Reading Robert MacFarlane’s book The Old Ways I am wondering about the awesomeness of the history of our world and how we can almost touch and taste it when we walk along old paths. The awesomeness of stepping into the past whilst remaining very squarely in the physical present with the wind on our faces and sound of birds singing in our ears.

“…walking is enabling sight and thought rather than encouraging retreat and escape; paths as offering not only a means of traversing space, but also ways of feeling, being and knowing.”

I sometimes think of many of my activities as seeking retreat; walking, cycling, painting alone, alone with my thoughts. But I appreciate this idea that I am using these solitary activities as a means of regenerating myself and of gaining some kind of insight.

“…walking is not the action by which one arrives at knowledge; it is itself the means of knowing.”

I think that painting is the same; I think painting is a means of knowing.


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