Tuesday, April 17, 2018

The Old Road - Walking Into Beauty

Bright Promises - Walnut Ink and Watercolor on Paper 8" x 10"

    Walking Into Beauty.....that phrase immediately seemed right to both Joanne and me as we
began collaborating on a project to combine poetry and visual art to express our experiences walking the Old 131 Trail through the middle of the Kickapoo Valley Reserve. For years we both have walked what we call 'The Old Road', in all weather, seasons and times of day. It remains our favorite place to wander and observe this land we love.
     We also made a book of the poems and drawings! We feel poetry is best read and re-read over time. The book gives you the opportunity to remember your own wanderings on The Old Road, and share some of the beauty there with others who may not be able to walk this trail.

Along the Riverbank - Walnut Ink on Watercolor Paper 8" x 10"

   We think of The Old Road as a way to connect many aspects of this place. Through time, it has been an animal track, a footpath for humans for thousands of years, then a highway, and again a footpath for humans and all who live here. In that way The Old Road connects us all through time and a shared way through the land.
   Walnut ink was used for the drawings. Gathering the nuts from trees in the valley, making the ink and then the drawings and finally sharing the images with you lets Walnut speak through the process and the sharing. Walnut trees are common here, growing in the rich soil. They offer food and shelter for many who live in the land, and finally their wooden bodies as well as their fruit (nuts) for human use too. Walnut ink has been used for centuries to color human made objects and for writing and drawing. So the walnut ink connects us to the walnut trees, the others who depend on them, and to human connection to walnut trees over time.
   The Old Road is an invitation for you too, to walk into beauty on the Old 131 Trail in the Kickapoo Valley Reserve.
     The Old Road drawings and poems now are on display at the Kickapoo Valley Reserve Visitor Center, through May 4th, 2018.

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