Do you want to feel groovy? Then take the advice of Simon and Garfunkel and “Slow down, you move too fast, you got to make the morning last.” In the age of consumption where we’re all hyped up to consume and be consumed, our biorhythms are easily syncopated. That’s why French philosopher Pierre Sansot wrote an entire book about la lenteur, slowness. He said that a good way to slow down is by walking at such a pace that you synchronize yourself with yourself.
Walking also presents a means of creating intimacy with our own being. The rhythmical movement of a walk can have a hypnotic effect on self-perception facilitating a dialogue between “me & I”.
More than a walk, we’re talking about a stroll. A stroll takes its time and doesn’t rush. It gives us the chance to look at the world around us and see the details. Without those details, our life becomes little more than a big blur.
In “Wanderlust”, Rebecca Solnit says that walking not only provides physical exercise but also “allows us to be in our bodies and in the world without being made busy by them.” She writes about famous walkers such as Henry Thoreau, John Muir, Aristotle, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Charles Baudelaire who saw walking as a form of contemplation. And there are those like Saint Jerome who saw walking as a spiritual practice (as do those who walk the Camino de Santiago and other pilgrimage trails).
When walking, you will always be somewhere, somewhere specific. That makes it easier to find yourself.
You can read Rebecca Solnit’s WANDERLUST on Archive (for free).