Untitled – (A reflection on walking and memory)

Lisa Hamalainen, Dec 1st 2016


Walking the footpaths of my childhood moments of the past step into the forefront of my mind.
Those moments are still alive and influence the steps that I take.
Sometimes it’s one step forward and two steps back.
I forgive some of those moments.
And that offers a lightness.
There are new moments of darkness.

My feet have changed.
They’re sore.
They require more careful, tender stretching.
They haven’t yet carried a child but crave to.
They ache from years of hustling in the concrete jungles.
They remember age seventeen – the cobblestone alleys of Moscow, the footbridges of Saint Petersburg and the dirt trails of Pskov, where Kostya and I would fetch water from the well.

They used to dance.
They will again, but a different sort of dance.
They danced on our wedding night.

The billions of steps I have taken lead me back to the starting point,
but only to spring me forward in the direction I need to go.

“Hey, Sunshine!”  “Hey, Sunshine!  You’re gettin’ back to your roots, girl!”

I walk this familiar path, known in my childhood, rediscovered as an adult.
And feel where I am today.
I take a moment to check in with myself.
The instinctual connection of the early years with the wind, water, sun beams, the Earth, has come back.  It was always there.  It is reignited.

The wise owl swoops down in front and disappears into the tops of trees.

I am home where these feet wander.


Photo by Jamie Oshkabewisens, of There is No Word for Wilderness written and directed by Lisa Hamalainen


This blog post was written by Lisa Hamalainen who was a 4elements’ writer in residence during our Fieldbook Project and year-long Walking curatorial theme. She participated in several Fieldbook related outings and reflects here on Walking and it’s connection to memory, one of the themes of readings touched on during our Fieldbook Project.