How often do we ever observe the ground that we walk upon? What began as a whimsical, accidentally taken image of me walking sparked off a curious meditation, the subject being: the ground that we walk and stand upon.
The ground beneath our feet literally grounds us, rooting and connecting us to our surroundings. And yet, while walking through places, we see, register, and pause upon all that surrounds us: the houses, the color of the sky, the people whom we sidestep as they hurtle past us, and the cars clustered in a gossipy huddle on the sides of the roads. But how often do we ever think to look down and see what it is that we are walking upon? We assume for granted the solidity and mundanity of that we step foot on: but it is always so?
A few years ago, while walking road-side in Jodhpur, I remember encountering a host of variegated objects: torn, iridiscent sari scraps, broken glass bangles, notebooks half filled, and a almost-new looking shoe (where was its sole companion?) The road-side was a stream of flowing traffic in itself, a traffic of stories. And it made me ponder that the floors, surfaces, textures, and the objects on the ground are telling so much...if we are willing to look and listen.
So hereby begins a new feature of mine: Ground Beneath My Feet, where I will be presenting the different examples of grounds that I have walked upon (and to add a bit of visual interest, my shoes!). Kickstarting this idea is this image below:
|Radcliffe Square, Oxford (2009)|
I have always found cobbled surfaces fascinating: they immediately hearken back to a medieval era, the cobbled landscape conjuring up images of stylised boots navigating a studded floor, horses' hooves rattling away on the stones. How mundane it is to encounter the flatness of tarmac afterwards!
If you would like to contribute to this feature, go ahead and do so...email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your images:)