‘Purposeless Walking’ is my Saving Grace

If there is only ONE thing you will ever know about me (but I hope there is more!), know this: I ‘just walk’ every day. Sometimes more than once . No phone, no dog, nothing but me and my thoughts.

I have my routes, but I often veer off of them. I always walk in the morning, sometimes in the afternoon, and always for a bit at night. Walking clears my head, I get inspiration, I observe. Just as my legs meander, so do my thoughts. Sometimes these wandering thoughts shut off and I find myself noticing little details of my surroundings letting this dictate my course.  At some point, all that jumble of ideas, confusion, pain or even excitement lines up into manageable paths.

Walking is the best form of mental, emotional, spiritual and physical health you will ever have, if you can mange it.

I hope this article inspires you or confirms what you already know about yourself.

Happy Saturday and happy walking!

 

The slow death of purposeless walking

Detail from Caspar David Friedrich's "Wanderer above a sea of fog"

 

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13 thoughts on “‘Purposeless Walking’ is my Saving Grace

  1. A great post! It reminded me of what C.S. Lewis said about the “motor car” :

    ” I number it among my blessings that my father had no car, while yet most of my friends had, and sometimes took me for a drive. This meant that all these distant objects could be visited just enough to clothe them with memories and not impossible desires, while yet they remained ordinarily as inaccessible as the Moon. The deadly power of rushing about wherever I pleased had not been given me. I measured distances by the standard of man, man walking on his two feet, not by the standard of the internal combustion engine. I had not been allowed to deflower the very idea of distance; in return I possessed ‘infinite riches’ in what would have been to motorists ‘a little room’. The truest and most horrible claim made for modern transport is that it ‘annihilates space.’ It does. It annihilates one of the most glorious gifts we have been given. It is a vile inflation which lowers the value of distance, so that a modern boy travels a hundred miles with less sense of liberation and pilgrimage and adventure than his grandfather got from traveling ten. Of course if a man hates space and wants it to be annihilated, that is another matter. Why not creep into his coffin at once? There is little enough space there.”

    Pretty strong opinions, but it made me see driving in a whole different way. 🙂

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    • Oh I love this part:

      The truest and most horrible claim made for modern transport is that it ‘annihilates space.’ It does….It is a vile inflation which lowers the value of distance, so that a modern boy travels a hundred miles with less sense of liberation and pilgrimage and adventure than his grandfather got from traveling ten.

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  2. I totally get this! I also walk every day, and in fact (if I’m being totally honest) prefer to walk alone, as it gives me the freedom to just stop and look at something if the mood strikes me, without having to explain myself to anyone. I also love my pedometer, as it allows me to set off on a ramble with only a vague goal–more steps–and justifies taking the least efficient route from point A to B. Intentional inefficiency is something people just can’t get their heads around!

    So happy I found your blog (via Emerald City Book Review). Can’t wait to explore more!

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    • “Intentional inefficiency is something people just can’t get their heads around!” Ha! I love that.

      I have thought about a pedometer myself. I am curious to know how many steps I do on my familiar routes, but also curious when I go off a planned route. Sometimes I get on an ‘I’ve almost got this problem figured out’ roll and want to keep going. Or on those walks when I am feeling very strong and just want to keep going.

      Welcome!

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  3. Walking like that inspired a lot of blog posts and photography; it also gave me insight. I miss it terribly–a couple of health issues made me give it up for a time (one of those issues has since been resolved)–just need to get back into the discipline of it again. Have you ever read Thoreau’s essay, “Walking”? I listened to it on Librivox while walking in a field – I did a series of posts on it which include the link to the Librivox recording: http://louisamayalcottismypassion.com/?s=thoreau+walking

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    • I had an accident in September and hurt a toe, which meant I had to rest my whole body. I couldn’t walk for almost two months. I admit to becoming a little melodramatic about the whole thing, even though I knew it would eventually resolve itself. However, the insight gained over how much walking meant to me and how lucky I’d been to be strong and healthy before then, hit me hard. I wish you very well on your recovery and getting back to it!

      I have heard of this essay but never read it. Thank you for the link!

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  4. Ah I feel so contented after reading this.I am a man of this kind.Completely.How much I love walking.No phone,No dog,just me and my thought..I am a late evening walker,when the roads are deserted,and only people with wanderers spirit roam.I owe a clear mind only to this habit.

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