Meandering is a stance to the world that can be understood as a flowing movement. In this movement, body, eye and thought curve and bend, following a winding course. When a movement is forced to change direction by an obstacle, it flows asymmetrically to its outer edges. From there it rebounds and flows diagonally to the opposite edge. In this way, debris or generally soil, is carried away and deposited downstream. Since the speed on the outside is higher than on the inside, a loop-shaped course is created: The Meander.
The human spine is divided into differently shaped sections. Viewed from the side, the cervical spine bends forward, the thoracic spine to the rear, the lumbar spine to the front and the sacrum and tailbone again to the back. This meander gives us posture and flexibility against pressure. A meandering gaze helps us keep our balance. We let the gaze meander from one point to a similar one, to a different one, back to the first, a variation of it, deviating to a very different one, one from memory, a known one, to one that is due. Our concentration is repeatedly kept in variation, through the resulting ornament of the gaze. This form of concentration gives narrative threads a different grammar.
In Abbas Kiarostami’s film, The Wind Will Carry Us, the motif of meandering appears visually multiple times, but it also describes the course of the plot. It starts with the composition of the first image: A car drives along a narrow winding road. Meandering roads appear again and again at regular intervals when the protagonist Behzad is driving a car or a motorcycle in the mountains. We see the rolling motion of an apple falling from the balcony a meandering one. If we would say “waiting for the death of an old woman from the village” is the main thread of the narrative, we recognize how the film branches off from it repeatedly. Episodes of animals blocking the street, and thus the ongoing movement of the, and the many phone calls from Tehran constantly forcing Behzad to change places for better reception, are interwoven in such a way as to create a meandering narrative.
The theme of meandering emerges in different manifestations and at the same time describes a reaction to our being-in-the-world. In a stream, sediments are removed from the outside of the curve and collected on the inside, with loose fragments easier abraded than solid rocks. In the sequence of erosion and accumulation, the bend becomes larger and a breach occurs. Only a green planting, firmly rooted, can protect against such a breach.