Kathleen KettlesWriter, Designer & Textile Artist

Dear diary.... walking boots

2nd October 2020

When I walk I listen. My feet landing on the earth, the gentle sound of dried grasses underfoot, the solid thud of stones and boulders protesting as my boots thump down on them, unsettling them or embedding them further into the soil. Last week, when I took this photo, I stood at the top of the hill and recorded a video of my view. I turned the camera back on myself and spoke about my love and gratitude for my surroundings. Driving home my phone started pinging with messages from friends scattered across the world sharing their gratitude at the beauty of the landscape on my walk - but wait - something felt weird. I was taken aback by the view, it was a beautiful day- it's a glen I know well and I've been up many of the hills in that area, but why did I feel the need to record it, share it, lose my connection with my listening?
I like walking with my husband. On this day he couldn't come. I don't mind walking on my own - in fact, I quite enjoy it. But on this day I had too many thoughts in my head and listening was bringing up worries I didn't want to hear, worries I couldn't stifle with the sound of my boots on the soil so I distracted myself by talking to a camera and my imaginary audience.
It highlighted how often I use distraction to avoid sitting with discomfort and really listening. As a result of that realisation and some other factors, I've come off all social media. It's early days, but already I'm less distracted, focusing on my creativity and talking to people in person on the phone - how very 1980's of me!
I have two Shetland hooked pieces to finish and more creative ideas are surfacing. I'm going to do my best to live life head-on, listen to all that comes up without turning up the volume in an attempt to avoid dealing with whatever is trying to get my attention.

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