Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Urban walking can be subversive or not subversive depending on where and when you walk. I can understand how it would be seen as subversive if you were walking in Manhattan during lunch time or something. The urban stroll through can be subversive when the city is at its busiest. However, many smaller cities and even some larger ones have little to no people out during the night on a weekday. Before I moved to Tennessee I lived in a city called Bellingham, which is roughly the size Murfreesboro. I loved to go for long walks during the nights and never needed to subvert myself to avoid people or crowds. Often I would walk for hours and never even see another person. On these midnight strolls I couldn’t go into businesses and look around or even buy food. They are very serene walks. Much more serene than that of a nature hike because on a nature hike there are always eyes on you. Animals watching you and scurrying around, even more so at night. On a midnight city walk you see and hear very little life and you often feel very alone.
On the contrast, a nature hike, and especially on a “hike” and not a nature walk, there is nothing subversive about it. A hike is a domination of nature. It’s where you move aggressively through the landscape. Pushing through it and trampling it as you move to a destination. In my mind I envision the South American Amazon, an explorer slashing with a machete as he traverses the thick jungle.
A nature walk however, could be much simpler. I go on walks in a forest at the Stones River Nation Battlefield on a path is a very simple stroll, not a hike. Alternatively, if you strolled slowly moving around trees and other obstacles in the woods off the trail would you not be subversively traveling?