“My next project is to draw circles around places in which I find myself, say with a radius of one to five miles, and then to follow the circumference on foot all the way around.
Walking sometimes means undertaking an inner voyage of discovery. You are shaped by buildings, faces, signs, weather and the atmosphere. Maybe we were made to walk, also in cities? Walking as a combination of movement, humility, balance, curiosity, smell, sound, light and- if you walk far enough – longing. A feeling which reaches for something, without finding it. The Portuguese and Brazilians have an untranslatable word for this longing: saudade. It is a word that encompasses love, pain and happiness. It can be the thought of something joyful that disturbs you, or something disturbing that brings you plenitude.”
“Everything moves more slowly when I walk, the world seems softer and for a short while I am not doing household chores, having meetings or reading manuscripts. A free man possesses time. The opinions, expectations and moods of family, colleagues and friends all become unimportant for a few minutes or a few hours. Walking, I become the centre of my own life, while completely forgetting myself shortly afterwards.”
I was in the library and saw plenty of books on running, and I thought that’s not what I want, why aren’t there any books on walking? The simple act of walking is perhaps too ordinary to deserve books to be written on it. But I took a step to the right, and there they were – books on walking. I was pleased, the bright pleasure of discovery in a library, amidst too many books that may or may not interest you.
I enjoyed the author’s book on silence, and had expectations for the book. It did not disappoint. This ode to walking is a perfect book for my December. Contemplative but not too much, and in December, I took a few more walks, one much longer than usual.