Detour from Progress
Recently I enjoyed listening to this podcast episode "Lost Proof" by Dr. Cindy Shearer, my former professor and advisor in my MFA days, when I studied Creative Inquiry, Interdisciplinary Arts at California Institute of Integral Studies.
In response to Cindy's invitation at the end of the episode, I went on my own little trip and made a postcard out of the experience. I feel so-so about the results, but found the process awakening, so wanted to share her invitation with you:
"What if you make a commitment to do something that you do every day but to try it on for one day in a new way. What if you try to see it, experience it as travel or as a trip. Don't forget to take your travel -- your traveler -- journal with you. Record words that speak to you...as you travel or images, or pick up small items that appeal or speak to you so that you have them to remind you of the trip when you get back. When you do get back from your trip, feel free to explore definitions or the etymology or the synonyms connected to words that you found...Sit with it all. And then make a postcard of your trip. Don't forget, please, to make your stamp."
I took a walk in the foothills near my neighborhood as I often do. What most struck me was the number of demolition sites in my path. A row of low-income rentals gone for future condos. An old building (perhaps related to the military site that used to be there) torn down in the dusty hills on my route, resulting in new fenced-off locations and detours. I was able to find a different way to my favorite spot -- a pond leading to a little marshy-land in the midst of high-desert surroundings -- but the circuitous directions kept me thinking about how much is continuously disappearing in our cities and natural landscapes.
I think if I spent more time making the postcard, I might enjoy that element more, but going through this short process was a playful way to reenter a larger project I'm returning to this month. I forgot to look up etymologies, synonyms and definitions of words -- definitely something I'll do if I revisit this with another walk and text/image piece in the future. Maybe I will, down the road, or on a break/detour from my current project.
If you go on a journey and make a postcard, I'd love to hear about it. So would Cindy -- you can connect with her via Instagram as she invites at the end of the podcast.
A few images from my trip:
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Process notes on a work in progress (me). This mostly contains raw rough content pulled out of practice notebooks. Occasional posts also invite you into the way I work, with intermittent notes on the hows and whys on the whats I make. Less often you may also find prompts and processes I've brought to workshops, as well as surveys that help me gather material for projects. Similar earlier posts from years ago can be found on: