Barefoot Walks and Talks

‘An old ancestral affinity between the human foot and the solid ground is replenished by the simple act of stepping outside without shoes’ (Abrams). Human beings are exact instruments’ (Goethe). Can we be more mindful to the state of the earth when we also sense it through the soles of our feet? Come and join a Barefoot Walk, attend to your powers of perception and share our experience in a discussion.

Several walks with discussions were led by four artists to explore how we sense the world when we make contact skin –to- skin between earth and one of the most sensitive parts of the body. There will also be global participation as an Earth Summit 2012 Event.

Helena Fox in collaboration with R Rosch, N Solomons and J Kernon. Oxford. ‘At the place where the water mint grows, crush a leaf in your fingers and imagine cows standing there at the end of a long hot day, swishing their tails and blinking. Then up the steep little bank into the meadow. Here is an unexpected hazard – just as one places ones foot onto a springy soft looking patch of tiny clover leaves, hidden minute thistles would prickle and penetrate the sole. Does the meadow really want people there? The streets had carried us along in our own man-made comfort, but, here, perceiving some reciprocity from the earth, I felt it was gently rejecting us – or maybe just trying to keep us at bay..’Not brutalized with asphalt and concrete, it may be quietly trying to keep itself to itself’…
Natasha suggested making a map to note where we changed direction or stopped and imagined. I would call these ‘imagining posts’ rather than signposts.’ (HF Walk 1st Oct 2011).

For more reflections and images…please click on page for Barefoot Dialogues.

We were inspired by David Abrams (2010) ‘Becoming Animal, An Earthly Cosmology’ as well as Goethe’s way of observing.

If you would like to share any reflections from your experience in joining us, please leave them on this site under the post ‘Barefoot Dialogues’.

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