“The best way to feel, to sense, the world is to be active enough to get out into it, and quiet enough to observe it.” – Tom Trimbath
I’m looking forward to hearing the podcast of Monday’s Isle Of Arts show on KWPA. Mary Rose Anderson and Annie Zeller Horton interviewed me about the book, Walking Thinking Drinking Across Scotland. I had a good time. I hope they did too. I’m not that interested in listening to myself except for two things: 1) to improve my speaking skills, and 2) to write down the variation on the above quote that made everyone else in the room sit back, apparently impressed. Some extra phrase and choice of words brought impact.
The essence of the quote is the essence of why something as simple as walking across a country can be so precious. The book is titled Walking Thinking Drinking because the walking inspired the thinking. The drinking at the end of each day helped. A lot of advice tells people to either sit still and meditate, or get off the couch and out of the chair and get active because that’s the only way to live. I’m a moderate. It shouldn’t be a surprise that I’d find a middle way.
Like I say in the book, walking is moving meditation without having to listen to instructors or mimic specific postures. Setting myself the goal of walking every day kept me out of the house for three weeks without demanding special equipment or high levels of adrenaline.
They were nice enough in the interview to explore the parts of Scotland I explored, but to also ask about my internal journey. I don’t claim that mine was extraordinary, but I provide it as an example of what most of us can do given the time. They made the interview easy.
Saturday is another talk, but it’s more of a solo performance. For those of you living near Whidbey Island, I’ll be talking about the trip and my book at the Langley Library (10am, February 9th). There will be a slideshow and such, and I’ll be up front, on my own, crafting the story, reading excerpts, and trying to gauge what the audience wants to hear. Fortunately, I enjoy such events. I’ll be employed as one of the oldest occupations, no not that one, the one of storyteller. But, it won’t be the story of a puffed up chest and Herculean accomplishments. My stories are more about the quiet, the subtle, and hopefully the beautiful and insightful.
It’s harder to listen to ourselves today. Electronic diversions raise expectations of continual entertainment. It seems impossible to be entertained without electronics. About a hundred years ago when folks had little free time, most people were entertained by a few books (probably the Bible and Shakespeare), making music (with the simplest instruments), being sociable (thanks to neighbors and the above-mentioned drinking), and enjoying quiet time (which was available to all). Last week I was on an involuntary Computational Hiatus as I waited for a new hard drive to arrive and be installed. It took about two or three days before my brain unwound from trying to respond to a swirl of delayed to-do’s.
We can’t always just take three weeks off and wonder across the countryside. I haven’t done it since I got back two years ago. So, in the meantime, I guess I can at least offer my book, my talks, and my encouragement. And on Saturday morning I’ll be trying to replay that mental tape of what I said at KWPA. Drop by and hear if I remember it. (Or am lucky enough to learn that the podcast has been uploaded.)