Hello New Year. Sometimes I feel kind of silly blogging. As if somehow its over, but I don't think it is. I don't know if its as popular. Maybe I'm crazy. I've been thinking about making work again, making it here and there, dabbling I guess I would say, trying to figure out how to make it. Sometimes the best of my brain power is used up refereeing small children for the day and by the evening time, I'm wiped of any and all inspiration. But, I feel it coming back.
Lately, I've been thinking about maps. One of my biggest regrets in Ireland was that I didn't get the Tim Robinson map of the various places, such as Connemara and particularly the Burren. His maps were detailed deep maps with archaeological findings, elevation, everything. Nothing really escaped him and he was quite well renowned. My work is always about body and place, how does one impact the other?
When we view a landscape, we are a small body encountering a vast landscape, but with a map you can encounter a landscape in a totally different way. Suddenly, the map is folded and is smaller than you, and the body to land dynamic changes. It enables us to take in something much bigger than ourselves and hold it within our hands. With a map we can find a place we might not have noticed while in nature, or we might see something interesting that we didn't even know existed. While paying for my Kananaskis pass this summer I picked up one of those touristy shiny maps that they give you while you're exploring the area. I hung it up in the house, just to see it, get a feel for it and think of the Rockies in a different way.
I always find that the Rockies are an interesting place. I haven't been to many spots, but I feel like there are not many thin places around. I may have encountered one perhaps in my three years of being here and it was not strong. When I first saw the mountains I have to express that there was something of mild disappointment. I'm not sure why I always expected that I would love them much more than I really did. In Ireland, the landscape was fairly easy to explore; no animal predators, not much difficulty in navigation, terrain was rugged but accessible and I felt like maybe because of these things it was easy to connect with the land. My body in proportion to the landscape was not so small. I sometimes wonder if the reason its taking me so long to get attached to the Rockies is that their grandeur and majesty make it difficult to get to know them. The terrain is rugged, can be quite inaccessible and difficult in many places, the animal predators are many and the hikes can be extremely lengthy, often only covering a small portion of the mountain or landscape around. My hope is that soon I can move a bit closer to them in order to get to know them better.