A new friend pointed me towards the hills. He told me to go east, through the village, across the autobahn and into the fields and forests.
Thankfully he'd explained that the country side is east and the village is west. And I remembered this after I'd gotten lost! I really thought I was keeping track of myself but after 4 hours of wandering and musing on nature, nation and history, I came to in Wackersdorf!? I hiked around the thoroughly neat and tidy village for at least 40 minutes, panic slowly rising, until I was faced with the decision: either ask for help with my nonexistent german or figure it out! My phone was not in service, but to my surprise the compass app worked! West... West! And within 15 minutes I was back in the forest and began recognizing the trees. I thought they were all alike, twins, rows and rows of adolescent tree soldiers but to see them again they were like old friends.
On my hike I noticed several things, but first it was the blinds, the watching huts, the perches! I climbed the first one I saw. The construction is rough but elegant. As I walked I found more, many in fact, each built differently, at different times, by different hands. I particularly liked the leaning perch.
Some other things I observed during my hike: I came across a pile of rubble (This was just prior to getting lost, which to me felt like some kind of lossy state of consciousness. I can't really put my finger on how/what turned me around. There's a gap in my memory and I can only summize that it was due to my deeply thinking about this pile of gravel. I have a pile of gravel as my muse. Of course.)
The gravel: As I approached, thinking not much of it except that I'd seen it before (I got lost on my return trip), but then I began to notice some brightly colored rocks, and as I came nearer, some motifs. Crouched at the pile I could see that among the small hard rocks were shards of red roof tiles, bits of white and blue tea cups, and bright yellow and red kitchen counter tops. I sifted around awhile and selected a few small remains. I was for some reason riveted by what I saw. Why did this shock me so? Imagine if you went to HomeDepot to purchase a 50# bag of gravel and found remnants of a former life's architecture in your construction material. That would be something. I think it's this extended history that is embedded in the landscape here, it makes you face your own mortality. In America, it's like the land of short-term memory loss. Constant re-invention, with little to no reconsideration. It makes sense... here. There is a longer architectural history. Eventually it's only logical that you build your next home out of the past. There is a psychic result from this too I think. I can't describe it yet. Maybe it's that people project themselves less into the future and more in the present and the past. I make the error of projecting, even existing in the future a lot. It's when I'm walking, moving, that I can be present, be still.