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Travelogue D2

April 6, 2015

Although I never determined of the headless saints of Saint Jean, whether their fate owed to human hands, weather or other, they marked the first day’s first step in more ways than one. For, in making my way up the Fourvière from the Place, my plans for this record took shape in the playful tension between curatorial observation and haphazard encounters.

To my left, the slope between bends in the road had been fenced off to form a park of sorts, though unsuitable for most uses given the lawn’s steep angle. Not a quarter way up, I stopped for a time to watch in the park a dog which I had only taken notice of due to the complete lack of motion about it. In the quiet of these fallow lands, the dog remained still and was content to watch and wait and, for this reason, did not appear entirely wild. After some minutes, it disappeared into a bush and was gone, dispelling with movement the unearthly stillness which it had held me with.

As I rounded the way up’s first or second bend, depending on one’s reckoning, I caught a glimpse of what appeared to be a park of endless stairs. From this angle, hardly a blade of glass marred the uniform stretch of steps, which doubled back on themselves and seemed to climb up and down to no end or purpose. Such a park of endless stairs was of the stuff drawn from a Borges work, having mysteriously remained unpublished, and it was with great disappointment that I learned up-close, some hours later, of their nature, a mere Roman amphitheatre with considerable stretches of lawn. Anything, when seen from an angle below and peculiar to a certain street, can be made other than it is.

Past the second turn, a number of fictional entities began to parade past, as it were. Miyazaki’s forest spirit had made a home of a lamppost, and a Chavin reptile the corner of some new construction. When no longer able to inhabit their own lands, become fiction, these entities, it occurred to me, uprooted and came to populate the very cities complicit in their demise. In this way, they take on a different sort of reality, the Chavin, the Miyazaki being joined by else still.

It is only upon rounding the third and final bend and negotiating private thoroughfares and pavement crowded with Italians that I came face to face with the structure to which I had been unable to assign any meaningful label when seen from the Place below: the basilica of Fourvière.

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