Book excerpt

From my forthcoming book, How Is Travel a Folded Form?:

 

We keep taking notes: “Metaphor” means bridge. Episode. Late afternoon, Isabella and I get out of the car at the water’s edge. A bridge is a seam. The orange sign is behind us, up the hill; we decided to ignore it. The little river is flooding. Or a river is a seam. Through the young trees, we see the quick dark center of the current, but here where the road just begins to disappear the water is tame and clear. We can’t even tell where the usual riverbed might be. And a bridge is a stitch. Isabella lies down at the very bottom of the flood, head upstream from feet, so she can breathe. A little foam rides the current. Our car is pulled over with the wheels turned for safety. Existing on a bridge makes one aware of the shores’ interdependence.[i] How long will she breathe down there? Her skirts wave in the flow of runoff, lead, heavy metals, clay, cow manure, chicory ripped off its stems, rusty nails, glass insulators from telephone poles, ear tags from cattle, electric bills, antifreeze, and chicken wire. They attend or ignore one another. An old woman drives down the hill; how did she not see the orange sign? One notes the suspension of one’s position. She smiles as she slides over to the passenger seat, lifting skinny legs and moving foam pillows, so that I can turn her car around for her. Afterward, I look back and Isabella is standing on solid ground again and dry. Neither east bank nor west; neither water nor soil. The old woman drives away, still smiling.

 

[i] “Thus the bridge does not first come to a location to stand in it; rather, a location comes into existence only by virtue of the bridge.” Martin Heidegger, in “Building Dwelling Thinking”.

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