Walks to Remember During a Pandemic: ‘With memory I was there’

Is there a walk that you long to do but can’t due to the current restrictions imposed upon us because of COVID-19? If so, could you make a memory-map of that walk?

Your memory-map could be of: 

  • a spring-time or a winter walk, a walk in a garden, a walk to a place you never thought you’d reach!, an every-day or local walk, a walk in a distant place, a once-in-a-lifetime walk, a work-related walk, a family walk, a friendship walk, a group walk, an Easter walk, a celebratory walk, a pilgrimage, a solitary walk, a scientific walk, a creative activity walk, a therapeutic walk, a childhood walk, an indoor walk … an imagined walk ...

It could include: 

  • stopping places, viewing places, picnic places, sleeping places, swimming places, narrow places, lying-down places, herding sheep places, orienteering places, grafting places, scattering places, recovery places ...

MEMORY-MAPPING

The activity of drawing a memory-map is the most important thing – not the finished product. Through remembering you can be transported beyond the physical limits of a room or a house.

Your memory-mapping can be undertaken alone or as a shared activity with others of ALLages – family, friends, groups. It can be done in person or at a distance. I’ve done memory-mappings via Skype and at times people have drawn a map on behalf of a person unable to mark-make themselves. You can create as many memory-maps of as many walks as you wish – this could be a one-off or a daily or weekly activity. 

Your memory-map can include words, lines, symbols. It can be pictorial, graphic or abstract. It can be drawn in pencil, crayon, felt tip or a combination of materials. 

Please draw your memory-map on one side of a sheet of paper only – this will make it easier for me to upload, if you’d like to share it. 

PROMPTS

Here are a few prompts, just to get you started. They are designed to help you think about your ‘walk to remember’ and things you could include in your memory-map.

  • Where (place, region, country) is your walk to remember?
  • Where does your walk begin and end?
  • What route does your walk follow?
  • When and how often do you walk your walk?
  • Is there a specific reason or a purpose for your walk?
  • Do you walk alone or with others – if so, who and why?
  • Are there any specific features along the way that are important?
  • Are there any particular stopping places on your walk?
  • Are there any actions/activities/jobs associated with your walk?
  • What sights, sounds, smell might you notice on your walk?
  • Why are you no longer able to walk your walk?
  • Do you have any photos relating to your walk?
  • Do you have an object associated with your walk?

SHARING YOUR MEMORY MAP

Your memory-mapping can be a private exercise. However, it would be great to create a collection of Walks to Remember During a Pandemic: ‘With memory I was there.’ So, if you are happy to share your walk please scan/copy/photograph it, and upload it to a Drop Box folder I’ve created. Just email me (louise@louiseannwilson.com) and I’ll invite you to that Drop Box. 

Please include a short 80-word description of your ‘walk to remember’ (the prompts could help with this). Plus, if you have them, photo/s that relate to your walk (3 photos max.). Please make maps and photos Jpeg files and descriptions Word files (or paste your descriptions into an email).

Please title your ‘walk to remember’ in the following way:

[Name/s of the walker/s] [place] Walk: [A few words to describe the walk] e.g.:

Louise Ann Wilson’s Crack Pot Swaledale Walk: ‘To the top of the world and back’

Margaret Crayston's Upper Eskside Walk: 'As a Child, I walked this valley everyday'

Please write this title on the memory-map itself and on any files you send. 

I will then add your walk to remember memory-map, description and photo/s to the Walks to Remember During a Pandemic: ‘With memory I was there.’ website page that I’ve created.

BACKGROUND

Walks to Remember During a Pandemic is inspired by a ‘surrogate’ walking project I’ve been working on over the last few years in which I re-walk walks people can no longer do but long-for – a process that involves participants drawing a memory-map. That project (Women's Walks to Rembember) is inspired by Dorothy Wordsworth’s who, when living at Rydal Mount, became bedroom-bound, relying on memory to transport herself into the landscape she had once walked:

No need of motion, or of strength, Or even the breathing air: –
I thought of Nature's loveliest scenes; And with Memory I was there...

Extract from the poem “Thoughts on my Sick-Bed” by Dorothy Wordsworth.

 

Many thanks for doing / sharing your walk.

Please feel free to share this activity with others.