Walking is one of those basic activities we take for granted. Here are few reminders on how walk becomes more than a walk.
Walk & think
Since Plato’s Akademia, every important school for thinking has been associated with walking. His student Aristoteles never stood still and he founded the famous Peripatetic School (peripatoi=colonnade, walkway), a school of walking and lecturing. Atrium, peristyle, arcades, colonnades, portico, loggia, cloister…preserve tradition of kinetic learning. These architectural structures are built around the path which isolated school form the outside world. Students and mentors will walk miles and discuss endless topics strolling in perpetual circles . Their shoes will polish stone floor until it turns into a mirror. If only those stones could speak…
Walk & climb
“He who climbs upon the highest mountains laughs at all tragedies, real or imaginary.” – wrote Nietzsche in Thus Spake Zarathustra. According to Nietzsche, mountains were made for thinking and inspiration. Thin air on high altitude will (like a drug) activate his brain and words will pour into a notebook like an avalanche. Apparently, he wrote Zarathustra in 10 days. Not everyone who climbs a mountain gets rewarded for inspiration. Most alpinists lose their life while climbing down, not climbing up. Loss of motivation, or lack of oxygen? In any case, beware when descending.
Walk & risk
Filmmaker Werner Herzog walked from Munich to Paris in hope he would postpone the inevitable death of his mentor Lotte Eisner. Afterwards he directed a movie “Walking in ice” based on his diary during this walk. Herzog is one of those poetic heroes who translate everything into a creative act. He believes in his feelings and that’s why he is always ready to test the limits, even when walking.
Walk & pray
Pilgrimage is not exotic voyage to a sacred place, but a journey inward. Strangely enough, self is always close and far at the same time. Pilgrimage unites belief with action. Each step offers the opportunity to ask the same question and find new answers. Walking and praying brings accidental encounters with the world. Blessed are those who recognize signs posted on their path.
Walk & see
To walk with a camera means hunting for visual memories. That’s why they call it shooting. With every step photographer unfolds the visual field: shadow, texture, contrast, colour and light…everything fights for his attention. But, only exceptional moments are worth shooting, which means photography is like hunting for a trophy. The incomparable William Eggleston http://www.egglestontrust.com provided us with best photo-trophies ever captured on camera. His iconic images changed history of this medium. By the way, Eggleston walked around Memphis wearing hunter’s outfit, equipped with the sharpest of all weapons: the eye.
Next time you go for a walk, think of what you can accomplish with this simple act.