Social distancing, foxgloves and weaving

Isn’t it lovely when good things happen unexpectedly? And sparks fly between creative people? I’ve been a fan of the work of the artist, Elspeth (Billie) Penfold, for some time – particularly how she explores the connections between weaving,  walking and storytelling, so it was an excellent surprise to see that she had responded to a poem, Social distance,  which I put up on Instagram recently exploring how we are all finding our space in a new way.

Here’s the poem, and after it are the images Elspeth posted, together with her response (please note, this is with her permission!):

Social distance

Sarah Salway

We are talking about earthquakes
as we pass the waterfall of foxgloves,
I’m sure they weren’t there before, you say,
pausing to take a perfect Insta shot

and I imagine red shadows slinking by
with freckle splattered purple hands,
I’m about to tell you how Shakespeare’s father
was a glovemaker, when you hand me your phone

and I take it without thinking – your phone
in my bare hands. Was touch once this easy?
I watch your face catch my expression.
Our weekly walks meander on paths

around every topic, with shortcuts
to those things we don’t share with others.
How many times has this very phone
spilt out its secrets to me but still you lean

across our safe distance to snatch it back,
you even pretend not to see the care I take
to wipe my fingers, the foxgloves waving
at us like tiny megaphones as we walk on.

When she posted the images below, Elspeth captioned it: Walking weaves: “Touch “, this is a response to reading this poem by @sarahsalway (scroll) . This is a “borrowed “ walk . A weave in response to this wonderful poem made me think that we reach out and touch each other in many ways .



Elspeth also said: Sarah and I meant to meet and go for a walk before our lives changed .

And yes we did, and yes we will. But in the meantime how joyful to find other new ways to connect. Tiny megaphones indeed….

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