A philosophical pedestrianism

Prospect Park, magic hour, November
The boat house in Prospect park, just before the magic hour

Autumn, like Spring, is adventure time. Wander time. I’ve been filling up on these. You decide an initial direction or destination, from there you follow your feet, or state of mind. You flow.

Chasing miles. Chasing the magic hour. Moonrise. It’s nice to chase it all in my own city; the deepening blue, jeweled with lights of infrastructure and the glow emanating from warm interiors. The city is magic when it’s favoring you.

After five or six miles, stop. A cocktail, some candlelight, and anthropology in a social setting. There are loads of non-American accents in this bar, and it’s nice; makes me feel like I’m traveling after all.

Back outside. The F train overhead, BQE in the near distance: glittering caterpillars foregrounding the still-low crescent, rising.

Everything in transit.

Little French Flea Market, Gowns
Little French Flea Market, Gowanus

*  *  *

I have a Victorian sensibility—
I tend to over-complicate things.

That’s something I said recently (only half in jest!). I forget the context, but we laughed and laughed at how true it can be. (Usually when I second-guess my instincts, invite discussion; I do well to keep my own counsel in most situations.)

Walking is my process of simplifying, of editing. Getting a handle on the signal-to-noise ratio.

It’s also joy, I won’t lie.

*  *  *

I’m chasing miles again in the Autumn Park. This is me a decade ago. Except it’s no longer a means of escape. It’s a place where I can think or not, as needed. It’s a place that’s mine in the half dark of the year. A sanctuary space.

Also: it’s not about miles; that’s a conceit. It’s really to do with time— away from the machine, from distractions and time-burglars. It’s about being out-of-doors and moving, a kind of physical meditation. The motion is crucial, drowns out the static.

Retracing old steps, yes, but only park-wise, only map-wise.
And the map is never the territory.

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