Findings - Week 08 Folk on Foot, Soundmarks, From up on Poppy Hill One of my aim for 2020 is to be more conscious of the time I spend reading/listening/watching new (to me) creative projects. I want to actively make time for other people's work a ...
For ten minutes, I get to know my neighbours a bit better. The short waves, the friendly smiles now extended to words and names exchanged. I want to help but I feel powerless. How do you help someone you do not know? How do you help someone who is healthy and secure but is finding it difficult to bear the mental weight of isolation?
Walking is, in part, about not thinking. My body takes over and I am free to wonder and wander. There are boundaries that keep me safe. The pavement is not for cars, the red light will stop the bus. Those boundaries are gone and a walk now requires thoughts and analysis. There are cars to take into account but also cyclists, runners, and other pedestrians too.
Today I have been feeling down. It’s not an overwhelming feeling, more of a presence hovering inside of me. It’s balanced on a thin line, about to collapse at any moment, break, and take over me. I pause every now and again and think about that feeling, that line. I imagine it stretched just right and I will the thing on it to keep balancing. And it does.
I met J on the first week-end of February when we helped the local nature reserve volunteer group dig up saplings from the grass meadow. We hadn’t talk all that much. The work was solitary and she had to leave early. But we did figure out that we live in the same street. I knew her house by the cats surrounding it and the collection of teddy bears in the window.
I roll over in bed and grumble at the sharp repeated note in the air. Who is taking so long to disable their alarm on a Saturday morning? The note carries on, shrill and loud. I turn on my back and listen closer to identify the culprit. It is not an alarm. It is a bird. I smile at my own stupidity. Of course it is a bird.
It was exhausting to constantly calculate distances in my head, to stay fully alert to the world around me. I wanted to enjoy being back on the saddle. I wanted to feel the wind in my hair, the prickle of the early morning chill on my fingers. But I couldn’t let those sensations dominate.
I can’t remember the last time I shot this camera. Now that I hold it I wonder why. It fits beautifully in my hands, its weight a comforting presence in my grasp. I open the back to load a roll of film and for a moment I’m lost. Was it at the top or at the bottom that the empty spool should go? I have to open the manual on my phone to find an answer.