My means of walking has developed from aiming to get physically lost in the landscape to becoming lost in my mind. So essentially if I am only walking with intent of becoming lost in my thoughts, I could walk anywhere, I do not need to venture to places undiscovered to myself. Yet I find these remote walked more meditative and easier to escape in. Away from the bustle of daily life, I am not concerned with looking to cross a road or wait for a pedestrian light.
I have, for as long as I can remember, removed myself to retreat from anxieties and to empty my mind. Naturally it has continuously been a way to gather my thoughts, and seems to be that without the walking I cannot think. I was reading Wanderlust by Solnit and came across the writings Rousseau. His words are so perfect in describing the attitude I have toward my walks, they seem so obvious yet it only occurred to me to notice this obvious when reading the book.
“Never did I think so much, exist so vividly, and experience so much, never have I been so much myself – if I may use that expression – as in the journeys I have taken alone and on foot. There is something about walking that stimulates and enlivens my thoughts. When I stay in one place I can hardly think at all, my body has to be on the move to set my mind going.”
It sounds as if Rousseau is describing an idealistic walk, however, even in the cold and the rain, imperfect conditions, I still walk and reach the same description. This then raises the question of what is an ideal walk. This will vary for each individual. For me, the walk is about the action, the motion and the lived experience, not the destination. The only element I seek is to escape the world I live for a passing of time which often requires there to be a lack of company. I therefore see the landscape and walk as my studio, it is where I gain my ideas and produce thoughts. So the idea of a studio for me gets complicated, is it in the building where I make the final outcome of the walk, or is it in the walking where I am generating the work.