How to walk

This entry is part 3 of 39 in the series Manual


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Walking is a form of climbing—one extremity should keep hold of the floor or ground at all times to prevent a fall.

(Feet are better for this than hands.)

You can try delegating it to others, but you have to hope they won’t do the same.

Someone must walk or the earth will forget about us and have other bad dreams instead.

Find a tree to coach you—trees spend their whole lives plotting their next step.

Be careful not to take root.

Every corner of terra firma requires a different walk, as well as every hour of the day.

A morning walk should never take the place of an evening or postprandial walk.

Saunter. Shuffle. Swagger. Stride. Plod.

Feet are like oxen bound in harness: they’re paired, but they’re not a couple.

However much they’re fetishized, their first and only mate is the ground.

Muscles are like batteries—simply walk backwards to recharge!

Try not to think about the ten little piggies with their discordant agendas.

Try not to think about those other two-legged animals, the birds.

At birth, you are allotted just so many steps. Choose them carefully.

Keep your eyes on the sidewalk—there are no dropped coins in the sky.

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6 Replies to “How to walk”

  1. This reminds me of the Laurie Anderson lyric:

    You’re walking. And you don’t always realize it,
    but you’re always falling.
    With each step you fall forward slightly.
    And then catch yourself from falling.
    Over and over, you’re falling.
    And then catching yourself from falling.
    And this is how you can be walking and falling
    at the same time.

    1. O.K., I’m trying something else now. The falling idea is still in there, so I might still credit Anderson in a footnote if this is reprinted somewhere else. (For archival purposes: the original opener was, “Start to fall forward, then catch yourself. Repeat.”)

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