Walking: Just to be, and soak it in, rather than conquer it and tick a box

david-gray

FOLLOWING I don’t follow anything or anybody online; neither am I subscribed to any online magazines. I think I’m just too old and set in my ways for Twitter, etc. I still care about manners, spelling and punctuation, for Christ’s sake. Watching my kids and their intense relationship with the online world, I can see that it’s just a totally different mind-set; a different way of being even.

WALKING. These days my favorite pastime is to just go for a walk and if it’s out in the wilds, then all the better. Recent trips have included the Isle of Skye, the North Cornish coast and the Lake District, all of which were spectacular. It’s about taking your time to traverse rather than just climb a mountain and come back down again. Sometimes you climb up a mountain and find a tiny little lake, a weird little ecosystem with its dragonflies buzzing around. You just spend some time in this strange, magical spot. Just to be, and soak it in, rather than conquer it and tick a box. That’s my approach.

~ David Gray, from “Download by Kate Murphy” (New York Times Nov 26, 2016)

 


Notes:

  • Photo: Digitaltrends
  • If you’ve never heard of David Gray (what planet have you been residing on), check out his classic hit: Babylon

Trail Therapy: Watch. Just Watch.


Steve Fugate lost both his children–his son committed suicide, and his daughter overdosed. Sixty-four years old, Mr. Fugate has walked across the United States seven times to raise awareness for depression and suicide and to inspire people he meets to “love life.”

Stick with it to the end…This Man is something special.

A temple – or a green field – a place to enter, and in which to feel.

forest-woods-morning

Whitman kept me from the swamps of a worse uncertainty, and I lived many hours within the lit circle of his certainty, and his bravado. Unscrew the locks from the doors! Unscrew the doors themselves from their jambs! And there was the passion which he invested in the poems. The metaphysical curiosity! The oracular tenderness with which he viewed the world— its roughness, its differences, the stars, the spider— nothing was outside the range of his interest. I reveled in the specificity of his words. And his faith— that kept my spirit buoyant surely, though his faith was without a name that I ever heard of. Do you guess I have some intricate purpose? Well I have . . . for the April rain has, and the mica on the side of a rock has.

But first and foremost, I learned from Whitman that the poem is a temple— or a green field— a place to enter, and in which to feel. Only in a secondary way is it an intellectual thing— an artifact, a moment of seemly and robust wordiness— wonderful as that part of it is. I learned that the poem was made not just to exist, but to speak— to be company. It was everything that was needed, when everything was needed. I remember the delicate, rumpled way into the woods, and the weight of the books in my pack. I remember the rambling, and the loafing— the wonderful days when, with Whitman, I tucked my trowser-ends in my boots and went and had a good time.

~ Mary Oliver, from “My Friend Walt Whitman” in Upstream, Selected Essays


Notes:

Saturday Morning

roberto-gioli-boots-reflection

The way I’d like to go on living in this world
wouldn’t hurt anything, I’d just go on
walking uphill and downhill, looking around,
and so what if half the time I don’t know
what for —

~ Mary Oliver, excerpt from 1945-1985: Poem for the Anniversary from Dream Work

 


Notes:

It’s been a long day

ballerini-dance

I have no bones…
there are days when I could leap up to the clouds —
days when I haven’t the strength to turn the pages of a book.

– Gustave Flaubert, from Intimate Notebook: 1840-1841


Notes:

Indulging in Easy

rest-relax-chill

I relish those spontaneous times when I decide to stroll with my wife and dog through the park near our home in Amsterdam. Or when I take time to read a novel for fun. Or when I stop for a lovely glass of wine along an outdoor cafe along the canal because it seems like the thing to do. How about just taking time to take time?

Ah, the infinite moments to enjoy, presented to us on the conveyor belt of our existence….

There are times when making no sense makes sense. Just being, hanging out, following the whim, the momentary inclination. How long can you indulge yourself, though, purely, without hesitation, doubt, or a troubled thought about what it should be troubled about…?

Stop! Do something else. Do nothing. Try it. Anything. It’s not about our doing.

~ David Allen, from Indulging in Easy


Note: Photo via Mennyfox55

Truth

steps-exercise-chart


Source: Indexed by Jessica Hagy – Aim for 10,000 Small steps a day.

Walking Cross-Town. With Al.

walking-aerial

Jorie Graham: “The slow overture of rain, each drop breaking without breaking into the next, describes the unrelenting, syncopated mind.” (from “Mind,” Hybrids of Plants and of Ghosts.)

6:30 am.
The train pulls into Grand Central, and clears. I sit. And wait.
The conductor walks up the aisle gathering tickets.
I cue up a Paul Simon playlist and walk.
The platform is empty. Stragglers amble toward the exits.
I nod to the armed guard, and slip through the open door onto 42nd, passing a conga line of yellow cabs. Not today gentlemen, not today. We’re walking Cross-Town.

Good morning America.
Dawn in Manhattan.
Sun Power lights up the skyscrapers, they lean in from the shadows to warm.
A wisp of a breeze cools, a welcome cut of the ever-present humidity, and a respite from the simmering trash and the marinating urine.

The electronic horse walks.
There’s a skip in the step this morning, loaded with a full night’s sleep, and boosted by Sun’s Solar Power.  Beast and Beast. One up Top. One on the ground. Duo is Un-freak-ing-stoppable. [Read more…]

How?

walk-beach-florida

How could you
not love
the ground on which you walk?

~ Clarice Lispector, “The Buffalo” from The Complete Stories


Photo: Early morning walkers pass in Bal Harbour, Fla.  (wsj.com by Wilfredo Lee)

Saturday Morning

ocean-cloud

I’d like to walk there again.
It was so lonely — a nice kind of loneliness,
and all grass and clover and soft sea air.

– C.S. Lewis, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Chronicles of Narnia


Source: Quote – Schonwiener. Photo: Newthom

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