Rebecca Solnit: ‘Perfection is a stick with which to beat the possible’

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“Perfection is a stick with which to beat the possible.”

Rebecca Solnit, Hope in the Dark


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Writing by walking

41NKNoExnqL“With writing as with walking you often find that you’re not heading exactly where you thought you wanted to go. There’ll be missteps and stumbles, journeys into dead ends, the reluctant retracing of your steps. And you have to tell yourself that’s just fine, that it’s a necessary, and not wholly unenjoyable, part of the process. It’s an exploration,” writes Geoff Nicholson in his book The Lost Art of Walking.

Writing, like walking, is getting lost but at the same time, trusting that wherever the pen and feet go as you ramble and amble around will be met with strange discoveries.

As Rebecca Solnit writes in Wanderlust: A History of Walking, “Language is like a road; it cannot be perceived all at once because it unfolds in time, whether heard or read.”

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A walk around the corner

Take a walk around the corner in any neighborhood. It can be a street or any other property that hides beyond your vision.

What do you see? Did you discover anything new like a barbershop, an abandoned building, or an alleyway of trash cans?

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A photo posted by Wells Baum (@bombtune) on Oct 26, 2016 at 3:22pm PDT

 

You don't have to travel far to explore the world. Some of the most interesting stuff is in your own backyard. Even the light shines differently back there.

🙇 #motionstills

A post shared by Wells Baum (@bombtune) on

The farther you go, the more interesting it gets. Through walking you discover.

“The rhythm of walking generates a kind of rhythm of thinking, and the passage through a landscape echoes or stimulates the passage through a series of thoughts. This creates an odd consonance between internal and external passage, one that suggests that the mind is also a landscape of sorts and that walking is one way to traverse it.” – Rebecca Solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking