Day 1 

Location: Glasgow Women’s Library,

More specific location: GWL Archives and Museum.

For someone who steps into the outside world, with trepidation to put it mildly, I find GWL to be like conditioner for the soul  ( sv. balsam for själen ). It sounds clunky – the explanation is that it is the Swedish language and the Swedish idiom that comes to the rescue as I clutch and grab whichever of the three languages I have at my disposal (none of which I can master fully) to give form to my thoughts. Verbal/written communication, too, I find problematic.  Anger, is finally replacing anxiety to do with being de-languaged. 

Aim: I am here to do research for a joint endeavour with danish artist Birthe Jorgensen. Our project Home Where Home Is Not (HWHIN) is an extensive research and exhibition project that explores the power and potential of (interestingly) poly-vocal forms of expression and identity forging in a complex multicultural age. We are working in partnership with Glasgow Women’s Library and Platform (two Glasgow North East organisations) with contributions from Greenland and Sweden.

Question: I came here today to look into the archive and museum of the Glasgow Women’s Library and see what I can find on walking as a means to communicate. Walking in silence in an effort to listen. I have been looking at marches, protests and processions. I am left wanting. What is the difference between marches/protests/processions and pilgrimage?

End: today marks the first day of some kind of action. I have no name for this ‘action’ as of yet. This makes me think of some badges I found in the archive today.


Location: Glasgow Women’s Library

Last night I was looking for a Robert Macfarlane book on my bookshelf (given to me by none other than my partner in crime B Jorgensen) which I knew was about walking.  On the very first page, there was a quote by Nan Shepherd  that read something like ‘my eyes are on the soles of my feet’. I put the Macfarlane book aside and decided to read the  Shepherd’s book ‘The Living Mountain’.     

Action: Reading the Living Mountain. 

What Nan Shepherd describes in her book, feels like a pilgrimage without a destination. When reading the Living Mountain, the same sensation swaddles my heart space as when I read Rumi poetry and the Quran. She writes “the mountain gives itself more completely … when I reach nowhere in particular, but have gone out merely to be with the mountain as one visits a friend with no intention but to be with him”.She describes a relationship which is less about summits and reaching the top and more about  being-with and being-together. 

End: there is no end, only the “traffic of love”.