OVER THE COMING MONTHS, I will give myself the gift of an ongoing journey, one I know will inspire me and may, over time, inspire others. This gift is to walk or to traverse by other means the perimeter of the island of Montreal, and write about this odyssey in a blog. The idea being to flow with this project like the river surrounding our island, allowing all sensations and all existence to flow through the experience, in time and space. I pledge to travel one day each week, without regard for weather or any other impediment. Both the experience and expression of the experience will be true to the whims of adversity and serendipity.
“All solitary [artists] … turn to nature because they prefer the eternal to the transient, the profound rhythms of eternal laws to that which finds justification in passing. Since they cannot persuade nature to share in their experience, they consider their task to grasp nature in order to place themselves somewhere in its vast contexts. And with these single solitary [artists] all of humanity approaches nature.” – Rainer Maria Rilke
It has been said that Rilke’s gift was his “skill of receiving and processing [existence] anew each day without resting in the security of his talent.” That is what “walking words” sets out to encompass — to embrace all forms of expression here and now, placing them within a specific geographical frame — a meaningful frame for the artist to engage all of the senses, particularly the visual. All of our senses filter our experience of life, yet none more intensely than the visual, which offers perhaps the greatest Muse to an artist — or at least to me.
Gifts that are given to us over the course of our lives are often never fully acknowledged. We forget how treasured they are—whether it is the specific acts of our loved ones, our wits and our wisdom, our health, our ability to give of ourselves, whether to loved ones or to strangers. Our ability to give love and laughter or to offer true, unadulterated friendship, or to offer the gift of forgiveness in the face of great pain. Our ability to tell the truth even when it scores. Our ability to grieve. But to alter our frame of reference over time — this requires reaching for all that may be valued within ourselves and others and our world, and sharing, in Trickster fashion, all of substance that is found there.
I invite you to participate in my journey. One blog posting will be added each week early on Monday morning, beginning January 5. Commentary or forum entries will be welcomed. Explorations in expression will form the foundation of this project — images, descriptions, poetry, dialogues, monologues, dramas, fictions.
To all, a Divinely Adventurous New Year 2009.
Follow Kate’s journey on www.walkingwordsmontreal.blogspot.com
Rilke quotation from The Wisdom of Rilke, edited by Ulrich Baer, 2005.