There are so many things I wish I could still do. My biggest regret is the way that possibilities shrink as time goes by. I’ll never be a stage designer now and I don’t think I’ll win the Man-Booker Prize.
But there is another side to this. And that is getting to relish the moment. Because I’m not going anywhere major, it gives me the freedom to look around and take in where I am. I can leave the motorway and explore the byways. And the backwaters…
So this is… just drifting. This was what artist Amy Sharrock got people to do for quarter of an hour at twilight on Battersea Park boating pond. You got in her little dinghy with her, and then just let the breeze take you wherever it wanted. Mallards bobbed around on their own errands. Wind rippled the water. It started to get chilly. For a little slice of time, time slowed down.
It’s attitude, just attitude.
‘My work is just about being a human being on this planet and using nature as its source. I like the intellectual pleasure of original ideas and the physical pleasure of realising them. A long road or a wilderness walk is basically walking all day and sleeping all night. I enjoy the simple pleasures of wellbeing, independence, opportunism, eating, dreaming, happenstance, of passing through the land, sometimes leaving (memorable) traces along the way, of finding a new campsite each night. And then moving on.’
This is the mark of Long’s track across grass – his show includes many others: what he terms spontaneous primitive mark-making: the desire to leave your mark, and at the same time the realisation that it is transitory and it will fade away.