too many summers now,
all has been given away
and nothing has been preserved.
Summer tumbles into Winter like a broken, empty shell,
And Winter becomes a wasteland.
But not now.
Winter has started to speak again.
It tunes its string instrument –
You can hear it through the forest.
And when the bonfire smoke rises
across the valley floor, it’s no longer
Just a burning of old leaves,
It’s a ceremony beginning again.
Cracked wood, broken wood, crunching wood underfoot,
the lost sounds of a lost season,
Oh, you were always my lost season.
It’s all I can do, this year of the broken Crown,
to find a naked place of stone, thistles, and branches,
and go roaming through a woodsmoke valley.
I can feel Winter sinking in again.
It will take a good long while, this sinking in,
but there’s no rush, I’m not going anywhere.
And amongst the broken branches there is a broken Crown,
a broken dream,
a broken island.
But in this place, I offer you a Cup.