Words are still. Once written down on a page, they do not change, they stay the same for those who read them now and others that read them later. Reading a page can be done anywhere at any time, given that we are in possession of this page. Reading a page can be postponed and continued another time without any disturbance of the content to read.
Reading a landscape is a different matter. A landscape is dynamic, in constant transformation. It is read in different ways depending on the time of the day, month and year, and depending on all the factors that are brought together in that specific moment in that specific space.
So, it’s 16:02 and I’m sitting in Tivoli for the third time this week. The place where I am sitting is the same as the one I was sitting at this morning and earlier this week. But right now, I perceive it differently than I did then. The foreground of my landscape it is quieter than this morning, but its background is busier, with tiny people moving in the sun.
A truck passes in front of me. A truck in the park? This corner over there seems like a construction site, with orange banners and a triangle sign on which is marked “Obrezovanje dreves”. I google translate it. Ok it’s not a construction site, they are just trimming trees. They are contributing to the modification of the landscape. It’s not a bad thing, the landscape would have changed by itself anyway, they are just helping it change in a specific way.
So, I’m sitting and reading. I’m a slow reader but not a patient one. I need time to process what I see, hence coming back here more than once. Except that it is impossible to continue my previous reading; every time I come I find the place filled with a different content. A patient reader would have sat here for hours. They would have become a spectator to the slow dance of light and shadows accompanied by the shimmering sound of the leaves. I am only witnessing a short part of it and guessing the rest by comparing with the way the light was last time I came.
The leaves seem very excited, shaking as if clapping for something. I might be lucky, catching them at a right moment. Are they encouraging this yellow one that just jumped from its branch to fall and float towards the ground? I can only make assumptions; the patient reader would have had the full context. It’s mid-august, but some leaves are already starting to prepare a premature autumnal carpet on the side of the alleys. Perhaps next time I come back this carpet will be thicker and I’ll be able to walk on it to hear it cracking under my feet.