Saturday, February 4, 2012

inventing other ways to go

 Last week I took my iPod with me walking, and took some photos with the camera and with the hipstamatic app. It's getting lighter in the mornings now and it's been warm so there are more people on the path.

In the photo above you can see the road that leads to the overpass, the signs and street lights.

“Walking . . . is how the body measures itself against the earth.” 

“Walkers are 'practitioners of the city,' for the city is made to be walked. A city is a language, a repository of possibilities, and walking is the act of speaking that language, of selecting from those possibilities. Just as language limits what can be said, architecture limits where one can walk, but the walker invents other ways to go.” 

Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking

The field where I have walked for years is more or less off limits these days as there are five coyotes who have taken up residence.  I've only seen three together at once, but the latest chatter among those who walk dogs down this path is that there have been five at once.

All winter I have been inventing other ways to go.

 “There comes . . . a longing never to travel again except on foot.” 

Wendell Berry

“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.” 

Friedrich Nietzsche 

I'm not so sure that my thoughts are great, but very often an image comes to me, or I'm able to work out the logic of a piece I'm writing. Looking at the landscape, the grass coming up through the snow, all the footprints of other walkers, and also looking at the antics of the dog, playful, graceful, so at home in the landscape with his nose to the ground - this is a very peaceful and centering way to start the day.

The above photo is my favorite from this series.  The golden light that has just made it over the suburban houses stretched out onto the scrub of the field.  The fence is the divide between the suburbs and this bit of land reserved as the utility corridor.  (A bit of the country wedged into the city.  I think I've mentioned before but when we moved to the west end 12 years ago, on the other side of the field, and on the other side of the freeway there was just another field, countryside.  But now it's all suburban sprawl).  I like that you can see the giant power poles and the wires and light standards.  But it's the school bus that I love most.  The children have been safely dropped off at school and it's empty, going home.

 The sun, still so low at this time of the year.

And this last one, taken with the iPod camera - the trees, the power lines, in conversation.

1 comment:

  1. Your thoughts and photos are lovely. Love the graininess of this app. Such a wonderful way to start the day.


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