If it is called the Painters’ Path it will be because it is picturesque.
The definitions of “picturesque” are many.
“Everything that lends itself to a pictorial representation has certain qualities: variety and a pleasant disorder.”
More simply “what arouses interest or evokes aesthetic, or in any case visual, emotions due to the presence of unusual elements”
What is a visually impaired person doing on a path that has the peculiarity of being beautiful to see?
The visual residue I have left allows me to appreciate the landscapes. It is not relevant if what I see is reality or not, the fact is that I like it a lot. And it causes me very strong emotions.
Especially because that landscape framed between the rocks, those green and gentle hills, those agglomerations of boulders, I have earned them all. With my steps. Uncertain and heavy. One by one.
I went up and down all the thousands of steps, I slipped into unlikely holes.
I wondered, myself, how the hell do you find the best way to penetrate the rocks and build or dig stairs and footholds.
I admired, with shortness of breath and sweaty skin, all those views.
Some of those could also be reached with a few steps from a convenient car park.
Alongside those strangers who saw my own picturesque, I felt I had a greater right.
Maybe even a superior beauty.
But now I know that the Painters’ Path is not only exciting for the views, but for how you can conquer them, putting them on as neck medals, sometimes without realizing it, without knowing that at the next step you will look up to a new horizon.
It was a succession of surprises.
For the huge trees, for the very green moss, for the waterways, for the singing of the birds, for the rocks and stones, the roots and branches, the leaves and the needles.
I was a surprise myself.
I found myself a modern cartographer, a prudent explorer and a tireless adventurer.
I chose to sleep under the moon, because the comfort of the bed is never in a room as big as an entire forest.
I chose to hang on the sky, overlooking the Elbe and to challenge the night, I who do not see the stars.
All this has nothing to do with the picturesque.
But with the luck that what remains of the view allows me to go and find these moments, that freedom without any thought that for a week and over 150 km has brought me from the river to the mountains, from the rocks to the streams and back to the river.
A blue vein that flows slightly dividing the two sides of a valley that I went to discover really closely.
I felt proud.
For completing this adventure without incidents.
For a visually impaired person who collides with the poles at the roadside of his neighborhood, it is like having forgotten his limits for the time of a trip.
Or perhaps, having made them so own as to overcome them without even realizing it.
I now reflect on all this in retrospect.
But the steps only served to forget.
To be like an ancient man.
A walking body.
With that slow time that I already learned to measure 13 years ago.
With the feet.