And then—a chateau!

From a little town in the South of France, near the Spanish border, in the haute Pyrennees, Walter Benjamin and a tiny posse of refugees hid themselves amongst longshoremen and ducked onto a trail that took them up the mountain to the Spanish border. How WB ‘hid’ as a longshoreman while carrying a large suitcase with (it is presumed) a manuscript in it is beyond me. In those times, perhaps as now, when you don’t have papers one has to have a facility to wriggle through the fog: ‘…faut se debrouiller’. WB with his heart condition and heavy suitcase had the patience of a donkey. All of those hours in the Bibliotheque Nationale and putting one foot in front of the other up that ascent demands patience. So, me too, I’ll hike up that mountain tomorrow in WB’s footsteps and try to have the patience to notice.

I was running yesterday in the Bois de Vincennes and at the end after a long, long run—a chateau! Running’s a bit like that mountain, and writing too, one foot in front of the other, the breath I’m breathing now, one word showing the way to the next.

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~ by Thom on June 12, 2011.

2 Responses to “And then—a chateau!”

  1. You should check out “La Passage Pommeraye” in Nantes, France. It is small but quite spectacular…and was featured in all sorts of early French cinema.

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