(yes, it is) 23 of May – 26 of June I’ll be one of three residents in the project Walking Peace in the Avian Kingdom in Sweden, organised by ARNA at the very spot where two pilgrim trails meet in Harlösa. Walking Peace is a green, slow and peaceful way of making new connections across cultural backgrounds and religions, creating art as a statement for peace while walking. Afterwards I'll be researching the pioneer life in Värmland.


Letting go

Yesterday I had to travel from Harlösa, where I’m staying, to Lund, to present my first ideas connected to walking the Pilgrim Trail in the Lund Cathedral’s Visitor Centre. 28 kilometres. There were two possibilities. Either I could work on my presentation all day and be driven to Lund or I could walk, order my thoughts, arrive with tired feet and improvise.

It was a hot day. I walked the trail I had walked before but now in the other direction. My head emptied itself. I found a big snail. I arrived in Lund. I presented my blisters and the snail’s slowness.

In the middle of my presentation somebody asked me a question. I had just been talking about the suit project I did recently for which I wore a 3-piece walking suit 108 days in a row, embroidering a drawing or text on the inside every day. On the outside I embroidered a QR code so you could scan it and see the inside from the outside.

A woman asked “Why 108 days?” And I answered I wasn’t sure. It felt like the right thing to do. I quoted Thoreau who wrote in Walden “Perhaps we should never procure a new suit, however ragged or dirty the old, until we have so conducted, so enterprised or sailed in some way, that we feel like new men in the old”. I answered that after 108 days I felt like that. So I took it off.

She said that the Buddhist’ mala (set of prayer beads used for keeping count while reciting a mantra) consists of 108 beads. I had no idea.

Afterwards she walked with us in search of an icecream shop but they were all closed. She told us she specialised in building labyrinths and was constructing one in Malmö, made out of electrical wire. The firmness of her hug when we said goodbye broke the y-shaped branch that I had carried in my breast pocket during the Pilgrim Trail walk.

I guess life is its own answer.

* You can read HERE why there are 108 beads on a mala. There are many reasons, very interesting ones. This website says that “none of these reasons are ... more or less true than the others. However, you may notice that 108 appears to be somewhat like a road map of reality in general, and the human in particular.”