Friday, September 16, 2016

I chant my steps

I've been able to resume a daily walk.
I use a cane, I count each step, chanting in my mind
...twenty two, twenty three, twenty four.........
I don't know why I do that.
Each day I can get a little further without stopping to rest.
The act of walking has become a brave repetition of small movements
that strengthen me, ground me, and give me ritual.
I am sewing a line to celebrate my daily walk.
I've have been considering doing this for years.
Last winter, each time that I completed the walk, I moved a square of white linen into a basket, although I didn't know how or what I was going to do with them.  Some kind of path perhaps.

The repetition of day after day of stepping reminded me of stitching.  It was as if I was sewing myself to my local landscape.  I wanted to make something that referenced the running stitch I guess.
A walking step/stitch.
Then I broke my leg.
No more walk.
Instead, I looked at the horizon.  I sat on my deck.
I began wrapping those squares of white around around sweet clover.  Wrap wrap wrap.
The clover stalks grow as tall as me.  In the summer they smelled sweet.
I bent the branches, cut the stalk, and bandaged them with cloth and thread.
I thought that somehow, these could still represent me and my walk. The walk un-walked.

My daughter told me that they looked like bones.
go over, go through, go into what we already know
material objects open a door to inner ness
I spaced the white steps into a relaxed gait, using cloth that I have saved, full of memories.
My life path, a patchwork of time.

My path will measures the distance of the walk I can do now and I'll speak more about it when it is installed during the elemental festival in 2 weeks.

Gravity is measured by the bottom of the foot.                  Juhani Pallasmaa said that

23 comments:

Heather said...

What a beautiful healing process.

Ms. said...

Your ability to create ritual work is such a wonderful testament to life. I'm less creative now that I've been managing a newly diagnosed chronic condition, though I write and sometimes reference it, it has not taken the shape of an art practice. You have my admiration and respect as you know, now add in the pleasure of viewing your process, and gratitude for the inspiration.

Mo Crow said...

powerful journey work

jude said...

i quietly adore your approach

Nancy said...

This...you...really, really something. Sigh.

Stephanie Jo said...

I'm always enchanted by the pictures of your work displayed outside. Of course, the light adds its own radiance but it's almost as if the work is now seen in its truest setting.

wholly jeanne said...

These stepping canes / stitching lanes look very much at home in Mother Nature's house.

jacqueline said...

Beautiful..inspiring, thanks and love.....

Kate Fern said...

Beautiful work, and so much more because of the story it tells

SheilasEmbroidery said...

Thank you for an inspirational story. What a great reminder of life's journey.

Linda said...

This is just another example of how you make everyday an art day. I totally admire your steadfastness.
I also admire your work. Beautiful as always.

Els said...

glad you are making your steps again !
(steps of cloth ?)

Unknown said...

I am so happy to hear you're walking again, and what a beautiful way to celebrate each step.

Sandra said...

Reading your post I am reminded of the Elemental festival in Manitoulin coming up. The curatorial theme is "Walking". The blurb they wrote about walking is powerful! I like to see you exploring that in your own way. Also glad you are walking!

johanna said...

it Looks so beautiful out there in the autumn sun... glad you are on the mend!

Judy Martin said...

All summer I have been watching that beautiful sunrise as it makes the cedar grove and gunnera big leaf under growth glow with incredible beauty. It's a brief period of time - very precious.

When I photographed this piece, it was so strange. I woke up pre-dawn, took my cane, my camera, the work down to the clothes line - I had to come back up hill to get my walker - it was too exhausting and too difficult to hang the work and also photograph it without a seat - which is built into the walker. I got the work up just in time for the light - and it was only there for about ten minutes if that. Very pleased to have been blessed with the sun's morning light for these photos.

x

Montse Llamas said...

I am glad that you are going better. Step by step.

Patricia Filteau said...

Hi Judy, I enjoyed reading through, I chant my steps. It is inspiring and of course, beautiful. Love the use of light. I relate to the walking challenge as every step I take is painful. A cane is part of life now and a walker and scooter may join the parapenalia. I vicariously look out across the water as you capture it so much of your artwork. Morning light!

Lorie McCown said...

This is such a special piece. A very measured and important one. One step at a time? I broke the very same bone, on my left left leg 5 years ago. Definitely was a challenge. Love seeing your work and thoughts. xo

Heather Hutchinson said...

Wonderful words and pics for your beautiful work.

Jacky said...

What wonderful new work Judy ... So sorry to hear you broke your leg. Glad you are back walking again and that you were inspired to make this during your healing process. Cloth to heal 😘

Caterina Giglio said...

So sorry to hear about your leg, that slows things down a bit doesn't it... beautiful new work, and sending healing vibes for speedy recovery... xo

Film Online said...

great idea