I started The Handless Project because I needed to heal (physically from thyroid cancer and emotionally from a lot of other things) and this weird old story about a girl who heals herself was so helpful to me that I wondered whether it would help other people too. The walk is further exploration of what has been story medicine for me. I have no idea what the out come will be, just like the Handless Maiden who leaves home at dawn and wanders through the forest, until something unexpected happens.
We will be walking through Liverpool on 20th May to simply see what walking can do for us. Maybe it will do nothing, or maybe everything will change. It is an experiment built around a fairytale so we are free to believe it or not. We are also free to invest it with the power and meaning of a pilgrimage, a race for life or a trip to see what we can see, for adventure or even to heal a city.
Walk with us.
Here are a few quotations to think about:
"I was coming to America, I said to my little niece, who was seven, I said, “What will I bring you from America?” She said, “Uhhhhh.” And her father said, “No, ask him or you won’t get anything.” And Katy turned to me and said, “What’s in it?” [laughs] Which I thought was a great question about America."
John O'Donohue - OnBeing Interview
"Land is a story place. Land holds the stories of human survival across many generations. Land shapes people, just as people shape their countries."
Judy Atkinson: Trauma Trails: Recreating Song Lines, the transgenerational effects of trauma in indigenous Australia
"It is healing for any person to hear the priceless heritage of our stories and find a contemporary translation of their prescriptions applicable to his or her immediate circumstances."
Robert A Johnson: The Fisher King and the Handless MaidenSome further reading/listening about walking and landscape:
John O'Donohue OnBeing episode: The Inner Landscape of Beauty
Strayed, Cheryl. Wild: A Journey from Lost to Found. Atlantic Books.