Sophie Cunningham’s essay in the latest Australian Book Review strikes a great pace between the personal and the philosophical. It is, among other things, a reflection on why details matter and what we do in order to feel that we are contributing. The purpose of our endeavours, the essay seems to be saying, is to feel connected to the earth, ourselves and our conscious time while we’re well. Walking is one way to address those things that get in our way. We may be ‘running’ away from the things that dog us or trip us up, but that doesn’t mean we are not walking towards ourselves.
Staying with the trouble has an even metre, a bit like walking itself. We are in safe hands as our feet take us in their certain way along our lives. Here is something from the midway mark:
“Two days after our walk along Broadway, my yoga teacher decided that the time had come to discuss the articulation of the feet: specifically, drawing up from the arches to activate your legs, mobilise your core. ‘You see,’ she said, ‘you do this.’ She moved her foot almost imperceptibly, just enough that I could see tiny muscles ripple as she planted it firmly on the ground before stretching herself. She stood taller, lighter – not quite in the league of Menuhin conducting Beethoven’s fifth with his feet while standing on his head, but still impressive.”