What Does Walking Mean To Me?

 

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Maggie Peake describes her relationship with walking as ambiguous. One wet September morning, walking the South Downs, Maggie decided to ponder on the reasons for this, and to attempt to find an answer to her question: What does walking mean to me? 

The answers took her back to childhood, to holidays and memories of her parents who are no longer alive.

In Maggie’s words:

  • Instinct: climb up the Downs for view. Joy of being at the top of the world. Space and freedom.
  • Walked slowly around a tree. Enjoyed being in nature, no map or purpose. Just the quiet presence of a beautiful tree.

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Meaning

  • My parents gave me the gift of walking
  • I didn’t always want it!
  • Routine of a walk after Sunday lunch “Good for you”
  • Baby of family following behind, never catching up. Tired and moany. Want to be dreamy and left alone.
  • No control, route decided.
  • Since my parents died I’ve found it hard to re-visit happy times with them. The Walkshop has allowed me to explore this.

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Walking stick

  • Since the Walkshop I got my walking stick down from the loft.
  • My Parents loved walking in the Alps.
  • We had many family holidays going up mountains in chairlifts and cable cars. Looking at amazing views. Walking down through forests and alpine meadows.
  • It was fun for me and my sister having walking sticks and collecting plaques of destinations, trophies of how high we went.
  • A map of interesting destinations down the stick. I re-visited the places and found photographs.

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Walking, Writing, Connecting

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Walking, Connecting and Creating Writing the Map has been exploring the dynamic relationship between place, walking and identity through a series of events and walkshops, focusing on the senses to inspire personal narratives. Unlike traditional pscyhogeography, our approach has used the senses to illuminate personal narratives to create new understandings and contexts with the landscape, merging old and new.

Intellectual or artistic? Solitary or connected? Performative or indiscernible? Neutral or gendered? This interactive event is an opportunity for walkers, artists, writers, community practitioners to hear work created by Walkshoppers, and discuss issues arising from our walks: How do we connect with the landscape? How does our changing relationship to place shape our personal narratives? How do we capture our walks? What role does technology play? Friday December 8th, 10am-12.30pm at The Pound Arts Centre, Corsham. For more info or to book a free place, contact: Christina at createlearnconnect@gmail.com or book via Facebook #writingthemap. https://writethemap.wordpress.com/ 1

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