Because of its connotations, Holzwege does not translate well. The word literally denotes forest paths or tracks (Wege) that only serve for transporting wood (Holz) from where it was felled and do not connect two places. Since these paths tend to end in the middle of nowhere, hikers who take these paths are likely to get lost. Hence “auf dem Holzweg sein” (being on the wood path) means being errant, lost, wrong.

I found these beech logs rotting in a forest. Decay has marked them in a way that evokes landscapes seen from above, or entirely insignificant maps

6 thoughts on “Holzwege

  1. Touch2Touch

    So evocative —
    But of what?
    I’ve never figured out — although I love to photograph this sort of texture.

    The word origin is fascinating. Danke.

    1. tms Post author

      If it is evocative of I-don’t-know-what, that’s fine with me. Thank you very much for visiting, looking around and commenting.

  2. missusk76

    Well seen, Tobias. What a fascinating word: Holzwege. Thank you for your description. I love how languages and dialects can reflect so much historical culture. North American English can seem so colourless with the loss of so many colloquialisms in its evolution to modern homogeneity.


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