Whenever possible I avoid the practice myself. If God meant us to walk, he would have kept us down on all fours, with well-padded paws. He would have constructed our planet on the model of the simple cube, so that notion of circularity and consequently the wheel might never have arisen. He surely would not have made mountains.
There is something unnatural about walking. Especially walking uphill, which always seems to me not only unnatural but so unnecessary. That iron tug of gravitation should be all the reminder we need that in walking uphill we are violating a basic law of nature. Yet we persist in doing it. No one can explain why George H. Mallory’s asinine rationale for climbing a mountain–‘because it is there’–could easily be refuted with a few well-places hydrogen bombs. But our common sense continues to lag far behind the available technology.
There are some good things to say 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 therefore more interesting. You have time to observe the details. The utopian technologists foresee a future for us in which distance is annihilated and anyone can transport himself anywhere, instantly. Big deal, Buckminster. To be everywhere at once, is to be nowhere forever, if you ask me. That’s God’s job, not ours.
The longest journey begins with a single step, not with a turn of the ignition key. That’s the best thing about walking, the journey itself. It doesn’t matter whether you get where you’re going or not. You get there anyway. Every good hike brings you eventually back home. Right where you started.
Which reminds me of circles. Which reminds me of wheels. Which reminds me my old truck needs another front-end job. Any good mechanics out there wandering along through the smog?”
I am writing this one as I move through it. I yelled at myself and stated the question…Whyyyy would anyone want to read a post before it was done, and why might they come back over and over, without getting annoyed??
Another part laughed and thought that the selection: The Path, was a great one. If I am waking up, what will I do with it. Have I been ‘lost’ and off of my ‘path’? I feel like it. The laughing part says..shhhh, listen to the dew on each blade of grass as you move through the sound and move through the tree place with your mind. Remember, you can do that!!
The sun is coming up. Trees are moving in their slow tree ways. Heavier drops fall through greenery to the floor of the praying circle near the Tree of Many Faces. Morning birds and butterflies flit from hidden leaf to hidden stem of weed and plant. All, spin and turn and each do their job, as created to do.
I wonder, do they wonder if they have a path, is it right or wrong?
Shush, keep moving, now stand still listen and feel the waking space of ground.
Follow swaying root down, reaching limb up, light and air and water sparkle touch each and all.
“Of all the pitfalls in our paths and the tremendous delays and wanderings off the track I want to say that they are not what they seem to be. I want to say that all that seems like fantastic mistakes are not mistakes, all that seems like error is not error; and it all has to be done. That which seems like a false step is the next step.”
– Agnes Martin
“The Spiritual Seekers thirst after the quenching Waters of Knowledge. Blindly do some place their wandering feet upon many Pathways and, with their penchant for shortcuts, do fragment their many paths in an eager search of still others. Ever caught in the Maze of Confusion do they aimlessly toil with panic. While others, weary of expending effort, merely halt to sit–waiting for their “chosen” Teacher to miraculously materialize before them. Yet, in their lazy arrogant waiting, they stagnate. All their casting efforts are in vain, for the Knowledge they seek is found not in the Without, but has been with them all along–Within.
The Without Path cannot be
traveled until the Within Trail
has been traversed.”
–Mary Summer Rain, Volume One of Pinecones and Woodsmoke