LAWN

Orientate yourself in line with an uncertain horizon. There's a 4km strip of lawn by my house, a shortcut across blocks and main roads. a straight green line on the map; moving diagonally uphill from the creek to the reservoir. Behind the houses and across the streets. My friend tells me that she finds my house by finding this slant on the map; through a screen, she aligns herself with this space. This is the point from which the world unfolds, and then shrinks, mirrors back as I situate myself in it. 

Orientation to a line assumes a linear perspective; that I walk straight, think straight, see straight. Perceive the distance in a straight line from the ground, toward a flat horizon. Each onlooker must have one eye closed, stand on one leg, drift steadily forward. There is no room to trip or fall, to bend over double, to look down at yourself. This orientation becomes tunnel-visioned, a straightforwardness that relies on muscle memory.

I follow the wobbly, tread worn, dirt path through the grass; mowed down by foot traffic. It curves around trees and across roads and through gates. It tries to fit itself within the shortcut, aware of its contingency. I lean down the line, then go back to unstick myself. Locate myself on the map. I look down and follow myself, loop back around then mirror back. Everything arrives at the same barrier that is also an entry point.

I mow my lawn with a push mower. It’s knee height and I have to heave the mower back and forth, again and again. Looping back and around to catch the grass in its blades. This movement disrupts my path, my linear plan becoming slow, painful, circles through my yard. I try to sit with this disorientation, to chew on it, to steady myself against it. Move towards a ground that's shrinking as I work, moving as I move, changing as I sweat. Extending the reach of my body, the point at which everything unfolds is recoiling as I unfold it. This friction blisters my palms as I work. 

The path ends at the horizon, continuously. Following the diagonal line along the assumption of a linear equation - a trajectory of rising and falling that can only be seen from above. Following myself on the map I am attached to a loop that I hold messily together; looking down at myself following a path that can only be fully seen from above. Finding the way through a composite of dimensions and directions as geolocation becomes a version of introspective surveillance. Quietly following a path through layers of visible and invisible, actual and virtual, relay and return. Existing at an interface and all at once.

The way I face and the way I turn is dictated by the lawn that is in turn dictated by my movements. To be situated through this reciprocity creates deja vu. Everything becomes at once familiar and unfamiliar with the recognition of disorder. Familiarity and location become a process of sharing attention with yourself. Every lawn looks the same; an axis of recognition on which to swing. To look down at myself and then back up comes with a certain sincerity, reciprocity and comfort of justification. Walking back and forth creates a path, the friction of my tread wears down the lawn, leaves it with a muscle memory, or is it a touch? There is no one ahead of me, a path followed is a byproduct of a followed path. If no one walked here there would be nowhere to go, the path clears the way. It is performative, committed to the action, I instruct myself through these recollections. 

To grow a lawn is to fill in the gaps, to intrude and assimilate, to arrive and forget, to mow and to poison. Within this give and take, this dejavu, is a certain mixed up disorientation. It is absorbed, and accepted, sucked on then forgotten about, then mirrored back as I walk.