A Philosophy of Walking - by Frédéric Gros

my notes:

Sit as little as possible.

Wagner’s music drowns you, it submerges you in a throbbing, chaotic wave. You lose your footing when you listen to it. Rossini on the other hand makes you want to dance.

There are thoughts that can only occur at 6,000 feet above the plains and mournful shores.

In walking, the authentic sign of assurance is a good slowness.

The illusion of speed is the belief that it saves time.

When you hurry, time is filled to bursting.

When we are walking, it isn’t so much that we are drawing nearer, more than the things out there become more and more insistent in our body. The landscape is a set of tastes, colors, scents which the body absorbs.

Being in company forces one to jostle, hamper, walk at the wrong speed for others. When walking it’s essential to find your own basic rhythm and maintain it.

With more than four companions, the party becomes a colony.

It’s impossible to share solitude.

It’s best to walk alone, except that one is never entirely alone.

When you walk you soon become two. There is always this dialogue between the body and the soul.

Because now he could breath and surrender to a well-being slow as a forrest path, without any thrill of pleasure but absolutely peaceful. A lukewarm happiness, persistent as a monotonous day: happiness just to be there.

What is it that resists in me, what in me is the exact contemporary of the gravity of the trees, the uneasy brother of these beasts whose rustlings I perceive? What can I find in myself that is natural, what can I discover that isn’t in books but that I can only find by walking in solitude?

Spite, suspicion and hatred aren’t rooted in primary savagery, they were grafted onto us.

Walking is for nothing: just to connect with the movement of the sinking sun.

Every step is an inspiration born to die immediately, well beyond the oeuvre.

The eternal child is one who has never seen anything so beautiful, because he doesn’t compare.

You are nothing to the hills.

Books are not to teach us how to live (that is the sad task of lesson-givers), but to make us want to live, to live differently: to find in ourselves the possibility of life.

The man who walks all day has become certain by nightfall.

To walk in the early morning is to understand the strength of natural beginnings.

The simple feeling of being alive is enough to produce the highest sort of joy.

Walking doesn’t bring back gentle memories, it multiplies coincidences.

It is more important to learn a new thing that it is to know, after learning it, where to classify it.

It is the children who are the true realists: they never proceed from generalities.

Walking is the condition of humility. It is the quiet recognition of our finiteness: we don’t know everything, we can’t do everything.