Along the Path Deep in the Park

deep in the park

Along the Path Deep in the Park is a movie about shared space.  The project was funded by The Regional Arts and Culture Council, Percent for the Arts program.  For a whole year I had the chance to hang out in Portland Parks with a video camera and record people at play and contemplation.  Our parks, and there are so many in Portland, are the ‘commons’ of our time.   They are our shared places.

I was born, stunned
In a short time blessed
in this encounter
of you

As a child
I played as a child
Ever and evermore
enamored, all
the world my
playground.  I saw then
“face to face”

Then I put away
childish things.  I saw then
through a glass darkly.

Then I saw as an adult.

There were times, what I saw
I didn’t want to live.  What
I had to do.  But O
Love now I come back
to the park, I return
to innocence, my childhood bliss.

Opening Voice Over for Along the Path, Deep in the Park.

The V.O. for Along the Path, Deep in the Park was written by poet, Sharon Doubiago. I sent her material that I had collected about the history of Portland Parks writings and plans of Fredrick Law Olmstead, interviews with Dorothea Lensch director of Recreation for Portland Parks from 1936 to 1972.  I showed Sharon some early video recorded in the parks and old stills. We talked on the phone about the movie, numerous times.  Then, on December 19, 1998, I received from Sharon a magnificent twenty-page poem.

In ancient America there is a word
meaning sacred place.
Sacred space.

Every grain
of sand, every rock, every blade
of grass, every medow, field,
plant, tree.  Every animal, every
creature, every human being
is huaca.

It was the spirit of huaca, sacred place, that tied the movie together but by the time it was completed all references to huaca  in the v.o. had vanished.  I am not at all sure how that happened.  Movies have a away of making themselves, I try to follow.  With John Norris as art director, George Hood as editor and Carol Sherman as production manager Along the Path, Deep in the Park was the kind of collaboration most of us doing this kind of work look forward to.  Peggy Kendellon at the Regional Arts and Culture Council and the folks in Portland Parks and Recreation were a joy to work with.