I’m going to tell you a little about the birth of Yann Bronder.
Upon Mount Iglesias, two shepherds, whose names I cannot recall, became entwined in an embrace. After their embrace, they both dutifully returned to tend to their herds. Their salty seed, still warm from their moment of passion, lingered behind and seeped through the cracks of the arid rock face deep into the mountain’s core. The coolness of the earth’s layers solidified this fertile fluid and stretched it from mountainside to mountainside like an impenetrable fleece. It lay dormant over countless winters and summers, until suddenly the Iglesias underground river plucked up the fleece and carried it away towards the surface water. It traveled through streams and ponds on a journey I will not describe here, until the sodden fleece was stranded upon a reed bank near the hamlet of Iglesias. It was there, and only there, upon that bank that Yann Bronder was conceived.
After traveling down Mount Iglesias and the Iglesias river, the shepherd’s seed had ended up in the fertile mud of Iglesias, and it was whence that an already mature woman arose. She took stock of her surroundings and nodded in satisfaction. There are many different accounts of what she did next. I can see you want to know, so I’ll tell you which of these accounts seem the most likely to me.
The Bronder that was born stripped off the last remants of fleece still clinging to her skin and broke a long blunt branch off a parched pine tree. She plucked the red fruit of a mastic plant and crushed it to a pulp using the branch and then carefully smeared it all over her body. Covered in red pulp and using the pine tree’s branch as a cane, she set a course for Iglesias. When she arrived, the Bronder settled under a tree overlooking the hamlet. Every day the children look for her there, but they always keep their distance. The Bronder doesn’t speak, but pokes about in the loose sand with her pine stick and gesticulates like a rogue hawker.
The Bronder gesticulates about the seeds of shepherds, about subterranean rivers, and the sap of fruits and the shade of their husks, about reed banks teeming with life and how that life can bring forth new life. About how things seem to run in circles around other things, while other things do so not at all. She gesticulates that ankles, knees and necks are weak. She sets her fingernails alight until the flames dance like red spheres across her hand. She gesticulates how to suffer, die silently and then return as an alluring fleece that eventually suffocates from glandular fever. She gesticulates about a bronze water pipe. She gesticulates that everyone roams about in their own belly and that this is why the tree under which they are sitting is also a mountain.
The inhabitants of Iglesias continue to bear children – could these people ever stop? And so the red Bronder pokes about in the sand with her pine branch. She is the last of the beautifully fleeced and whose fault is that?
You make me sad. Go now and upset someone else. And if you feel afraid – don’t worry. Yann Bronder will take care of you.
Text written by Jef Woestenborghs