Labyrithmics – Big Backyard Paper Labyrinth, Fremont California

… okay, so we didn’t finish making the labyrinth in the big backyard earlier this evening … manana, manana …

This is the Big Backyard to my grandparents’ place in Fremont, California.

One of those suburban nightmares where everything is manicured and nothing out of the norm ever seems to appear.

Eyeing the boredom of the complex’s kids and the great green grass canvas since my visit began here, I finally broke down today and installed, or rather tried to install, a labyrinth.

The only materials I could readily use were simple 8.5 by 11 sheets of paper and everyday toothpicks to pin the sheets into the grass.

Harder than it looks or sounds, the grass being deep, the ground moist, my fingers and thumbs aching, the children impatient.

The kids kept asking if the labyrinth was ready all afternoon. They even helped now and then, but their tiny fingers failed them after at best a sheet or two.

Imagine kids in the backseat of your car on a long trip repeating, ‘Are we there yet?’ and your ears may get a feel for what echoed in Fremont all afternoon.

Finally, I just gave in and let them play.

No one seemed to care the paper labyrinth wasn’t done yet.

It was enjoyed as is — unfinished.

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  • Human Calendar


  • Land Acknowledgements

    Traditional: recognizes lands traditionally used and/or occupied by the People or First Nations in parts of the country.

    Ancestral: recognizes land that is handed down from generation to generation.

    Unceded: refers to land that was not turned over to the Crown (government) by a treaty or other agreement.

  • Tsí Tkaròn:to

  • Metro Vancouver

    Labyrinths are made on the traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of the Coast Salish peoples –

    Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish),

    Stó:lō and

    Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh)

    and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.

    Labyrinths are made in traditional, ancestral and unceded territory of

    the Kwantlen,

    the Katzie,

    the Semiahmoo

    and Tsawwassen First Nations.