November 12, 2017

Spiral Eddies

By Catherine Hulshoff
Gila Wilderness, NM
October 27, 2017

How to build a “Spiral Eddy”:

Step 1: Find a river. Forget traditional notions of language.

Step 2: Find a space or section that speaks to you, or is at least easy to get in and out of.

Step 3: Walk up and down this section of river until you feel well acquainted. This works best with bare legs so that you can feel the push and pull high and low or under currents as it rushes passed your body. Note the river bed- the changes from silt and mud, to sand, to rocks.

Step 4: Build for yourself, in your head or on paper, a library of Semasiographic indicators that you are reading from the river. Watch how the water moves over or around stones, or how currents push against the riverbank. Note how the river indicates to you the slope of the ground underneath, the pull of fast paced water in deeper areas and the trickle of water that bubbles around smaller river rocks in shallow areas.

Step 5: Choose your favorite. This can be a current, a slope in the riverbed, or a shallow canal of river rocks near the shoreline.

Step 6: Once you have found your “shape”, using rocks from nearby or underfoot, pull that shape up from the river, building it and embodying it with the rocks. The number of rocks needed to successfully raise the indicator from the water may vary.

Step 7: Grab rocks and start piling and shaping however the river tells you to do so. You will know when you are done as the current and shape you found initially will not change, but only become more pronounced. It will feel right.

Step 8: Step back and watch, listen, and read the river.

Step 9: Return a year later and check on it. Repeat as necessary.

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