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On the Ground, Documents on My (Pandemic) Walks


The pandemic has led us to a multitude of activities we have not done before. For me, this included hour-long walks around my new neighborhood every day, rain or shine. Before the pandemic, my “walks” were directed, as my goal was to get to work, not “have a walk.” Now, these walks are an integral part of my thinking—to both clear my mind and to learn. I listen to podcasts, audiobooks, and sometimes nothing at all. I have taken to very intentional looking on my walks, noticing the details on the houses, dreaming of what they might look like on the inside, watching the weather change and the plant life die and emerge again. I have also been noting the signs that pop up from my unknown neighbors in the form of yard signs, chalk drawings, flags with notes, unintended detritus, snowmen (and women) and artworks. I look down a lot now as well. I notice what is at my feet. I am endlessly fascinated with sidewalk documents. The obvious ones are wonderful, such as children’s drawings and little fairy (and dinosaur) scenes. But the cement stamps have really captured my attention. What stories do these sidewalks have to tell?

What follows is a set of collages, documentation of documents I found on the ground during my pandemic walks—from the plant world, to the fairy world, to the seemingly mundane world of cement pouring. What emerged became a colorful and telling assortment of stories, both made up and real.

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