The ancient Languedoc region once unified France, Spain, Italy. They called them the Sylvaticae (People of the Forest). The wagons traveled through Byzantium and Greece, through the Ukraine and Spain from Persia and Transylvania. We move from coast to coast. Seagrass licking the edges of narrow capes. Out of the water a woman ascends as planes form a hexagon in the sky. The wind pushes her down. It is through the body that everything happens. The planes loop backward. Each leaving traces of blue, red and white in the sky. My sandals are broken. A pigeon continues to approach. We do not know if something is ending or beginning, but throw our walking sticks into the water. I leave the sea with a white wolf dog, who accompanies me to the train station.
In 2013 I embarked on a journey crossing various border regions in Europe. The walks followed national borderlines, explored borders within countries, i.e. the former East-West division in Germany, as well as artificially enforced natural divisions, such as the Mediterranean with its increased border patrol policies. This section was written while traversing the Pyrenees, from the Atlantic to the sea. I am indebted to those who accompanied me on my walks. Strangers and kin who effort this space, our holding in the gaze of each other.
The line “…the Sylvaticae” is drawn from Martin Shaw’s essay “A Culture of Wildness.”