Julie Rafalski

Residency in Börstingen - 10

On a journey everything is temporary.

I am on a train traveling through southern Germany. Black silhouettes of pine trees against a twilight blue sky pass by in the window frames. The wind howls in through the open windows. Outside, a woman on a bicycle rides down a tree-lined road in the middle of a field. More pine trees. A group of people and a dog are walking on a foot path. Towns pass by in the distance. Two people on bicycles pass next to a slowly-moving stream covered partly by trees. On the train, a woman laughs and speaks to someone in Italian on her phone.

A similar laugh perhaps to one belonging to a woman in the 15th century in Italy -at the time when Pisanello was painting trees as a background for a paining- a painting I saw as a reproduction in a book about the art collection in the National Gallery in London- I saw this reproduction as a kid in Pennsylvania- where the trees had a similar smell on summer evenings to the forest smell coming in through the window of my speeding train.