the 24th and final walk. i didn't know how i'd feel but as it turned out it was a mixture of elation, relief and emptiness. more than anything, i felt a sense of bewilderment and confusion as to what it was all for and what any of it has meant. it's probably too close to try to analyse.
robert harrison, in his essay incompleteness, (Francis Alys, Seven Walks) talks about the joy to be had in the unfinished. what happens when a piece of work is completed? it's packed away and you're on to the next project. that notion of anti-climax can be seen for example in the detective story - the set-up may be tense and exciting, but the denouement often never lives up to this. Harrison refers to the jigsaw puzzle, where all the interest is in the striving to complete and the actual joy felt upon completion is a fleeting and quickly forgotten feeling.
so maybe this project has been so large in scope as to remain unfinished - a state which will allow the joy and other emotions ive felt over its course to linger and to be left open to
nearing the end of the walking process, i wanted to experience the route in a different way - to approach the walk in a different mindset - to jolt the familiarity and complacency. i decided to walk the route backwards, in direction and literally. this proved an amusing experience for me and those watching as well as a little awkward at times. the jolting and jarring and regular stopping to check for obstacles was in contrast to the way i had recently been walking the route in forward mode, which i am by now managing to do almost by feel and subconscious. this way of walking took me back to walk 1 which was made into a similarly staccato affair by the constant referral to the map. i was almost transported back to that first day. almost.
Posted by renton at 15:37