A friend said –‘I am interested in what Carolyn does next’….
that 'EMBRACE' is what I am doing, the closest thing to describing what I am doing next…
to see what is beyond......
to feel and find, to recollect, and in the process, feel ...
through walking, writing and making.
through creating, to mark the moment.
Some have said, may say ‘To embrace what’?
Only now, this movement into an embrace is not a passionate hug, or my beloveds warm skin, hand, face, arm, chest on mine. But into the next moment, this communion is being in the middle of somewhere in the landscape, without human contact, no more, not skin on skin, but in the minds eye, now feeling a softness.
I don’t measure my life out in spoonfuls of sugar.
But I do walk the same pathways each day, the same hills that connect me and contain me.
The same pathways that embrace me, I walk along the same muddy lanes and woods.
Each day, compelled to keep walking, taking in, breathing in the transitory nature of time, and the seasons fleeting images.
I am floating, hovering at times. Hardly making a print, I cannot hear my foot-fall.
At others I slip, I slide, and leave a mark in the soft moss and earth, following onwards, drugged into being with no map.
I climb over stones, and pass through gates and styles.
And I say..... here I am today..... this is the walk that makes me who I am...... to appease my desire ........to quench my thirst....... to let the tears spill........to lull the voices into submission.....fill the void, the stormy confusion, loneliness........and above all to connect to the day into a blur of rhythm and uncontrived time.
It is a calling.
I return the next day to start walking again. I chant out loud, I note each particle and shape of nature, each root and branch, each trembling.
I open my heart to the embrace, to accept that love is now somewhere within me. It is my shadow, my bones, wrinkled falling empty flesh, my breath and my moving.
My ever changing silhouette against the skyline.
I am seen as a roamer, mercurial.
Named a will-o'-the-wisp, a romantic. I am not seeing myself as any of these things, the things that others think they see.
In surprise, people call out to me, or wave and nod, offering a connection to their world, their troubles and lives. They say, ‘You off walking then’ or ask me ‘how was your walk?’ or ‘it’s a nice day for walking’.
But the someone who I am just keeps walking, dare we say.........alone.
I take my boots off at the door unlacing them methodically, and set them side by side.
Waiting for the feel of the soft earth again. Those intimate encounters once again.
I do not say, 'I embraced the air', 'I cried to the skylark', 'I lifted my arms wide',
'I stop and stare at my shadow', ‘I didn’t think about anything’,‘I felt numb’,‘I felt the embrace of something’, ‘I was free’, ‘Do you understand any of these things?’
I say ‘yes it was a nice walk, it was fine thank you’
No need to be anything other than a person walking.
I rarely see anyone.
At most a person walking a dog.
That is the best walk to feel free of human company.
I can then disappear over the horizon, dipping, turning, climbing out of sight.
To keep climbing, to pause, in transition to find stillness.
The heart is in motion, has momentum.
To feel perpetual fluidity.
To know the aloneness of the sky, trees, birds, animals foraging.
And a farm yard, butterflies and rabbits skittering out of sight
I am part of a complex pattern, a landscape that now finds me, and holds me.
For me this is what I am doing next… just walking… the only way I know to make sense of it all.
All that’s happening to me.......
That’s why I am walking
… to embrace.