I do this thing where I try to fold meaning into what I’m writing about, and sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. I wanted to try to explain how I felt about the fences and ruins because they actually had a huge impact on me, but I felt like anything I wrote would come across as reaching for something that wasn’t there and I didn’t want to give the structures to you with this weird overanalysis attached. They were just fences, afterall. But they were something more than that and now I want to try to get it down so maybe I’ll better understand the experience when I read this in the future after I’ve forgotten everything.
The first thing to understand is how isolated they were in a country that’s so populated and in a region continuously inhabited since ancient times. For the last week, every 10 minutes I’d drive through a town, but here I drove for 45 minutes without really seeing anyone, maybe passing one or two cars. There were occasionally some buildings, but no life really. It reminded me of Alaska, especially as it was snowing sideways at the time.
The structures aren’t ancient in my mind – that word reminds me of some movement of people, some civilization like Rome or Greece. I felt that these fences were the work of individuals who were living in the area and put them up for themselves. But I also doubt they’re prehistoric.
The sense I gather from them is that they’re expressions of people from a timeless era, of a pre-modern, non-progress-based time. They felt -unconscious- to me, and I think that might be the word I was looking for when I wrote, “Maybe there’s a word for this.” Nietzsche wrote about how being able to forget was the key to living in the present – you’re filled with wonder at the smallest things if they’re new to your consciousness. I don’t know if a circle-based time meant remembering everything or forgetting everything. Living in a circle, though, is definitely a more animalistic way of experiencing time.