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solved by walking...


A barn door, on one of the Finnish lanes close by to where I am staying, reminding me of Eve’s hut, in my play EVE, knowing that many things have happened in this barn…

Walking. Solving the questions. “solvitur ambulandu"… it is solved by walking…St Augustine. Bill my partner always reminds me of this, and on my daily walks along the long winding roads, I hear him…

Allowing the questions to find their own solution… The large questions that we ask ourselves in the quiet moments, questions like Why are we here? What is my purpose? Often, as I sit at my desk hour after hour, these questions sneak into the forefront of my mind, and as Eve, in my Belonging Trilogy says, “I want to take it [my mind] out and give it a scratch, it seethes with things I cannot grasp”.

These essential questions come up as we walk the path, some call it the path towards the sacred. I find myself walking the narrow roads around my Finnish residence, passing wide open fields, some freshly ploughed, ready for the seeds once the weather settles. Such potential, and I wonder what these fields will look like in a couple of months, full of green, flowers and blueberries everywhere…

Presently we have such a variety of days: snow, sun, wind, rain, clouds and suddenly clear blue sky again, all on the same day. The fields also hold beautiful structures, old barns, saunas and the occasional dog, barking an hello as I pass and small beautiful archetypal homes, some just large enough for one, others more family focused, most red with white windows, some yellow, others blue…all romantic to my Australian eyes. I walk passed and imagine what it would be like to live there.

Walking. Solving the questions. The large questions that my research has pushed me towards. “You need chaos to give birth to a dancing star” said Nietzsche. Perhaps the questions are the chaos required.

Starting out on the walk, the questions sit, waiting to unfold in time. The air is fresh, fresher than at home. It wakes up each cell, urging me to walk faster so that I stay warm. Sometimes I walk with my Nordic walking sticks strapped to my wrists, sometimes not.

When answers come, I write them down on a crumpled notepad that I have stuffed in my pocket “Of course, so logical!” Or “Of course, its standing right in front of me”. When it is too cold to remove my gloves to write, I repeat the message to myself, ready to record it on my return. Sometimes it eludes me again, only to present itself in the walk of tomorrow , or drinking coffee afterwards, the favoured drink of the Finns.

Walking is a meditation of sorts, a way of staying awake, of finding what you did not know you knew. a way of paying attention to what has heart: the glorious countryside. It nurtures not only body, but the soul.

Just outside of the kitchen at Arteles Creative Centre sits a circle that we can walk around…a walking meditation. To the right you can see the shed, where lots of activity occurs throughout the day: some artists are welding, others making sculptures. Just out of the frame on the right is the open pit fire and to the left of the frame is the sauna, a Finnish institution.


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