Posts Tagged ‘pavements’

Pavements, there beneath our feet. Just pavements. But nothing’s ever simple!

The pavements show the effects of time, some of them cracking up under the strain; others  coming apart. What was once neat and all fitted together starts to come apart. Maybe pavements have a story to tell, a sort of parable about how time is always working against our attempts to impose order. Incidentally, the word ‘pavement’ comes from the Latin pavere which means to ‘pound down’. We try to pound down the earth to fit our own design, but nature and time have a way of reclaiming things.

Pavements carry the ghosts of feet, of people long dead, the fleeting touch of shadows or rain that reflects the world above. Footprints caught in the cement of pavements: maybe in a thousand years an excited archaeologist from Mars will find one like we found footsteps on the beach up at Formby from thousands of years ago…

Leaves, apples, litter, all there and gone in an instant. A paving flag is like a picture frame of time.

And then there are the pavements people draw or write upon. Kids chalk drawings,, ‘arty’ stencil stuff, or the  drawings etched into the pavements on the new frontage of Lime Street Station done by artist Simon Faithfull to record a trip to Liverpoool in Nova Scotia, three thousand miles away.


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Pavements marked a path for thousands of feet over time. Very quickly when people no longer use them, they begin to disappear. Tracks that once meant something, were important, provided a way, become overgrown.


There’ll be a few more posts on pavements soon! We’re putting the finishing touches to a short video in which a group member reads a poem called Hell’s Pavements by John Masefield. It’s about a sailor who comes into Liverpool determined not to waste his money on women and drink. It ends with him sailing back to sea owning nothing but the clothes on his back. As if !

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