On My Walks

On My Walks

Recently I’ve noticed that a lot of people on the walking path are talking on the phone as they stroll.  And quite a few others have ear buds in place while they listen to who knows what while they cover the terrain.

This multitasking goes contrary to my nature, my philosophy of paying attention to where I am when I am there.  Of course, I do occasionally do more than one thing at a time myself, but I really try not to when walking.  Most of the time, I don’t even walk with another person so that I can devote my attention to the environment.

So, a phone on the path?  Not for me.

11 thoughts on “On My Walks

  1. Anne,

    I am squarely with you (and, yes, I am probably square, unhip, and behind the times). I began running in the 1980s and have never run with an iPod or any of its cousins. I still run (but no longer very far or fast) and do so in the early morning. I want to be able to hear what is around me! It is much safer when all of the senses are in place. But apart from that, I want nature to be close and palpable. The numinous is right there when we attend to nature (with eyes, ears, nose, touch–and sometimes even taste).

    The more removed we are from the natural world, the more removed we are from one another as creatures of the natural world. I worry about that. It is just a step from that to viewing one another as objects (like that iPod).

    I’m glad to see I’m not alone in being a fan for full contact living!

    Melanie

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  2. Melanie,

    It is important, I feel, to be at full attention, but relaxed when moving through the world. Glad you feel the same way!

    Anne

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  3. Oh, Melanie, you are speaking my language when you mention the connection between humans and nature. I’ve often thought that, since everything is composed essentially energy, you can feel your personal energy blending with that of the natural world when you give it your full attention. I can FEEL it! On the other hand, in the city, or areas that are mostly concrete and tarmac, there is a dead feel, no exchange. I do have to admit, tho, that I sometimes take my ipod when walking because some days that’s the only way I can make myself get exercise, if I distract myself from it all.
    Rosemary Carstens
    http://artistspotlight.blogspot.com

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  4. I hear people talking on their cell phones in restaurants and also at the base of a cliff, miles from the parking lot and find it very annoying. I go rock climbing for the peace and quiet; and views, not to listen to people talk loudlyon their cell phones.

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  5. Sibylle,

    I wonder what they are talking about, don’t you? What could possibly be so compelling that one allows oneself to be distracted from the beauty of the scene? I’m sure I don’t know…

    Anne

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  6. I don’t get out for walks as much as I used to, and I do love to listen to audiobooks, but taking a walk IS like listening to an audiobook: it’s amazing how much there is to hear on a quiet morning. I’ve heard people say that the electronic age allows us to be more connected to more people, but that kind of “connection” is, I think, false, when it takes us away from where we are right this minute and who we’re with. And when we’re disconnected from this moment, we’re disconnected from ourselves. I find it all very sad, even as I participate.

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  7. It is the birdsong that I adore on hikes, and the disruption by “connected” phone chatterers throws me. But people seem to talk to whatever they can, friends, their dogs, it seems to be a state of mind, loneliness? Discomfort? The need to fill space with words. On hikes, and in many settings. What is that?

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  8. When I’m walking, with or without the dog, I’m looking at flowers … trees … colors … clouds … bugs … other people’s smiles … interesting lawn ornaments … rocks … Who in the world needs a phone in this beautiful world?!

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  9. Verna,

    I agree that we need to give further thought to the idea of being “connected.” When I am talking with someone who would rather take a call than continue our conversation, what does that say about the connectedness we are experiencing?

    These are just a few examples, but with the number of technologies that keep us “connected,” we have to ask ourselves “connected to what?”

    Anne

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  10. Elsi,

    It’s all about attention…and we draw attention to that which we value and find important.

    I’m with you…I like to see what’s out in that great wide beautiful world when I’m walking. Phone conversations? I prefer to save those for later…

    Anne

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