what I'm reading: A Philosophy of Walking

I walk every morning and most afternoons. My husband and I hike early on one morning of most weekends. I have always loved to walk. When I saw an image of this book posted to the feed of a man in Tokyo, Japan whom I follow on Instagram, I immediately ordered a copy.

It is an engaging collection of short chapters that approaches what it means to walk from a variety of angles, one being an account of famous philosophers who made walking an important part of their lives, my favorite being the chapter on Rousseau. For weeks I have pondered a revelation that Rousseau encountered after walking away from an urban societal existence in which he had toiled to develop standing and prominence, and into extended periods of solitary walking deep in the forests of France.

As he removed himself further and further from a "civilized" life, he did not find himself becoming brutish or primitive, rather he was purged of the brutish, artificial passions that rule the social world. He encountered within himself, not a savage, but a timid self, "absolutely adjusted to a motherly, enveloping Nature, and essentially solitary and happy."

Highly recommended for anyone who loves to walk, or wants to engage in the habit of walking.

A Philosophy of Walking by Frederic Gros

A Philosophy of Walking by Frederic Gros