During the walk I will be blogging, writing, and coding. What this will be will depend on what happens, who I meet, and how I feel, but as a taster I’m gathering here some of my past work that is indicative of what I expect to produce.
On the far south west of County Mayo, there is a tiny nick in the coast on the map, and the indistinct line leading to it is this road, skirting the coast, looking out to islands and ocean, and ending at that nick, named like so many other simply White Strand. Although my feet ever itch to wander, if there were a place to stop for a while and taste the ocean air, this would be it; but with many miles to go, I had just a few minutes to walk among the dunes and check where I was with three lads taking turns on a quad bike across the broad washed sand, before setting on my way again, back along the road I had come and again amazed at the way I had come and the fortune of following a ‘wrong’ path.
from “Serendipity and Song — Westport to Doolin“
As the first rays of sunlight hit the shimmering waters there was strange rippling on the surface of the lake and then he saw, sitting on a small rock not far from the shore, the most beautiful woman he had ever seen. The farmer was to give his heart once and for life, and at that moment he gave it.
From “The Physicians of Myddfai” a retelling of the of the lady of Llyn-y-Fan
surfer dude gull gliding beneath the curl
last night’s star-full sky has fallen like snow on frost-encrusted grass while crescent moon and morning star hang low on fire-smoke horizon
Swirls of mist rise from sun-soaked seas, while in the garden Fiona spins bright wool as if spinning mist herself.
fallen hail, thick like snow on the grass, the sound of surf like passing trains, so many stars, and the spice smell of coal fires burning
This dual nature of boundaries as things drawn from the land or drawn on the land accounts for some of the fluidity of boundaries over time. Near my current home the border between Scotland and England has moved back and forth over the years, and within my own lifetime the Welsh maps of Wales had a different border to the English ones (until local government reorganization in the 1970s, when the Welsh border won!). The borderlands are always places of outlawry, trade and adventure; dangerous yet exciting and often creative. The one-street town in the Wild West, sea ports and the interstitial community on the Golden Gate Bridge in Gibson’s “All Tomorrow’s Parties”
from “Paths and Patches — patterns of geonosy and gnosis“, keynote, Space and Spatiality 2004 (published in “Exploration of Space, Technology, and Spatiality: Interdisciplinary Perspectives“)
innocence of snowdrops beneath rain damp trees
and gold glow summer misted hills,
the sound of laughter in the street outside,
ring hollow in those dry eyes
hands that fed turn magazines and open tins of soup,
feel velvet moss on autumn walks
and gather empty milk bottles at night,
but still recall the paper touch and sickly drag of weightless flesh
the sound of jumbo jet or wagner at full volume
cannot drown the silent stare,
accepting little when all is lost
and ears still hear the sound of those dry eyes
dry eyes, 2004
This poem was written as part of a research paper: “validity” presented at the workshop “Reflexive HCI: Towards a Critical Technical Practice”, April 2004.