The gaze on the Karst is an ongoing choice between detail and vastness, between memory and emotion. It brings out assonance and metaphors confusing reality with suggestions, or vice versa. The fovea fixes a bright red smoke-bush and recalls an idea of a romantic Karst, of pure colour. Then the history emerges, here blood is spilled.
The eye catches the whiteness of the sharp rocks and the brain realizes that this is the real substance of the place. From the boulders to the smallest stones shattered by time and the elements, from the visible but eternally present signs of the water, from the black topsoil of humus and red of mineral iron, this is the material of the Karst. The gaze widens, the patches of smoke-bush and the rocks merge into rolling hills. the sinkholes looking like their photographic negative, the footprint the opposite of the relief.
The eye searches for a sign of water. There in the distance, to the south, lies the Adriatic. It gazes down on the sinkholes and valleys covered by vegetation.
There, an unmistakable reflection, a flash of light that does not reflect scrub or rocks, the lake of Doberdò. The reflection is static, not indicating running water, not revealing the swirling and bubbling that certainly dominates the world below ground. A calm undisturbed by wind, held back by the high ground but nevertheless revealed by the swaying reeds. An apparent immobility that covers the surface of fallen leaves and aquatic plants. The lake is in its decadent phase. Fed by underground springs and rains, when they are abundant it spreads out, when they are rare or disappear vegetation takes over, its roots slowly bringing about the its silting up.
Beauty has no adjectives, only emotions. This is why life in the Karst is discreet, never blatant. A fleeing roe deer, the fluttering of a jay, the wake left by a mallard, the spread wings of a bird of prey in the sky seem part of the landscape.
And humankind? They enjoy this beauty in a solitary fashion, discreetly following the ancient paths marked by dry stone walls, growing a few potatoes here, creating allotments for vines there.