Walking as embodied practice – a work in progress, solitary and participatory acts


I have been walking for many years, automatically in getting from (a) – (b) and mindfully, purposefully walking. One foot in front of the other – we may take it for granted as much as breathing. But what if we pay attention to what happens when our bodies walk? Or when we can’t walk??

2012 –  2013 Over a series of weekends for several months, as an experiment, walked the Oxford Green Belt Way as a circumambulation close to the city where I live – to see what I can see, what occurs, what emerges. To see how my walking body stirs my imagination and what arises. And in those who joined me for stages of this.



‘Paths and their markers have long worked on me like lures: drawing my sight up and on and over. The eye is enticed by a path, and the mind’s eye also. The imagination cannot help but pursue a line in the land – onwards in space, but also backwards in time to the histories of a route and its previous followers….”

Robert MacFarlane (2012) The Old Ways; “Paths”


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2 Responses to Walking as embodied practice – a work in progress, solitary and participatory acts

  1. Catherine says:

    Can I suggest walking the same route at different times of the day and in different weather conditions. Also walking the same route but in reverse so you see the same things but coming from a different angle. Also alter the pace of your walking so that your breathing changes and see if this has any influence how you see things

  2. Thank you. We perceive in so many ways. This reminds me of David Abrams book – ‘The Spell of the Sensous’ and his discussion of Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception (which Abrams succintly outlines) HF

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