Stay the Same

Response #12 Abby Boutlebee

Mending Wall

‘Something there is that doesn’t love a wall,’ Robert Frost, 1914

This is a clip of hands (mine and the instructor’s) mending a drystone wall near Edinburgh as part of an employability project for homeless young people. As we worked, I started thinking about you and your film project. Frost’s poem was also in my head throughout the three days, and it all seemed to fit together somehow.
Frost’s poem, for me, has always been about impermanence, and about questioning the attempt to create boundaries and maintain them. It’s as much a poem about time as it is about space. Why spend time building a wall when ‘something there is…..that wants it down’? It strikes me that what you’re doing with ‘Stay the Same’ is a bit like mending a wall: spending time redefining boundaries and exploring limits in an attempt to create something permanent. You’ve set your own boundaries (the exact place you stand, the frame you’ve chosen, the distance you can travel, the length of the project) , and now you’re discovering the limits (the project’s and your own). But to me what’s most interesting is what’s happening within those boundaries, and the minute yet recordable changes that are taking place within your defined frame.
Your project, like a drystone wall, is very much subject to the will of nature. Your struggle against it in order to maintain what you set out to do strengthens the creative process and gives the project definition. Like mending a wall, by creating your film, you are momentarily at least claiming a space both physically and in time.
Building a wall is a careful, skilled process, much like writing or film-making. Or it should be if it is to succeed. And that’s what you’re doing – using your skill, spending time, to craft something that will last, for a while at least. By being carefully pieced together, the finished work will have purpose, and will last longer than the scattered individual moments.
‘Spring is the mischief in me’. It always has been, and I hope that this coming Spring will also be the mischief in you. Keep it going Sam!


2 Comments so far
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Interesting response, Abby. Good work both of you, in fact! Best of luck with the rest of the project, Sam.

Comment by Dara

[…] #12 Abby Boutlebee […]

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