Drifting and striding, in Hollywood and elsewhere, with Geoff Nicholson - author of The Lost Art of Walking, and Walking in Ruins withcholson, author of Toff Nidrifting and stomping withcholson, author of The Lost Art of Walking, considers the narrower and wider shores of obsessive pedestrianism.

Monday, August 27, 2012

WALKING IN SILENCE



You know, the older I get, the more and more I love John Cage; his music, his philosophy, his Zen attitude.  Also, judging by the photographs, he smiled and laughed more than any serious artist I’ve ever seen.


If you go to youtube you can see him performing “Water Walk” on the tv game show “I’ve Got a Secret,” which does in fact have moments of vague insult and agony, but Cage holds up very well, as in fact you’d expect him to, and when the tv host asks him to explain that title “Water Walk”, he says “because it contains water and because I walk during the performance.”


Elsewhere on youtube, and in other places too, you can find him reciting a text sometimes known as “At the Middle” and sometimes as part of “Lecture on Nothing” and it is certainly included in “Silence.” In any case, below is not precisely that text: I have “appropriated” it for my own dubious pedestrian ends, replacing his word “talk” with my word “walk.”  I hope and trust Mr. Cage would not have objected.  My typographical layout is considerably more orthodox than his usually was.


Here we are now at the beginning of the fourth large part of this walk.  More and more I have the feeling that we are getting nowhere.  Slowly, as the walk goes on, we are getting nowhere and that is a pleasure.  It is not irritating to be where one is.  It is only irritating to think one would like to be somewhere else. 

Here we are now a little bit after the beginning of the fourth large part of this walk.  More and more we have the feeling that I am getting nowhere.  Slowly, as the walk goes on, slowly, we have the feeling we are getting nowhere.  That is a pleasure which will continue.  If we are irritated it is not a pleasure. 

Originally we were nowhere; and now, again, we are having the pleasure of being slowly nowhere.



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