out of the park – onto the trail

grassskyI moved

away from The Park.

Now my Outside Space is The Trail.

So the question has loomed: Do I change the blog name? Do I leave it all together?

Certainly a trail is a bit different than a park, both on the literal level and the metaphorical one. My experience has completely changed.

My relationship to the park was about entering and reentering a space with somewhat static boundaries – clear edges – a contained green, a circle or square, meant for playing, sitting, reflection. Kind of like playing hokey-pokey. Or diving in a pool. Or drawing a chalk circle and stepping inside to test if it really will protect you from scary witches.

The trail near my new residence requires a totally different type of engagement. It is, of course, a path; linear, it leads to hidden trails, unmarked gutters and ditches, footpaths, streets, a park. There are many entries and exits, some obvious, some hidden. People here are usually in motion. Going from A to B. Appearing, passing, reappearing, on foot, bike, scooter, with gear like sticks and headphones and water bottles. The trail feels more serious. The trail has a more direct purpose. An outcome-based focus.

The park was often the scene for a shindig, with fried chicken or balloons.

The trail is not so much a destination as a place of process, the scene for sweating, walking sticks.

The park had the detritis of litterbugs.

The trail has the stashes of homeless folks.

The park had graffiti on the play equipment.

The trail has graffiti on the walls under the overpass.

The park had rolling hills.

The trail has a rushing river.

The park had rabid squirrels.

The trail has snakes and turtles.

The thing is, at one end of the trail there does happen to be another park. It’s not my park; it’s not the park I fell in love with last year, that incited me to blog.

But the trail and the park together does, like my park, serve as a space where I go to encounter myself and my relationship, my private study of my relationship to the world. The parts and wholes, my juxtaposition to reality, my belief in beauty, to refresh my humility, to resize my ego.

Maybe it was time for a different way to move through the landscape – at a quicker pace –

It is an interesting thing to contemplate, a shift I haven’t quite figured out how to address here, and to be honest, elsewhere. The park had a communal feeling to me. The trail, populated as it is, is very much about my singular journey.

I’m off on a path; following my bliss; running down a dream –

– missing the park, though.


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