Monday, August 2, 2010

Walking to the end



Throughout our 9 days of walking, Lisa & I wrote together almost every night. We discovered that writing the blog entries together enabled us to put into the words the real essence of our walking experiences. And what we write this way; leaning into each others psyche's a bit, feels to us like a lovely gestalt; the sum being greater than its parts. This is surprising for us. We didn't know this would happen. We are happy it did.




We want to do more writing this way. But right this moment, I'm in my small house in Portland writing this entry by myself and feeling a little odd, missing the side of the road, missing Lisa-hearing her thoughts, and telling her mine.


Tonight after doing our Presentation/Discussion at Performance Works NW, Lisa, Jay (her husband), and I went out to dinner at Maya Satay (on Se 82nd). Then I was driven home, got help hauling my things into the house, kissed Lisa and Jay goodbye (for now), and walked up onto my porch. I unpacked & sorted through my bags. I filled the laundry basket, doctored my now Healing feet (I AM WALKING AGAIN), looked through my small package of walking remnants one more time, and then sat down at the computer.


I want to write more about walking into Lake Oswego. About looking for a restaurant in downtown L.O. & having dinner. I want to write about walking into and right back out of a New Seasons because there were just too many choices to consider. I felt like one of the sparrows that accidentally flies into my house from time to time; eek, where are the trees, bees, blue sky & the simple grass? I want to write about walking on my own two feet again without pain, about a nagging feeling of uncertainty I have mingled into the love of place I usually feel being back home in Portland. I want to write about the Presentation/Discussion/slide show we did tonight at Performance Works NW and the genius audience that showed up for it.


But I'm very tired. So for tonight, letting you know I'm home, we're both home, each at our own separate ends of the Body Habitat walking project valley; the Corvallis to Portland valley, is enough. We'll keep writing about the walking project, and we'll let you know what we're up to next.

May you sleep & dream tonight as if you've walked 100 miles, Lily


Lily and Lisa are Body Habitat and so are you.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Are we back yet?

Crossed the Williamette by the Canby ferry. Crossed I 205 on Stafford Road. Two streams with narrow crossings. Followed other streams, defined by pavement: our stream threaded along Grant St, to Holly St, to SW Mountain Rd, to Stafford Rd, to McVey Rd. Mostly a stream of cars, some motorcycles, a few bicycles, and us.




The roads are 'cleaner' now. Someone has been sweeping up the remains in the kill zone. The cars on Stafford road were very fast and we returned to hypervigilant walking mind. Twinges of irritation return. A new born sense of uncertainty from all the busyness around us We cannot watch the world around us when we are so busy watching out for our lives. We were able to relax again when the sidewalks returned, at least the walker was. The scooter relaxed in the hotel parking lot.






We arrive having molted many layers. Our packs have lightened again and then again. Last night Jay took away our camping gear and the last of the extraneous stuff. (We intend to reincarnate it on the floor of performance works northwest monday night.). But it is not only our physical belongings that we have shed. We have shed some of the trappings of the civilized mind. We find ourselves embraced by tizzy town, the plowed field, the eyes of a deer, an amusing sign in a passing yard. Everywhere we look with these animal eyes of ours, we see the art of our kind.






Nature reclaims every inch that it can in the liminal space between development and native habitat. We see a deer in the trees just past a large lot offered for sale on the golf course fairway. The sign offers us one of three lots to build our dream estate. We ask ourselves a question we've been asking all along our route: success or failure? This time the deer is our answer.





As we walk back into town we feel as if we are walking into the pages of a magazine. Everything is tidy and ordered. Nothing smells except us, and exhaust from the concentration of cars. We think we smell best. They did let us eat our lunch in the nice church coffee shop on Stafford Road at I 205.





As we are approaching the end of our walk we are asking the question one more time: success or failure?

From Lily and Lisa, we are Body Habitat and so are you.

See you tomorrow night at Performance Works NW, 6:30pm.

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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Aug 2 || 6:30p || Body Habitat Walking Project | PWNW || Linda Austin Dance


Aug 2 || 6:30p || Body Habitat Walking Project | PWNW || Linda Austin Dance

A reminder from Lily & Lisa to meet up with us in Pdx on Day 9, Aug 2, 6:30p @ performance works nw

Your RSVP appreciated but not necessary.

We will be walking in right off Foster street to be with you.
We will sit together and show and tell and listen and question.
You'll do that great thing you do every time we see you.


Address location & all the skinny at:
http://pwnw.wordpress.com/2010/07/31/aug-2-body-habitat-walking-project
or go to facebook and search for body habitat (we're a group page on fb)
we hope we see you there we hope, lily & lisa are bodyhabitat and so are you.

My feet & trading my car for scooter


As of today, Body Habitat walking project is one walking, one scootering.

After slow slow slow drive behind or ahead of Lisa along the beautiful, bird & animal rich side roads taking us to Aurora for the day, I had an idea.

Could I get out of my car & onto a Scooter?







So I told Lisa of my plan as I tiny hobble-walked next to her to an endpoint, where the side roads we had been on ended at a railroad bridge. Together we plunged onto the dirt path before us as I got more excited about the idea of riding a nice, slow moving scooter.







Just to keep you up to date, let me say that I was wearing my black fuzzy back-less clogs and walking on my own two feet again. Goofy but good. This body is remarkable. And the improvising mind a friend.



The dirt path turned into a tiny foot-size dirt ledge that we walked. Carefully. Spread out below us was bright green algae packed wetlands, fed by a tributary of the mollala river...geese, long leafed water plants, willowy trees. Full, ripe, watery existence under our feet.

Back in Canby, I called Columbia Scooter in Pdx (closest rental) & found out they'd hold a 49cc scooter for me until 6pm. (fyi: 49cc is highest cc's you can ride without motorcycle license). When I arrived about 3:30, they got me a helmet, had me test drive around the parking lot & block and said I looked good to go. Andy's only admonishment was to keep my eyes looking up & forward. He said I kept looking down and from side to side (ah ha, started using my animal eyes as I got out into the moving-air again!).

Scootering back to Canby at 30mph was exhilarating. Somewhere between driving and walking, another layer of liminal space. I was in the open air & could see, hear, & smell what appeared alongside the road. Again.

I'm back as I can be into one-whole-native-body falling deep into whole-world-as-habitat walking experience. With rapidly healing feet, on the seat of a 49cc scooter.

Tomorrow we are on to L.O. (Lake Oswego)

until then, sleep & dream like you walked 10 miles today, Lily

lily & lisa are bodyhabitat and so are you

Friday, July 30, 2010

Day 6, you take the high road & I'll take the low road

The Shalom retreat center in Mt. Angel is quiet. Many people are in silent retreat, and small signs on doorways remind us to pay attention to sound levels: this is a quiet room. We each have our own small bedroom. Lisa is in Martha's room, Lily is in Hildegard's. The sheets on the bed are cotton, softened by years of washing. The nuns seem to understand body habitat walking project without having to say much on our part. They offer us many blessings on our journey. We are touched.

We look different walking today. A long striding walk, making great time and passing into the landscape with camera in hand at the ready for recording what the animal eye sees. (Lisa) And an hour with swollen feet in a car going one way to Portland, then back again, to Barlow Rd, to meet up and take body habitat tiny hobbling walks (bhTHW's) here and there. (Lily) We meet again across the Molalla River Bridge in Canby.



Today we also found words for two deep experience we are having as we walk:

We drop into that "...other world that is here right beneath this one" when the body and all its senses open, weave together and take in the world as one whole habitat. More and more our bodies feel this is the human animal in its native state. We often think this is a special state of being, holy & exclusive, a meditative state, a drug-induced state, a state we must earn; working at something taught to us by someone who is not us. What if the truth is that this way of being on the planet is as natural to our existence as breathing? Walking on our feet on the side of road, we create & exist in a liminal space that we experience as a sharing with all the birds, insects, trees, reptiles, poppies, & other mammals. Walking in liminal space we meet these others alive and dead, noisy and silent. We are all in our native habitat. All in one. Reality.


Cars seem hungry predators, without thought or scheme, killing wherever they go. Walking brings into body- consciousness how all the pathways have been claimed by cars. As the cars drive by, even at legal speed limits, we experience feelings of being assaulted, attacked, prey. It becomes surprising to realize there are no human remains on view alongside the other carrion littering the highway and ditches nearby. We feel anger and we feel sorrow.



from Lily and Lisa. we are body habitat and so are you.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Spectacle art

Sights: Dromedaries, dairy cows, Bethany store, dragonflies, california poppy fields, and field workers.






We spent another day on rural roads. No shoulders. Little room for our feet. Whizzing cars. Not much shade. We loved every minute of it. And just one more foot of pavement would made the journey so much more pleasant.


We continue to tell each other the stories of our lives. Stories that arise from physical reminders of the past: cemeteries, orchards, creeks, dogs barking or simple random smells. History and the present mingle well in the walking body. Lisa learned about lily's grandparents, yoga path, and happy memories she has of her ex-husband. Lily learned about lisa's grandmother, her meandering spiritual paths, and the depth of her love for her husband and son's.




We ate lunch at the bethany store with two self-employed construction workers. We were seeking salt and carbonation, they had 5 loaded hotdogs and a big bag of Doritos between them. We had dinner with the nuns at the Benedictine abbey: St Louis smoked spare ribs, bean salad and backed potatoes. Food tastes good.




The shalom retreat center is a welcome quiet end to the day after last nights generously given but noisy campsite at the hazel green/cordon road cross roads. We learned that farm trucks travel all night long and have very noisy brakes. We also learned that the E.Z. in E.Z. Orchard stands for Ed




From lily and Lisa, we are body habitat and so are you.

ps. hi, it's me lily. If you've been following us you saw yesterdays pictures of my ravaged feet. Ouch, big time. Tonight at shalom center when I took off my walking shoes, both Lisa & I gasped. Feet are worse. Went online to firstaid.com & had to surrender to fact that for now, my walking is curtailed. Lisa will walk alone tomorrow, but I'll be there too. I'll also be taking Tiny Hobbling Walks on my own in places along our route & then we'll meet up at our overnight destination. More will be revealed as to what it means to walk in this body on the planet.



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Location:S Main St,Mt Angel,United States