DANIEL NORGREN
THE TRAIL OF RUDE, VÄSTRA GÖTALAND, SWEDEN

You can smell the silage outside the house in Rude. It is an old place. An ancient landscape inhabited by cows, sheep, old people, hills and trees. Trees and more trees. This is where he lives, writes and records the silence. The sound of the pines and firs, whispering about the age of the land, the trail and neighbours, who still harvest the fields with scythes and horses.

He leaves his phone on the kitchen table and closes the door. The trail begins here outside his house on the road that leads to the church. He nods to the neighbour behind the small, wooden fence. “Hey Daniel, you’re home again?”, and then they talk for a while about the weather. The nights are getting colder, and pretty soon the fog will gather around the base of the trees and his footsteps on the path.

There is a lake on the other side of the hill; Åsunden. He cannot see it from his house, but he can feel it; something is coming from beyond the hill. It must be the water, the old water from the lake. Or some sort of clear air.

He makes a turn and disappears into the woods.

The trail leads to an old, wooden flour mill. It is derelict, but still in rather good shape. No one uses that mill anymore, it just sits there, an old space that breathes in the forest, slowly and regularly.

Even the neighbours agree that this trail is mystical, almost magical. Something special grows between the penny buns and blueberries, between the sounds of birds and bees and nothing. He switches on his recorder and stays for a while in the vacuum of no sound and every sound, before he wanders back to his house and the neighbour at the fence.

This is the trail in the forest by the lake that cannot be seen from his house. This is the trail that is under his feet, in his mind and now also in his hotel room in Seattle in America. He closes the door to the hotel hallway, he puts on his head phones and listens to the sounds from the trail of Rude. The pines and the firs, the birds and the bees and nothing.

Reliefs in oak wood: Artist Søren Assenholt
Prose and concept: Author Sanne Flyvbjerg