The mind is also a landscape

From Rebecca Solnit’s wonderfully peripatetic book-length meditation on walking. A few years back I was struck by what exactly it might mean that at the time my favorite writer was Walker Percy and my favorite photographer was Walker Evans.

Walking, ideally, is a state in which the mind, the body, and the world are aligned, as though they were three characters finally in conversation together, three notes suddenly making a chord. Walking allows us to be in our bodies and in the world without being made busy by them. It leaves us free to think without being wholly lost in our thoughts….

The rhythm of walking generates a kind of rhythm of thinking, and the passage through a landscape echoes or stimulates the passage through a series of thoughts. This creates an odd consonance between internal and external passage, one that suggests that the mind is also a landscape that was there all along, as though thinking were traveling rather than making.

from Wanderlust: A History of Walking, by Rebecca Solnit, 2001

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