Delight Springs

Saturday, July 13, 2013


This would have been a fine way to preface Philosophy Walks, but Robert MacFarlane has already used it for The Old Ways:
This book could not have been written by sitting still. The relationship between paths, walking and the imagination is its subject, and much of its thinking was therefore done -- was only possible -- while on foot...
Above all, this is a book about people and place: about walking as a reconnoitre inwards, and the subtle ways in which we are shaped by the landscapes through which we move. 
So I'll be writing a different preface to a different book, though one that also cannot be conceived or executed at anchorage. His foot journey was geographically extended, mine tend to circle familiar ground, but we're both members in good standing of the peripatetics club.

Isn't reconnoitre a great word! It's le bon mot for a big part of what I walk for.  I'd be truly lost without my daily morning internal reconnaissance, which can only happen after moving to "higher" ground on shank's mare. The elevation sought is not necessarily to be measured in feet or meters, or even in words. But the bookish medium defiantly imposes that particular yardstick, so I'd better go reconnoitre for some more of those. Words, I mean.

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