By ALLISON RENNIE
This post was written as an assignment for professor Cindy Shearer’s WRC 7087: Writing as Art. This course exposes students to varieties of work in text and image from illustrated books and blogs and visual journals to graphic novels and memoir and art books—while also asking them to create their own illustrated work, postcards and text/image art and journal.
Walking and meditation are two practices which restore my sense of integrity and help me rest in my own skin again after thrashing about in the world. So given the opportunity to write a manifesto about "something I know" for my Writing as Art class, I chose walking meditation. After writing, the second part of the assignment was to develop a visual companion for the manifesto in the form of a box. The plain white box needed to enter into conversation with the text of my manifesto.
In 2010 I walked the ancient pilgrimage in Spain called the Camino de Santiago. The Camino is a network of walking paths which terminate at the Cathedral in Santiago de Compostela in the northwest corner of Spain. This was a profound experience for me, and one that continues to influence my life today. I chose a few photographic images from the pilgrimage and placed these on the outside of my small box (6” x 6” x 3”). The images are not intended to tell the story of the Camino, but rather remind me personally of the learning from the month long walk.
The inside of the box became for me a space to hold simple prompts to support my ongoing practice of walking meditation. I made a small notebook to take out walking; an invitation to gratitude; a tiny box to hold treasures like a soft brown round pebble and a tiny red maple leaf. And this inner space is a quiet container for my manifesto.
I made a simple leather-bound book of text and image.
I used stamps, photos, hand lettering as well as computer generated print.
It took time to make.
It has a beginning middle and end.
It is Light. Modest. Simple. Beautiful - as walking meditation may be.
Thanks to Esther K. Smith for her book c. 2007 Potter Craft