“Nature’s particular gift to the walker, through the semi-mechanical act of walking – a gift no other form of exercise seems to transmit in the same high degree – is to set the mind jogging, to make it garrulous, exalted, a little mad maybe – certainly creative and suprasensitive, until at last it really seems to be outside of you and as if it were talking to you whilst you are talking back to it.”*
What if for some reason or another I was not able to read another book or gain another idea or artefact or possession, would I have enough to do what I must do?
I think, possibly, I would.
“More,” especially as an ideal, can get in the way of what we have, get in the way of taking enough for a walk. Kenneth Grahame is thinking of a walk in the countryside but it could easily be an urban setting. Grahame continues to encourage:
“Of course the best sort of walk is the one on which it doesn’t matter twopence whether you get anywhere at all at any time or not; and the second best is the one on which the hard facts of routes, times, or trains give you nothing to worry about.”*
This resonates for me with what Joseph Campbell writes of as sacred space, somewhere all we have, our enoughness can come into new focus:
‘This is an absolute necessity for anybody today. You must have a room, or a certain hour or so of a day, where you don’t know what was in the newspapers in the morning, you don’t know who your friends are, and don’t know what you owe anybody, you don’t know what anybody owes to you. This is a place where you can simply experience and bring for the what you are and what you might be. This is the place of creative incubation. At first you may find that nothing happens there. But if you have a sacred place and use it, something eventually will happen.’**
Whether our personal choice be a space or a walk or both or something quite different, what we have already will become more before our eyes:
“I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.”^
(*Kenneth Grahame, quoted in Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings: Walking as Creative Fuel.)
(**Joseph Campbell, from Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers’ The Power of Myth.)
(^Thomas Merton, quoted in the Northumbria Community‘s Morning Prayer.)