Yarra Flats Sunday morning (a walked ekphrasis)

I’ve been doing a lot of walking. It’s good for my body and my head. Mostly I shimmy along to tunes delivered directly to my ears courtesy of some splendid headphones. I have a walking playlist on my phone – of tunes for tackling hills, striding purposefully or whimsical rambles. This morning I walked to a different soundtrack.

Mindfulness. It’s a bit of a buzzword. Something of a trend. I am undertaking an introductory course explaining the theory and practice of mindful behaviour. I’ve discovered some interesting aspects of myself, one of which is that I already tend towards the mindful. My walks are often meditative, despite the headphones. I observe the gardens, the birds, animals, plants, the play of light. Sometimes I am literally lead by the nose and follow the scents of jasmine, rose, dianthus, lavender.

Today I decided to walk without headphones. I had chosen a shared footpath along the Yarra. The decision to allow my ears full reign was principally for safety – being mown down by a Lycra-bedecked cyclist not being high among my list of priorities. Not long into the walk, and already feeling attuned to the soundscape and noting the preponderance of human noise, I came across one of the signs for the Heidelberg Artists Trail. Arthur Streeton’s “Still glides the stream, and shall forever glide” had been painted from nearby and the title made me aware of the manifest silence of the river. This continual flow, silent into the future, that seemed to draw the sounds into it, as though creating a hushed void. And so my walk became ekphrastic – a future-bound flow, surrounded by sound.

Still glides the stream, and shall forever glide The sign is weathered and the painting can no longer be seen. You can find it here: http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/859/

Still glides the stream, and shall forever glide
The sign is weathered and the painting can no longer be seen. You can find it here: http://www.artgallery.nsw.gov.au/collection/works/859/

Yarra Flats Sunday morning (a walked ekphrasis)

carpark shuffle thunk
joggers chatter huff
undulating traffic rumble hum
woodwind plane moan
cyclists ding doppler whirr
pixelated leaf shushing
bridge thunder chunk
babbling inner monologue
a cappella birds twinkle choir
mountain bikes clumber mumble thanks
my metronome gravel scrunch

the river glides silently by

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2 responses to “Yarra Flats Sunday morning (a walked ekphrasis)

  1. Thank you for sharing, i love the beautiful mind pictures it evokes for me :). Gave me a peaceful moment in my day.

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