Up@dawn 2.0

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

He Who Shall Not Be Named

Irony or Teleology 


For some reason, this passage in A Philosophy of Walking describing the Cynics struck me as a coincidental zeitgeist of political discourse. 

“Apart from their appearance, their language was the thing that identified them. In fact they hardly spoke, but rather barked, a raucous, aggressive discourse. When they reached their destination in the public square, after walking for days, people flocked to hear them bawling, haranguing the rapt mass of the crowd, all hugely enjoying the furious rant, but vaguely disturbed by it too. For everyone felt accused and criticized for their habits, conduct and convictions. These sermons were not, however, convictions. These sermons were not, however, erudite demonstrations or moral dissertations. The Cynic barked, in short angry yaps, but insistently. Rather, a series of summonses, quips that cut in all directions, white-hot imprecations that spread like dye”.


Gros, Frederic (2014-04-08). A Philosophy of Walking (pp. 131-132). Verso Books. Kindle Edition.

Apparently, all that's left for Trump to do now is go full-Diogenes and masturbate in public. 

Conversely, perhaps it will take a Cynic to expose the hypocrisy of the Trump campaign, to expose and renounce everything that has "gone through on the quiet." 

Mini Pilgrimage 


I walked ten miles on Sunday. 

I don't know why but just felt like it. Three miles in the morning; four at the gym, and three more that evening. It felt great. There was a feeling of regeneration and presence, without all the spooky mysticism. I had no shrines to visit, no animals to sacrifice to the gods, and no money to toss in an offering plate. I just put one foot in front of the other and let my mind wander to faraway places. 

There was no need for transfiguration or transcendence, just the grounding with mother earth--a son of the soil. 

That was a great passage for me--son of the soil. It took me back to my younger days of walking barefoot around the foothills of Appalachia. With my grandfather's .22 rifle in hand, empty pop bottles and cans along Barretts's Creek didn't have a chance. It was a John Prine-esque existence. 

Spiritual, Dr. Oliver might say--and I would have to agree. 

DQ: Does walking somewhere to see a sight offer a higher value of experience, rather than just driving there. 






5 comments:

  1. I definitely think so to just go ahead and answer the discussion question. The text also talked about how those who were weary from the pilgrimage felt comfort in knowing that there were several other pilgrims who had been on the same path and it cured them of their de personification. I think that walking somewhere makes you much more appreciative. I am much more appreciative of the cool BAS when I walk from the far corner of the parking lot by the library than if I were to walk from a closer location. I've actually made an effort to walk around the BAS to give myself some more time outdoors and to be more grateful for the cool air of the Computer lab.

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  2. I think that it does offer a higher value with one caveat. When I read Gros's description on page 117, "At Santiago there is just one cathedral, shining in solitary splendor, unique as the sun and the end of the road. It can be spied from the last cairn, eliciting cries of happiness from the weary pilgrim of yore, who immediately set foot on the ground if mounted, and took off his shoes if on foot, because he had to arrive in a posture of humility," I paused for a moment and thought about who would have gained the greater experience, someone who had traveled a hundred kilometers on foot or ridden on a horse until the last kilometer? I don't know. It would seem to be the former, but I think back over my life and realize that I could never have reached sites that were memorable to me unless I drove or traveled by airplane. It may come down to what the individual feels is most fulfilling to her or him.

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  3. I think that it does offer a higher value with one caveat. When I read Gros's description on page 117, "At Santiago there is just one cathedral, shining in solitary splendor, unique as the sun and the end of the road. It can be spied from the last cairn, eliciting cries of happiness from the weary pilgrim of yore, who immediately set foot on the ground if mounted, and took off his shoes if on foot, because he had to arrive in a posture of humility," I paused for a moment and thought about who would have gained the greater experience, someone who had traveled a hundred kilometers on foot or ridden on a horse until the last kilometer? I don't know. It would seem to be the former, but I think back over my life and realize that I could never have reached sites that were memorable to me unless I drove or traveled by airplane. It may come down to what the individual feels is most fulfilling to her or him.

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  4. Don's right, many of the treks we value most would permanently elude us if we insisted on a purist approach to pilgrimage. Even my neighborhood walks sometimes profit from a little pedaling. Yesterday, for instance, I got around my reluctance to drive to the park by biking there. Nice walk in the woods, sandwiched between two nice bikerides. And of course, I wasn't about to miss my New England pilgrimage just because I couldn't spare the time to hike 2,000 miles to get there.

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  5. I enjoy a nice walk to the ballpark. When I lived in Philadelphia, the joy of walking to Citizens Bank Park is one of pure joy. The excitement that builds as you anticipate all the splendors of a memorable day at the park.

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