Thursday, 1 October 2009
Tuesday, 4 August 2009
We marked our trails of crystallised perceptions; some of them preserved, some rolled into the surf or lifted away in the wind; being our reward, or perhaps our irritation.
While Hamish Fulton and Richard Long made an artistic practice of walking solo, we found our work as a little group, feeling the place through our stride-rhythms, jazz-improvising stitch-lines and figures of speech to hold together the seams between sand and waves, land and sky, nevermore and always.
Monday, 27 July 2009
Like razor shells, they seem at first glance to be straight, but they are not. We might think that we walk in fairly straight lines, but we don't.....
Thursday, 23 July 2009
Drawing together walkers, places, flotsam and jetsam, images and threads of conversations.
There are long strands, a warp, of the route we took.
There are the shorter, weft like threads, which make the crossings and relationships found on walks.
There are even more fragile ones, almost invisible, which may be the silences or clouds passing over.
Potential for a treble, or even quadruple layered cloth comes to mind, where there are some threads that appear occasionally. They are the stitching cloth, holding layers together, not always in an obvious pattern.
The crossings like those of Indra's net, reflecting all the new ways of hearing, seeing and perceiving. They are reminders of walks taken and people known, or conversations and journeys that will be taken in future.
Wednesday, 22 July 2009
If the Rocket House were built in the 1850’s then it is possible that it used Portland cement.
I have been on three of the walks now and really enjoyed them all. If I find time I'll add something about that, rather than this techy stuff.
Sunday, 19 July 2009
Francis Harold Cook describes the metaphor of Indra's net from the perspective of the Huayan school in the book Hua-Yen Buddhism: The Jewel Net of Indra:
|'Far away in the heavenly abode of the great god Indra, there is a wonderful net which has been hung by some cunning artificer in such a manner that it stretches out infintely in all directions. In accordance with the extravagant tastes of deities, the artificer has hung a single glittering jewel in each "eye" of the net, and since the net itself is infinite in dimension, the jewels are infinite in number. There hang the jewels, glittering like stars in the first magnitude, a wonderful sight to behold. If we now arbitrarily select one of these jewels for inspection and look closely at it, we will discover that in its polished surface there are reflected all the other jewels in the net, infinite in number. Not only that, but each of the jewels reflected in this one jewel is also reflecting all the other jewels, so that there is an infinite reflecting process occurring.'|
Monday, 13 July 2009
13 July 2009
On Saturday I spent the day in conversation while enjoying a gentle stroll around the landscape at Salthouse, on the north Norfolk coast. This “walking conversation” was organised by the artists Liz McGowan and Jane Frost as part of their Salt Trailsabout the land, and also between the walkers and the land. The idea of conversing with the land, and with nature, has also been proposed by Stephen Talbott. Conversation is a way of engaging with things that recognises that they are always changing. Talbott suggests that both nature and humans exist “only through continual self-transformation”, and that a “satisfying conversation is neither rigidly programmed nor chaotic; somewhere between perfect order and total surprise we look for a creative tension, a progressive and mutual deepening of insight, a sense that were are getting somewhere worthwhile”. Unfortunately, humans love stability. We feel more secure if we believe that things will not change. Our scientific and managerial processes are based on the assumption that there are clear ‘facts’, simple cause and effect relationships, and a ‘best’ way to do everything. And much of our behaviour towards nature is more like a proclamation than a conversation – we stride into the landscape, declare our viewpoint, our desires and our expectations, and then leave again without pausing to discover the effect on our listeners. project. It was one of a series of conversations between walkers
By contrast, an ecological conversation, like many conversations with people that we do not know well, starts with a few cautious questions. Talbott suggests that every “experimental gardening technique, every new industrial process, every different kind of bird feeder is a question put to nature”. I have, for example, already described my ‘conversation’ with my garden. Due to our ignorance, our question may cause trouble, but it is this ignorance that we are trying to remedy through our conversation. More sensitive questions emerge through our deepening understanding of the ‘person’ with whom we converse. As a result, are conversation is creative, inventive, producing new possibilities for interaction that did not exist before. Talbott also notes that conversation always takes place between individuals, not abstractions or stereotypes. We cannot converse with an abstract ‘industrialist’ or ‘environmentalist’ but only with a specific individual who will not conform precisely to any label. Similarly, we cannot converse with a ‘wetland’ or a ‘threatened species’ but only with the very particular locality or individual animal or plant with which we engage. This is why movements such as Transition Towns and Slow Food must be grassroots movements. They can only develop successfully by engaging in ecological conversations with the immediate, and unique, locality within which they are embedded.
The life coaching process is also a conversation. It is a conversation between two unique individuals through which we both deepen our knowledge and produce creative insights that move us both forward. The client moves towards a more creative, more fulfilled and more sustainable life, while the coach progressively develops a more effective and more insightful coaching process.http://theslowcoach.wordpress.com
Wednesday, 8 July 2009
mole motorways and insect paths
the myriad histories carried by the land
a butterfly emerging from the skull of a deer
the smell of musk thistles
the eternal shift of the coastline and the human desire for stability