It is not that something different is seen, but that one sees differently. It is as though the spatial act of seeing were changed by a new dimension.
- Carl Jung
SongPath is a mental health initiative designed to provide participants with nourishing ways of connecting through walking, talking & music-making in the beautiful landscapes of South Cumbria & beyond. We raise funds for our two local branches of the mental health charity Mind: Mind in Furness & Ulverston Mind.
Through SongPath 2019 we raised a total of £5796.75 for these two vital local causes.
So what exactly is a SongPath?
Well, we take a short route – two to three miles – and through engaging with that route and the people we find on it, we reveal a wealth of connections to music, art, poetry & science, immediately accessible and united by common roots. We re-enchant our surroundings by deepening and enriching our appreciation of what lies underfoot and over head. We also reveal connections to ourselves, past, present and future, and to each other: “an unexpectedly powerful camaraderie”, one 2019 participant said.
Why do this?
All mental health conditions are characterised by disconnection: from ourselves, our families, our friends & the world around us. At SongPath, we think the road to disconnection is a bit too well travelled.
The brain is an inherently connective structure: a rich, intricate web of interrelations and associations. SongPath reflects, harnesses & cultivates this beautiful, powerful & exponential connectivity. By stepping onto the SongPath, we can learn to see things differently: not through a lens of fear, but with a kind, imaginative curiosity, and with hope.
The ash tree we touch here and now shapeshifts into the ash tree of your childhood garden or the Yggdrasil, the World Tree of Ancient Norse Mythology; Cedric Robinson walking the sands of Morecambe Bay might point us to J.M.W. Turner’s paintings of the same seascape just a century before or Franz Liszt’s wonderful depiction for piano of St Francis of Paola miraculously walking the Strait of Messina to Sicily in 1464.
The wandering of the legs gives rise to the wandering of the mind, across centuries, continents, modes of thought, fact, fiction, emotions, memories, and back again. In an industrial and digital age of bodily disconnection, music & walking also restore our attunement to natural bodily rhythms. Good mental health is to be found in connections & SongPath has them in spades.