line walk mindful drawing -
a year in the life of Little France Park
Join the artist, Jonathan Baxter, for a series of monthly walks through Little France Park to take place on the first Sat of each month from Jan to Dec 2021, 10am to 12noon.
RESCORED WALKS FROM FEB 2021 due to the ongoing lockdown
The walks going forward have been rescored inviting participants to take part alone, in pairs, or as part of a walker's bubble. Please see full Performance Score below.
The timing of the walk has also been extended. Participants are now invited to take the two-hour walk at any point during daylight hours from the first Saturday to the second Saturday of the month. In February that covers the 6th – 13th February.
The walk is wheelchair accessible and suitable for children accompanied by adults. It draws on the practice of mindfulness and encourages participants to record, through a variety of media including drawing, photography and poetry etc., changes in the landscape and changes within themselves.
Note: a substantial part of the walk is undertaken in silence. For parents with young children who find silence difficult this 'rule' should be generously interpreted. The same applies for carers accompanying adults with special needs.
In the absence of a personal guide to introduce the practice of mindfulness, walkers may like to read the following introduction by Thich Nhat Hanh: here
Meet outside the Thistle Foundation’s Centre of Wellbeing,
13 Queen St, EH16 4EA.
Prepare for the walk and read the first quote.*
Walk up Almond Ct to Greendykes Rd.
Turn right and continue until you see a signpost on the left to Little France Park.
Pause at the gateway and read the second quote.**
Pass through the gateway and commence walking in silence.
Walk with greater mindfulness and stop to make a drawing when called upon to do so. (If walking with a partner or in a bubble, participants are encouraged to take turns to call for a drawing. Calling for a drawing momentarily suspends the silence.)
Look at it.
Listen to it.
This will be an X minute drawing.***
(X = a designated time between 1 - 8 minutes. Drawing = any creative response. For example, sketching in a notebook, taking a photograph, writing a haiku, drawing breath etc.)
Follow the path into Little France Park and turn left at the t-junction. Continue down the hill. Leave the path to walk beside the marsh area/SUD pond. (If unable to walk on uneven terrain continue walking along the main path.) Rejoin the main path and cross Niddrie Burn. Cross Little France Dr and continue walking until you sense that it’s time to return. Pause. Look around you. Then retrace your steps to complete the walk within a two-hour time frame. (Note: once you’ve left Little France Park the request to maintain silence comes to an end.)
Having returned to the Thistle Foundation’s Centre of Wellbeing, reread the first quote, acknowledge the moment and ... step away.
If you’d like to share any written reflections or visual responses to the walk please send an email with attachments to email@example.com or post directly on the Line Walk Mindful Drawing Facebook page @linewalkmindfuldrawing.
This after-walk activity brings forward an element of collective documentation that would have been introduced later in the year if not for the challenge of lockdown. Creating online documentation at this stage changes the nature of Line Walk Mindful Drawing. It suggests a demand that isn’t part of the walk. i.e. participants are invited to undertake the walk whether or not they share their reflections! But it’s hoped that by sharing individual responses at this early stage of the project a community of would-be-walkers will be inspired to keep walking.
*To be read before commencing the walk:
Walkers are connected. There is always someone walking somewhere in the world. Multitudes. Walking is greater than any one body. We may think that our walking is interrupted. But once we have started walking and become walkers, there are no interruptions. Walking is a global river, always flowing. I believe that we can deep-walk consciously by compressing time, joining our walking ancestors, joining contemporary walkers, and the walkers of tomorrow. The flow is in all directions.
Our step creates the past.
Our step creates the future.
The present is but the length of our step.
**To be read at the gateway leading into Little France Park and before commencing the more formal part of Line Walk Mindful Drawing which is undertaken in silence:
Walking meditation can be very enjoyable. We walk slowly, alone or with friends, if possible in some beautiful place. Walking meditation is really to enjoy walking. Walking not in order to arrive, just for walking.
(Thich Nhat Hanh)
***The full quotation from which the abbreviated ‘call’ for a drawing is taken:
Look at it.
Listen to it.
You will never encounter anything like it, unless you come back and sit here again, so once you have looked and listened and tasted, look around and remember where you are. Remember where the miracle unfolds.
Observant readers will note that the above quotations are all by men. It was intended that the first quote would be updated each month by a walker from the previous month. However, in light of ongoing COVID-19 restrictions, Pujol’s quote seems more relevant than ever. If you’d like to replace or supplement Pujol’s quote with an alternative quote – to better represent the experience of walking women – please feel free to do so. Those quotes can also be shared with Jonathan and/or posted on the Line Walk Mindful Drawing Facebook page @linewalkmindfuldrawing.
To download and read the performance score as a pdf click here
Dates and times of walks: 2nd Jan, 6th Feb, 6th Mar, 3rd Apr, 1st May, 5th Jun, 3rd Jul, 7th Aug, 4th Sept, 2nd Oct, 6th Nov, 4th Dec, 10am-12pm.
For more information contact: Jonathan Baxter at jb4change[at]gmail.com
The 'line walk mindful drawing' walks mark the start of Jonathan Baxter's walking residency for Craigmillar and Communities - more info to follow shortly on his residency.