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from somewhere to somewhere else

FullSizeRender_2I haven’t posted here for quite a while – I’ve been working intensely for the past few months on all kinds of furtherings – work and domestic. More of those in due course, as and when things reach next stages.

And now we’re about to take a holiday! In the run up to doing that I always try to reflect and consolidate so that on return I feel I can go onwards into the next phase – and I have a busy autumn and winter coming up.

Throughout last autumn and winter, as we left Brookside – our home of sixteen years – and moved into the limbo of not knowing what/where next (Philip calls it ‘emergent change’ – a term I have come to like), I enrolled with the Vert Institute on a journaling course to support my creativity through a period of challenge and uncertainty. The course, led by Kay Syrad and Chris Drury, was wonderfully stimulating and encouraged cross-arts approaches. I decided I needed a break from words. I wanted to make something intuitive and visual. So I took pictures of the days and of my feet in them. Not every day, but most days. I dated the photos. Then I chose which ones to put into a slide show. I decided on Eric Whitacre’s Alleluia as the soundtrack, so the slideshow couldn’t last more than nine and a half minutes, which I thought was anyway quite enough. Now I have managed to translate the slideshow of from somewhere to somewhere else into iMovie and here it is.

This is what I wrote about making from somewhere to somewhere else, when I was finishing it in February:

‘There is no resolution, nothing resolved, only more of somewhere and from – and more, much more, of to. There is discovery but I cannot say what has been discovered. Other things have been covered, or have recovered. At times I have taken cover.

The most entrancing discovery is that I am still going to, coming from, hung between, after all. After all.

If there has been transformation it might be from foot to wing. Transformation might dwell in shifting from the comfort of being on foot – on my way, living in this skin, weighing on the ground – to taking space in air. My life carrying myself (heel, toe, ankle and many many bones) becomes myself carrying my life. The pressure and verticality of standing, walking, trudging – this can be glorious, but becoming airborne is an interesting change. I am only occasionally prone, or prostrate, or sleeping (unaware of my feet, letting them rest, repair) – and perhaps now I am learning to rest on the wing.

The photographs, particularly the sequences, show me where I have been, once I have moved beyond those days. Some days I have paid great attention to my external feet, or I have paid homage. Other days my shy internal feet are hard at work – invisibly taking things on, taking me onwards.

Feet speak of running, standing still (frozen to the spot?), shifting from one to another, bracing and grounding the body to fight. Journeying is circular.

Sometimes, I look at my feet as though they are not me, not mine – and I wonder.’


About Clare Best

I am Clare Best – poet, writer, teacher of creative writing. My first career was as a fine bookbinder. I've also worked as a bookseller, and for many years as an editor. Poetry publications: Treasure Ground (HappenStance 2009), Excisions (Waterloo Press 2011), Breastless (Pighog Press 2011), CELL (Frogmore Press 2015), Springlines (Little Toller 2017)


4 thoughts on “from somewhere to somewhere else

  1. What a lovely meditative experience. As I’m in the middle of packing to move and feeling wuite stressed, this made a lovely calming break.

    Posted by umisinha | August 28, 2016, 5:19 pm
  2. Beautiful writing x

    Posted by wendycatpratt | August 31, 2016, 2:59 pm

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