July 16, 2017 by babylondogs
“Perhaps the truth depends upon a walk around the lake.” The poet Wallace Stevens wrote that. I agree. I was just asked about suicide. The man asked me what prevents me from putting a bullet through my brain. Maybe reading, writing, and walking. Maybe that’s my trinity. Maybe. But I know for fact that on my toughest days, when existential panic crushes in, I pick up a book, usually on philosophy, science, math, poetry. And I lose myself. It isn’t long into it that I feel compelled to write. (This, right here, is an example). But of all these three, it’s walking that roots me best. Some jogging, some running, an occasional sprint. But it’s the slow, meandering, directionless wandering that soothes me, organizes my misfiring brain, makes the mundane into art. The sacred from the profane. I am too unsure of myself now to give advice, but if I was at gunpoint for an answer to the question “What gives your life meaning, depth, purpose?” I would answer “A little reading, a little writing, and a lot of walking.” (I only rarely imagine an armed person asking such a question). And how many times have my neighbors watched me as I walked with a book opened in my hands and a journal ready in my pocket? It’s when these three converge that I’m happiest. Perhaps Wallace was right. I’m not sure if walking is truth, but damned if it doesn’t help me find it.