Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Walking - the abcedaria of a writer

Walking - I'm a walker. If I could I'd walk across the country and down the west coast of North America all the way to Mexico, then up again and across the US spending a great deal of time in New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado. When I go to a great city (London, Dublin, New York, Montreal, Vancouver) I get to know it by walking. When I'm messed up, no money in the bank, wars breaking out, heart sore and weary - I walk. I walk then in the healing trees, the trees that offer balm to a sorry heart.
And when I'm writing, I absolutely have to walk. I walk my way through plot tangles, through wanting to really understand a character, through a desert of thoughts and to replenish that well where the mystery arises from (and I don't mean the genre - I mean the great unknown mystery of creativity).

No one writes better about walking than Bruce Chatwin - especially in his book 'Songlines' which is a bit of a bible for me.
I haven't got any special religion this morning. My God is the God of Walkers. If you walk hard enough, you probably don't need any other god. ~Bruce Chatwin, In Patagonia, 1977
And here are some more:
I represent what is left of a vanishing race, and that is the pedestrian.... That I am still able to be here, I owe to a keen eye and a nimble pair of legs. But I know they'll get me someday. ~Will Rogers

After dinner sit awhile, after supper walk a mile. ~English Proverb

If I could not walk far and fast, I think I should just explode and perish. ~Charles Dickens

And finally -
If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk. ~Raymond Inmon

I only went out for a walk and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in. ~John Muir, 1913, in L.M. Wolfe, ed., John Muir, John of the Mountains: The Unpublished Journals of John Muir, 1938

Me thinks that the moment my legs begin to move, my thoughts begin to flow. ~Henry David Thoreau

Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake. ~Wallace Stevens

Thoughts come clearly while one walks. ~Thomas Mann

In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks. ~John Muir

Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it. ~Soren Kierkegaard

Walks. The body advances, while the mind flutters around it like a bird. ~Jules Renard

How can you explain that you need to know that the trees are still there, and the hills and the sky? Anyone knows they are. How can you say it is time your pulse responded to another rhythm, the rhythm of the day and the season instead of the hour and the minute? No, you cannot explain. So you walk. ~Author unknown, from New York Times editorial, "The Walk," 25 October 1967

Make your feet your friend. ~J.M. Barrie

Now shall I walk or shall I ride?
"Ride," Pleasure said:
"Walk," Joy replied.
~W.H. Davies

Ever wonder where you'd end up if you took your dog for a walk and never once pulled back on the leash? ~Robert Brault,

There is nothing like walking to get the feel of a country. A fine landscape is like a piece of music; it must be taken at the right tempo. Even a bicycle goes too fast. ~Paul Scott Mowrer, The House of Europe
My grandmother started walking five miles a day when she was sixty. She's ninety-three today and we don't know where the hell she is. ~Ellen DeGeneres

I stroll along serenely, with my eyes, my shoes my rage, forgetting everything.
~Pablo Neruda, translated

LATE BREAKING NEWS - The Watery Tart has done it - she's beat the odds with her entry into the Amazon Contest and made it to the semi finals. She is one of 100 authors to do so - out of a field of 10,000! Get it? She's in the one percent who got this far and she's my friend and I'm a bursting with pride! Go to her site if you don't already and give her a big virtual squishy!
Now I've got to go vacuum. Really.


Anonymous said...

this is true.
I have to remind myself more often to get my butt out..

Elizabeth Spann Craig/Riley Adams said...

Beautifully put, Jan!

And thanks for these quotations. Maybe I can take a walk before the storms roll in today.

Liza said...

Nothing like a long walk to feed us inspiration!

welcome to my world of poetry said...

I too wrote about the benefits of walking, I love to walk.Enjoyed your W post.

Rae said...

Love the quotes! There's nothing better to clear and inspire the mind than a walk in the woods! Every writer should get up from their desk and take a walk whenever possible.

Ann said...

I too am a walker. It is truly amazing how many writerly people are. As my legs move, so do the creative juices.

Marjorie said...

When I was a teenager any time I got upset or restless I would walk out my frustration. I wish I had it in me to do the same now.

Clarissa Draper said...

I love walking. I wish I could do it more. Unfortunately, it's not easy to walk in Mexico, it's just too hot and too dangerous.

Hart Johnson said...

I love love LOVE that all these great writers are walkers! And I think you've identified why I am having trouble on this Cozy I'm working on... in the bad weather of winter, I have walked far less--I am committing NOW to walking tomorrow morning WITHOUT the iPod. That oughta get it going!

Hart Johnson said...

(and thank you so much for the congrats! I'm very excited--as you know, but all the friend love just keeps adding!)

Helen Ginger said...

I think this one is especially true:
If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk. ~Raymond Inmon

Julie said...

I love all of these quotes. Walking is one of my favorite things to do, and my main form of exercise.

It's funny, I just happened to discover the Raymond Inman quote this morning and I thought it was so wonderful, I wanted to make sure I remembered it. Made me smile to see it here!

Wonderful post for W!

V.R. Leavitt said...

Oh, I adore walking too. I walk my daughter to school every morning and I wouldn't trade it for the world. I definitely find it helps the creative juices start to flow. Great post.

A.L. Sonnichsen said...

I love to walk, too.

And good job, Watery Tart! That is incredible - and entering that competition takes some serious guts. You are right to be proud. :)