Travel – a reflective summary


Travel isn’t slow. Any shift of location challenges our assumptions and habits. Our central-seeming self is more responsive to physical location than we care to admit, for we are each an expression of our local environment, of the land we stand upon. A moving landscape makes for changing folk.

No, travel isn’t slow. But we do possess technologies that function to insulate us from travel’s quickenings. Only through these devices can we create slowness in travel, with time expanding outward from intentions of instantaneity.

In quick silvery modern machines, our cars and planes, we enact a drama of cartographic reduction, a disappearance of landscape, a sensory deprivation. The very air we breathe is monitored and controlled
by devices we mostly don’t understand. This sort of travel delivers only a simulacrum of journey, a departure all blinded by arrival. Although movement at seventy mph allows rapid physical movement,
it is yet incomplete:

“The soul”, goes the adage, “flies like a dove:
for short distances, at speeds of up to 20 mph”.

Still, it is strong goodness to find oneself stuck in a traffic jam, complaining about the other cars. Locked in the heavy metal box, far from here or there, confirms what is known in the heart: “this is the wrong way to get about”.

There is little slowness in walking. Each footstep leads to new vistas, new conjunctions of history, idea, land and self. A constant sense of rediscovery arises, and secret doors curl inward for exploration.

Walking is full-speed work, and requires a response to every nuance of changing weather and environment. With eyes only for destination, you will soon trip up, get wet, and want to go home.

Haraka Hyena Baraka – ‘Hurry up’ steals the blessing.


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