Before and After

airports have sometimes been called ‘non-places’, empty of local flavor and culture, distressingly similar, spots that only exist to be on the way somewhere else. It’s true that reality here seems far from the wind and grass. I miss the feel of grass working its way into my socks, the smell of sage. From where I sit I can count eleven screens, without turning my head. 

But that ‘not interesting, only good for passing through’ description has also been leveled at the prairies. And the truth is, all spaces can become places if we pay attention and know their story. Here is a drawing I made the first day I arrived, of our route (and my roots). Imagination is also a transitional place. We imagined this long walk, and it came to be. Space became place, in the walking and the telling. Still, I miss the prairie.


By somethinggrand

writing and walking

7 replies on “Before and After”

Easy to draw, not so very hard to say.

Somehow I had hoped for an airport entry… and here it is. The Dream unfolds….

Thanks Matt.

Good Rest and Recovery to all the Pilgrims. Enjoy the stride.


I thought we had a perfect ‘au revoir’ in the smiles shared at the final ceremonies.
Actually Hugh met me on the road at the top of the hill and said: ‘See ya down the dusty road’. And likewise I know we’ll be in contact ongoing.
The sweetgrass is yours. May it transport you to the Prairies at critical moments and times. Using it on a dish with a bit of self-lite charcoal would help the smudge.. It is custoary to smudge your lodge as well. And yes Matthew, to invite and assist others. Prayer is the perfect compliment, and sometimes conversation.


I find all sorts of “ports” fascinating. They reek of hope and sorrow and worry and joy and… they are a microcosm of the human condition. We should probably spend more time hanging out in them (but at our leisure, not the airline companies’!).

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