Last week was my birthday and I went to London for the day, this was a big ask for my body and I paid for it by being ill for the following 5 days, however, as I sat waiting for the exhaustion and physical symptoms to pass I decided to teach myself how to record a podcast and edit sound. (Yes, finally I am getting round to learning how to work with sound!) As soon as I felt better I was out walking and you can listen to my first podcast here called “A misty walk” https://snakewomangirl.podbean.com.
My intention is to edit some of the walking interviews in order to create podcasts. I have to get permission from women who were interviewed as I didn’t know I was going to start making podcasts at the time of recording the interviews. It all feels exciting and in the first episode where I walk and talk it feels a lot easier as I’m actually out there directly recording what comes into my mind than having to remember it when I get back.
I’ve also been listening to a podcast by Katy Bowman who talks about movement being like nutrition and how our sedentary indoor lives restrict bodily movements that creates diseases, so if your body allows it, start stretching and walking outside daily. She recommends you come away from the laptop/looking at your phone and look into the distance to enable your eye muscles to relax as they stop contracting to look at things close up. If you have to be seated for long periods then get up once an hour, look out of the window and shift your position regularly. Consider going to bed earlier to rise earlier in order to walk to work or if you have to travel get off a few stops before and walk a longer distance.
The aim is to lead a less sedentary lifestyle and get outside more. Bowman has radically altered her home into a minimalist environment where she has removed furniture so that she has to use muscles to sit on the floor and get up thus increasing the movements her family do. This embedding of a wider range of movements into every day helps to make it more natural and less something you do separately, like go to the gym or a class. Not long ago people walked more because they didn’t own a car, now, vehicles are sovereign and certain roads are blocked to pedestrians thus making it a challenge to travel without being in a vehicle. Therefore, we have to consciously make opportunities to reclaim our right to walk.
Today I interviewed an artist called Christine Clarke who paints, batiks and sews amazing pieces of work, we talked about the different consciousness she experienced whilst she was out walking as if time collapsed and she felt as if she was walking with her ancestors and simultaneously people who would come after her death. I also spoke of my experience of being aware of my body carrying me and watching the world go by as if I was a child being carried by its mother. Talking to her and seeing her visionary work inspired me to begin working with textiles again.
On the way home it occurred to me that it has taken me 5 months to recover from the last project and, as Christine so correctly pointed out, we have to rest and not expect ourselves as artists to be able to produce work at such a fast pace all the time. The creative parts in us need to lie fallow, like winter while seeds lay dormant and the earth composts organic matter into the soil. I have felt lost and disconnected from my creative selves and have been “wandering” and looking for waymarkers in the mist, following this path, following that, feeling a lack of integration. The walking interviews and daily walking have been the map. I am familiar with this part of the creative process, this not knowing and gathering information, trying and testing ideas until things begin to take shape, I just have to stay in it and not push the process and let things unfold. All the wanderings I have taken will all make sense further on in the process. The trick is to go slowly, watch, draw, listen, document.