Many of us have been unconsciously programmed to treat walking as a means to an end, especially while in the workplace. Naturally, a lack of mindfulness while walking leaves one hostage to self-perpetuating stress and anxiety. We rush (often while shouting into a mobile phone), completely missing the enjoyment of walking. Walking and breathing, if practised harmoniously, can be peaceful and thoroughly enjoyable. Even walking down a corridor or into an office or wherever we are working or being of service can be a harmonious action.
Looking, Walking, Being, I look and look. Looking's a way of being: one becomes, sometimes, a pair of eyes walking. Walking wherever looking takes one. The eyes dig and burrow into the world. They touch, fanfare, howl, madrigal, clamor. World and the past of it, not only visible present, solid and shadow that looks at one looking. And language? Rhythms of echo and interruption? That's a way of breathing. breathing to sustain looking, walking and looking, through the world, in it.
It's the loneliest feeling in the world-to find yourself standing up when everybody else is sitting down. To have everybody look at you and say, 'What's the matter with him?' I know. I know what it feels like. Walking down an empty street, listening to the sound of your own footsteps. Shutters closed, blinds drawn, doors locked against you. And you aren't sure whether you're walking toward something, or if you're just walking away.
Robert E. Lee
One day I was in an airport rushing to catch a plane. I was sweating and puffing when I looked to my right and saw a man walking half as fast as I was, but going faster. He was walking on a moving sidewalk. When we walk in the Spirit, eh comes underneath us and bears us along. We're still walking, but we walk dependent on him.
My mother once told me that holding on to the past is like walking around with a pebble in your shoe. You can still keep walking, keep moving forward, but that pebble is always there nagging at you, begging for your attention. After a while, that pebble is all you can feel. Sometimes, you just have to stop walking for a minute and get rid of it once and for all.
When I noticed other people, I wondered what it was like to be alive. They did not know, could not know, how I felt inside. My shell still passed for normal. I felt like I should scream for help, someone should help, but I knew that the time for screaming had passed. Best to just keep on walking, walking dead, one of the few things I could still do. So I kept walking.
By walking naked you gain far more than coolness. You feel an unexpected sense of freedom from restraint. An uplifting and almost delirious sense of simplicity. In this new simplicity you soon find that you have become, in a new and surer sense, and integral part of the simple, complex world you are walking through. And then you are really walking.
Throughout my life, I have never stopped to strategize about my next steps. I often just keep walking along, through whichever door opens. I have been on a journey and this journey has never stopped. When the journey is acknowledged and sustained by those I work with, they are a source of inspiration, energy and encouragement. They are the reasons I kept walking, and will keep walking, as long as my knees hold out.
By walking, you escape from the very idea of identity, the temptation to be someone, to have a name and a history. Being someone is all very well for smart parties where everyone is telling their story, it's all very well for psychologists' consulting rooms. But isn't being someone also a social obligation which trails in its wake - for one has to be faithful to the self-portrait - a stupid and burdensome fiction? The freedom in walking lies in not being anyone; for the walking body has no history, it is just an eddy in the stream of immemorial life.
My Eyes Are Open But I'm Hardly Looking In The Front... Everything's Passing Me, Some Are Staring But My Eyes Are Blank, I'm Seeing But Not Seeing As My Mind Is Not Sending The Message To My Brains To Produce Images... I'm Walking Alone Yet Full of People Around Me... I'm Walking Forward... There's No Feeling As I'm Numb... Only Thing I Know, I Have To Finish My Ride Before My Time Expires... So I'm Walking With Blank Emotion In My Eyes... ( Excerpt From My Novel "Eastern Promise")
Muhammad Imran Hasan
There are some good things to be said about walking. Not many, but some. Walking takes longer, for example, than any other known form of locomotion except crawling. Thus it stretches time and prolongs life. Life is already too short to waste on speed. I have a friend who's always in a hurry; he never gets anywhere. Walking makes the world much bigger and thus more interesting. You have time to observe the details. The utopian technologists foresee a future for us in which distance is annihilated. ... To be everywhere at once is to be nowhere forever, if you ask me.
It occurred to me, not exactly for the first time, that psychogeography didn't have much to do with the actual experience of walking. It was a nice idea, a clever idea, an art project, a conceit, but it had very little to do with any real walking, with any real experience of walking. And it confirmed for me what I'd really known all along, that walking isn't much good as a theoretical experience. You can dress it up any way you like, but walking remains resolutely simple, basic, analog. That's why I love it and love doing it. And in that respect-stay with me on this-it's not entirely unlike a martini. Sure you can add things to martinis, like chocolate or an olive stuffed with blue cheese or, God forbid, cotton candy, and similarly you can add things to your walks-constraints, shapes, notions of the mapping of utopian spaces-but you don't need to. And really, why would you? Why spoil a good drink? Why spoil a good walk?
Modern literary theory sees a similarity between walking and writing that I find persuasive: words inscribe a text in the same way that a walk inscribes space. In The practicse of Everyday Life, Michel de Certeau writes, 'The act of walking is a process of appropriation of the topographical system on the part of the pedestrian; it is a special acting-out of the place... and it implies relations among differentiated positions.' I think this is a fancy way of saying that writing is one way of making the world our own, and that walking is another.
Modern literary theory sees a similarity between walking and writing that I find persuasive: words inscribe a text in the same way that a walk inscribes space. In The practicse of Everyday Life, Michel de Certeau writes, 'The act of walking is a process of appropriation of the topographical system on the part of the pedestrian; it is a special acting-out of the place...and it implies relations among differentiated positions.' I think this is a fancy way of saying that writing is one way of making the world our own, and that walking is another.