In the middle of the sultry summer day, at the seemingly dullest of noontide moments, when time follows its usual course as if nothing could ever break it, when danger is out of mind, then all of a sudden its course somehow comes to a standstill: time stops running. The moment freezes: as if the wings of butterflies freeze fluttering around the blooming spring flowers, as if the buzzing of bees stills to a freeze, the air stops quivering, everything is at once in motion and in calm. Time has stopped. What is this?
What is this? What is this sensation? What is this paralysis of the commonplace? What is this extraordinary force, which petrifies time so that it comes out of its joints and remains paralyzed? What is it that breaks the course of springtime?
The Greeks invented a name for this freezing moment followed by a sensation of an impending danger and paralyzing horror. Impending doom. It is called panic. The word ‘panic’ designates the approaching of the god Pan.
* * *
Panic is the approaching of Pan. The god Pan is haunting, invisible, yet ubiquitous.
It is in the wings of the fluttering butterfly, in the twigs of the willow, swaying over the stream, in the unsteadily frozen outlines of the summer haze – over the stream, in the undergrowth, in this sun-scorched forest opening, right there in the clearing, surrounded by towering dark firs, piercing through the incandescent sky. There, in the bushes, there, everywhere, all around. Here.
Pan: there is here.