“Nothing brings home the beauty and power of the world that we live in like walking. Moving into our bodies, we embody the truth that as artists we are out to make a “body of work”, which means we must encompass more than each days’ march. A Weekly Walk helps us to acquire such an overview. It allows us to find both perspective and comfort. As we stretch our legs, we stretch our minds and our souls. St. Augustine, himself a great walker, remarked, “Solvitur ambulance” – “it is solved by walking”. The “it” that we solve may be as particular as a rising romance or as lofty as the conceptions of a new symphony. Ideas come to us as we walk. We also invite their quieter friend, insight. Walking often moves us past the “what” of our life into the more elusive “why”. Julia Cameron, Walking in the World.
The Artist’s Way, Walking in this World, Finding Water. I powered through these in 2012 – 2013 whilst living in Sydney, and indulged Sideways generosity on their busy Saturday or Sunday mornings. Some weeks after writing my pages, and contemplating the weekly activities and written exercises I had lingered for up to two hours. If I had room in my pack I’d lug the Vein of Gold, because it is just at the difficult stage, and I have been stuck with my teenage timeline for nearly a year. It could do with the long contemplation I could give it on this trip, but I may have more pressing things. As I am going to take the opportunity to contemplate, my attention is turning to preparing what I want to ‘solve’. I have been reading a little about daily meditations for the Camino, with a view to taking something with me to consider while I walk. I once spent a whole year in contemplation of the daily thoughts Simple Abundance: A Daybook of Comfort and Joy by Sarah Ban Breathnach and found it very useful. Sure, I’ll be occupied by what on earth I am going to do to pay my rent, and earn money to pay for my next trip. I might also mull over this point I’m at and how I got here. Maybe I can decide what I want to hold onto and what am I ready to travel without. Yes, these are very practical questions, but are there more philosophical ideas for me to consider? My weekly Philosophy class came to the rescue in the form of a session entitled, “how do I make better choices”, We covered much, but one part particularly resonated with me, Albert Einstein once said “try not to be a person of success, but rather a person of value”. I’ve looked at values previously with a counsellor when I was going through a difficult time after a relationship and was trying to forensically examine what I had been having such an emotional reaction to. It was quite revealing, but I hadn’t considered values again until tonight. Out of a long list, we were to choose three values that we felt we possessed, and three that we wanted to develop. Courage, honesty and self-awareness. Forgiveness, self-discipline and purposefulness stood out to me. It was suggested to us, that if we work on three ideas per year for three years, at the end, we may not recognise our life. Well considering I’m probably at the point where I’d quite happily find my life unrecognizable, I might just give it a try. So, the plan: to give me structure in my thinking and my blogging, when I am walking I will incorporate these daily – forgiveness, self-discipline and purposefulness. Whether they come to mind and/or in what form I experience them or practice them. I might notice how am I doing things differently when considering these as my opportunities to learn and develop. I’m not so sure one ever gets things ‘solved’, but any time spent pondering the values you want to walk with is surely not wasted. If you live in/or can visit Sydney, there is a beautiful new labyrinth in Centennial Park in which you can amble to solve. I hope you like my photos of it – I think they look very druidy (nice word – hot off the press).