The countryside along the way to the next city was shredded. The towns at the end of the world waited, seemingly empty in the grey of the sky and the sea.
A landslide had rendered both the short way, and the long way to the initial destination impassable. So the in-between city, somewhere intended for later,
too big for the clouds to cover, would be home for a time.
They come to a place for one day or two. To see it. This land, one endless painting. The worlds of the people through which we wade, opaque.
And illuminating still.
Culture was a theme over the next day, and languages.
What rippled behind the face of words in the language here. What it meant to be French. The refugee situation and how it played out in different countries. Freedom vs. Security. Effect and the elusive thing before it.
Our observations crisscrossed, from where we came, through the place, coming out at new angles.
Met a guy from Austria on a journey, on a very similar wave. Both drawn, across the map, by a feeling, to this city, that had no reputation to precede it. Something unknown began to brew, we didn’t know what or why.
The next day after an hour of sleep ran this way(picture taken the first morning)
to the steps, barely visible beyond the valley of towers, that only just rise into a mountain.
It was warm and bright, to a degree the blue sky was not enough to justify, for running at least, almost.
There was no longer anywhere to stay and so in only a couple hours would have to pack up and keep moving. But the mountain, since the first night, had been calling
The greenbelt along the river goes and goes. When the hills seemed just west, began to zigzag through unknown neighborhoods, towards them. No money, no address, not even a street or station name to ask for the way back. Time winding quickly while the clouds slid so slowly.
Eventually came to a street that ended at the base.
A narrow metal staircase led up into the woods.
Trudging now, came to a graveyard. Walking along the edge, with many paths upward, came to one and proceeded slowly. An avenue of green, between pillars of stone, ended in a vast web fastened by a spider with an abdomen larger than a large man’s thumb.
The open hand of Death, waiting for everything
The fear of it, written deeply, surfaces in many places, in our actions, our reactions, seemingly far removed.
Last night’s conversation glistened in the web. The story of someone’s irrepressible anger when the direction of his breeding instinct had been obstructed. The notion that we are all the product of people who did whatever it took to survive, whatever seemed necessary. That that anger was a reflection of something in genes that built momentum along the way, that was validated, ultimately, by survival. And that all the great and terrible things men have done were a fulfilment toward its purpose.
Society is an agreement to contain it, but within and on the edge of legality, it finds new ways to grind others in the gears that propel us, in the most primal sense, forward. Each frustrated desire the wince of death, time felt deeply, like inside an hourglass, overturned and slipping away.
To really examine that inner law, around which reason and rationalization orbit like tiny moons, presents a daunting repudiation to the efforts for new ways to our values, to what we say we believe.
There is no answer to that truth here, only attempts to find a path to build on the sand of it’s endless shores.
Paid respects to those who died on the way to the place where we now run. How they got us here is hidden deeper even than the grass and soil. And our memories of our legacies are short and twisted, come to us through a generational game of telephone that is respectfully selective.
At the base, an old woman, smiling, said good morning.
The jog back was more vivid, the anomaly streaking through the routines of this land, Life running along the length of death and its meaning, and not, in a circle too big to see, away from it.
Back at the place, breakfast, and other things, known and unknown, brewing.