Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust; Chapter 1

In a previous post, I mentioned that I would begin my philosophical re-education with Solnit’s ‘Wanderlust’. I don’t believe I’ll write a post about every chapter, but what I can say about this one is that it gripped me. It’s rare to read a writer, who is a thinker, who grips me in a way that makes me feel part of their biography. She speaks about being part of American counter-culture. About the wonder, I suppose, of realising that our feet are adequate to get us where we need to be. She says that walking is the closest ‘something’ we can do to ‘nothing’ – and, to paraphrase (badly perhaps) doing nothing is more often than not disguised as doing something. In a culture that values output, what does it mean to simply be a part of our world, our locality with trees bustling with wildlife – with hills, full of flowers. In urban areas, what does it mean to meet a neighbour, or a friend on the street (and, realise it was your feet that took you there…)

Wanderlust was a gift. But it’s also been a life calling.

New terrains, vista’s that excite, some that depress, strange localities, and haunted cities – they make my soul feel full, and my feet thrum with a need to pound concrete.

I still didn’t think that a book about walking could excite me this much – but one chapter down, and it really, really has. I would highly suggest it, to any who miss, or any who love, or any who want (to) walk.

Stay safe friends,

Much love,
Ash ❤

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