I love to walk. And if I were to be honest about it, I love and indeed, need the long walk of a solitary and contemplative nature, a time where I have a chance to reflect, think and pray. This truth is made more poignant in light of what has transpired in my life and especially in the face of what happened over the past 2 months.
Walking with my camera in hand has come to represent for me a therapy of sorts, a quiet act of healing as I throw myself into the arms of serendipity, confronting each new scene unfolding before my eyes with a kind of focus achieved through the temporal escape from reality. As I trudge through the streets of Japan last year, I felt the thrill of frenetic motion sweeping me into a dreamy landscape where dark figures hurtled towards unknown destinations, and a sense of peace and tranquility emanated from this lack of verbal communication in the surge of humanity.
I recently felt the need to walk again. But alas, I am no longer in Japan, but the nature, and beauty of the walk remains the same. I took a few walks in the past 3 weeks, seeking God, thinking and at the same time, reveling once again in the lack of a definite destination a long walk entails.
Even when they are people with me, the movement and energy that is required means that there is no “arrival” and no sense of a place or destination – the fluid nature of a walk focuses my mind and generates creative ideas; the flow of thoughts only matched by the extend to which I am immersed in the experience of walking.
And once in a while, I take a picture.
Professor Gwyn Thomas, the Welsh poet and academic once said “But the beauty is in the walking – we are betrayed by destinations.” I love it that when I walk, I’m not so concerned about the destination but more on the visceral flood of thoughts and ideas in my mind as I attempt to sort them out, and the visual pleasure of seeing a moment, a scene and putting that down in print using my camera.
Raymond L. Myers said “If you seek creative ideas go walking. Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.” With my camera in hand, the healing and thinking process is complete.
It’s time to go for a walk.