your inner Flaneur

A walk by the Ministry of Walking

A spoof on management training programs. Cooperation, Negotiation and ???

Being tied into a rope line like they did with prisoners. Made me think of Aboriginal prisoners straight away. That black and white image of chained bodies heading for the oblivion of a faded photograph. Having your hip continually pulled by the person behind and the person in front. No artist wants to be part of a group activity. Canada geese in the fields rising over our heads. You can’t stop and take a photo. Rolling grassland with cattle and a freeway. Pickup trucks.

Second activity: being deprived of one of your senses in a four legged race. All I can see is the ground as I try to shout out deafly “left… right…” to a blind person and a speechless one. The edge of town is a place called Artists View. Full of oil-rich houses. “Go to your wing, junior!” We’ll clear all forms of life around our properties so that the snipers have no cover and then we will put up a squirrel house and a bird feeder. That should make us eco-friendly.

Instruction: draw a picture based on the descriptions of your partner but there is an odd number of participants and I do not get to describe the landscape. I will have to try this another time. Later on we mail the postcard to the Ministry of Walking.

Walk in a ditch as the road has steep sides and the traffic is heavy. We pass a quarry. Yellow smog hangs over the valley of Calgary. We reach the little boxes of suburbia. Plastic post and rail fences. Two large new evangelical churches and one Sikh temple.

Cougar ridge housing estate complete with cougar statue. Que at the gas station for a pee. Next activity: its a three legged race with a stranger. We have four choices to be free: bribery, a duet, a wise saying or a dance sequence. We give up and bind our arms. We can only think of really bad jokes. Other pairs do “I want to break free” by Queen and their best dog impressions. He is not willing to give up his gourmet chocolate. In the end we pick flowers and give them my half eaten chocolate bar.

Long haul to the final destination. Scorched earth subdivisions. I keep seeing yellow golf balls. The Schooner local neighbourhood pub for awards and rewards. Giant fires in California in the first TV news I have seen in 6 weeks. The world repeats its patterns all over the western world.

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