242 Coincidence Generator

 

Returning from my Summer Course on “Coincidence, Synchronicity, Toeval” in Dordogne, August 2012 see Antillia  I got lost on the roads of Normandy (France). I had a look on the roadmap and saw this funny village name: “Risquetout” (= “risk everything”), so I put that in my GPS. Then I noticed it took me to Route Départementale 242 (D242), and since I found out that this number is a powerful Coincidence generator (read the story here in Dutch: “242 Poëzie van het Toeval“) I decided to drive this road from beginning to end, starting in Le Sap and finishing in Trun, 26 km further on. Soon I found out that this road was the scene of a heavy battle during World War 2, remembered as “The Battle of Hill 262” read about what happened here, how many lives were lost: Hill 262
To illustrate how devastating this fight was and how much blood colored this hill a quote from General Eisenhower: “no other battlefield presented such a horrible sight of death, hell, and total destruction…”.
At the moment I was driving along this road, I wasn’t aware of its history. Nevertheless, during this 26 km, I took pictures of all road signs. I can imagine for the soldiers back then they were more than that: such a sign could mean the road to heaven or hell. Driving along the road I suddenly noticed that my car’s odometer showed 46,242km, see at 02:42 so I stopped, a little later I arrived at the “Couloir De La Mort” (“Corridor Of Death”) see at 03:00 . At 01:45 I found a rememberance sign, showing the birthday of my mother: at the time of the Flagofficer’s death she turned 25.
To accompany the pictures I chose a song from the Frisian (Netherlands) singer/songwriter Nynke Laverman: “De Ûntdekker” (= “the explorer, discoverer, pioneer”) because I thought rhythm, composition & lyrics fitted the images and the history of this location.
Nynke’s site: Nynke Laverman

That afternoon will stay with me, as if it were that all who fought here, all who died, all who were wounded, all who survived cried out: NO MORE…. and that’s what I hear too in Nynke’s powerful, yet vulnerable song. Ave. Pax Tibi.

Here the English version of Lynke’s lyrics (from her site)

THE DISCOVERER

my blackened feet are marching
along the rim of the crater
my blackened feet are marching
along the rim of the world
my blackened feet are marching
along the rim of the crater
my blackened feet are marching
and I won’t go home just yet

I do not know where I am
I do not know what’s coming
but my feet thump onwards
along the rim of the crater
I want to know who I am
in every corner of the world
I won’t go home just yet
I want to know
I am the discoverer
of the great unknown in me
I am the discoverer
my tracks are fresh
each day I am new

my blackened feet are marching
along the rim of the crater
my blackened feet are marching
along the rim of the world

I change with the landscape
I merge with the climates
I blend in with each colour
strike a chord in every speech

I churn with the rivers
I side with metropolises
let myself be slain by the sun
let myself be filled by the rain

my blackened feet are marching
along the rim of the crater
my blackened feet are marching
and I won’t go home just yet

in deserts I boil sand
and drink tea with scorpions
I swim as supple as snakes
passing under cool rocks

in the icescape I am bride
and sleep in a white suite
on the biggest four-poster bed
I sing songs of crystal

I am the discoverer
of the great unknown in me

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