June 27, 2020

Has the lockdown imposed by Covid 19 expanded a ‘geography of mind’?

Gill Russell, 60

I have been ‘Covidly Walking’ every day from my house on the hills between the River Don and Deskry Water. Today is 27 June, the 100th day of my Covid Walks. I started before Lockdown in a slight aura of shock at what we were about to encounter, having obsessively followed the growth of the pandemic in China and Italy. I don’t follow paths. I start with little idea where I will go but just let a particular tree or grassy hollow lead me to the next one. It has become quite a thing, finding tiny undiscovered places in the ancient birch forest. There is peace in this ‘little’ world that I have some control over during these strange times. I have found security and stability in the microcosmic environment that I am slowly and gently consolidating. It opens up massive space in the mind for freedom and exploration. I record my walks using my phone gpx. I am drawing with my boots on the hill. I make map-drawings and write poems. The words come when I walk and breathe in rhythm and rhyme with the pace of walking. Lines expanding, twisting through melancholic ancient birch.

Covidly Walking, 2020