At times I was even sure the garden and I were made of the same substance, sand and earth rubbed my bones, mosses, ferns, violets and strelitzia sprouted from my skin, stretched out my limbs. In springtime I let the caterpillars stride over me, in rusty soft processions, and when they made moving rings around my spread fingers, my skin had the stiffness of bark.
In the old days I’d have been scared. But now I knew it was me the garden. I was the garden. I was inside, I was made of priceless diamonds and I had no name. Earth, Earth, I cried.
From Hélène Cixous, A Real Garden (1971) Translated by Beverley Bie Brahic
Images by Francesca Woodman
(The Portable Cixous
Edited by Marta Segarra
New York: Columbia University Press 2010)