Saturday, August 6, 2011

and see what happens (or: challenges + journeys)

catching fleeting moments
Saturday. day 78 of the 100-day-project of daily photos. the inspiration for today's image comes from photo friday: the theme is: "Spot", which made me think of the spotted butterflies in the garden. so i go and try to catch a photo, and a video. both are now online in the 100 days blog.

the journey poems
later, i pick up the Ursula Vaira's journey book, to read in it again. it's one of those the collections that draw me back. in it, 3 journeys into the wilderness are shared, in poems that draw an inner map of the outer passage. it probably is also the aspect of timed challenges that draws me to it.

here's a part from the first journey:

Thirty days to pull a thousand miles
white water, wind
currents, tides
nine pullers must strain and sweat
and sing and laugh and cry together

and argue and fight and fall silent.
And see what happens.

these journey poems, they spoke to me, especially the first journey (more about the book, here). revisiting the lines today, they make me remember an exhibition book i once picked up at Tate museum in London. that was on the day i met another traveller for lunch, who gave me the advice for London to not take the subway. "You have to walk", i still remember that line. so i walked. and found: a different London, with a diferent rhythm: a walking seeing connecting London. and so, at Tate, when i saw the book, i picked it, for the title, opened it, and then was fascinated by it, by the artist, and his art:

Walking Journey
Hamish Fulton is a conceptual artist - a walking artist. opening the book, i found images and notes on projects like these:

an 8 day wandering walk Switzerland
a 19 day coast to coast walking journey Japan
the pilgrim's way - 10 days in april - a 165 mile walk
to build is to destroy 14 seven day walks Scotland
no talking for 14 days - a 21 day wandering walk Montana

here's a passage from the book:

"Each walk has its rhythm in step with the land traversed. Fulton's artworks can only, at best, point to the walk. ... Fulton has written himself: "The location of the walk is not in the gallery - and the walk itself is a past event." Fulton walks to be woven into nature, an experience suggested, but never captured by his artwork. In this sense he is a pilgrim, following an adventure of living with this world as he abandons himself to the journey."

Fulton also has a website: Hamish Fulton - Walking Artist. it is created like a gallery, and speaks about art resulting from experience of walking (here). it made me think of Ursula Vaira's poetry resulting from the experience of kayaking. and how journeys have a life of their own, and cannot be purchased.


30 days / 14 days / 100 days / 365 days

i try to imagine it: 19 days of walking. 30 days of paddling. the way the days form an own shape in time, how doing something daily for a while is different than doing the same thing in unconnected intervals.

the thoughts bring me back to my 100 days blog. i thought of giving up halfway, and now thought again of giving up, but then, i am now at 75%... and the daily routine brought me to unexpected, interesting places. i write about this in an e-mail, and receive this reply which sums up a lot of the aspects:

"I think the daily thing is a very, unexpectedly, powerful and interesting exercise."

the sender: Jean Morris, who is keeping an own daily practice at "Trail Mix - small things found on the path"

which now beautifully leads back to the image of a journey: the path. and the things and thoughts and emotions we find on it. the happenings, waiting.

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