Today has been intense in a good way - we’ve walked from just outside Torcross to Salcombe - another 17½ miles and a mountain’s worth of ascent. We had to get a wiggle on as the Salcombe Ferry stops at 6pm. After that you have to get a bus or taxi round the estuary - a 15 mile trip instead of 2 minutes on the ferry.
The scenery today around Start Point and Prawle Point is wild, hilly and craggy - the coastline is a series of delicious themed names - Pig’s Nose, Ham Stone, Gammon Head or Grant’s Rock, Meg Rock and Abraham’s Hole. I love words and how they link with place and stories.
Anyway, I’m determined this week to not get in a car unless I have to and this is not a matter of pride or some sort of athletic prowess - it’s because walking works for me as a way of creating and specifically to write. Neuroscientists amongst you will know there is something about the left right left cross body action of walking that enables new ways of thinking - it brings together the left and right brain hemispheres to make the most of both. As the days go on I can feel myself sinking into a different space where the things that preoccupy my mind on a day to day are falling away and a different sort of embodiment and mindset are taking shape. It would be horribly pretentious to say walking is my muse, or the coastline is my muse or whatever but it is something like that in a less pompous and more sweaty way that involves having lots of blisters…
My brain is still obsessed with the Devonian placoderm fish and that is what I have been “writing” about today. I say that in inverted commas because I rarely get a notebook out on the walks, I amble or stomp along pondering prehistoric fish and abuse survival and little fragments of ideas form in my head, then I voice record them in my phone and let my mind amble some more. Now I’m tucked up in bed I’ll transcribe my rambling thoughts and hopefully they will start to formulate into a new poem or song.
I have to tell myself there is no right way of doing this otherwise I would talk myself out of this weird and beautiful unfolding process I am immersed in. It makes sense to me that my body needs to be involved to get the words out - I see a lot of my work as being about my body telling its stories and my brain mainly needs to get out of the way. If left to its own devices my brain would find a million reasons not to do this - it might upset people, I have been conditioned not to tell and my brain loves distraction (wine, fags, masterchef, facebook etc). My body is where the abuse happened, it is where survival happens and now it is where the activism needs to happen too.
You can find out more about Restless here: https://www.vivgordon.com/restless
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welcome to my blog
I'll be posting my personal reflections on creating work as an artist and survivor of childhood sexual abuse, my work with the wider sector and interesting developments in arts and mental health.