Vince Imbat

Walking is leaving

Dec 17, 2021

Walking can simply be a means to leave something behind and there is a joy in this. However, this decision also entails discontent, sometimes even anger, to one’s status quo at one’s dwelling place. Unlike other forms of transport where it is easy to go back, walking has a quality of finality to it that makes it difficult to return, especially when one has walked a long way. Too much investment in a walk prevents giving up and returning.

This possibility that walking allows is best exemplified by Arthur Rimbaud.

# References

Gros, F. (2014). A Philosophy of Walking. Verso.

Anger is needed to leave, to walk. That doesn’t come from outside. In the hollow of the belly the pain of being here, the impossibility of remaining where you are, of being buried alive, of simply staying.

Walking as an expression of anger, of empty decision. Taking to the road always means departing: leaving behind. In departures on foot there is always something final which is lacking from other forms of transport that make it possible to turn back, where nothing is irreversible.

it is impossible to come back on foot, except from a simple short stroll; but when you walk for a long time, several days, it’s impossible; walking means going forward; the road is long, coming back would mean wasted hours; time is serious and weighty

I find in Rimbaud that sense of walking as flight. That deep joy one always feels when walking, to be leaving behind.