Day 228

Entrance to Clinton Walking Trail

When we walk, are we walking toward something, or are we walking away from something?

May be the answer is that we are doing both, simultaneously.

There’s an old saying among writers that there are only two stories to be told — A man goes on a journey; (or) A stranger comes to town — and every book or short story we write is really a variation on one of these two fundamental plot structures.

Sculpture outside the Hunterdon Art Museum

It seems to me, though, that each of these is really the same story, told from a different point of view. If a man goes on a journey, he will surely arrive somewhere as a stranger.

In that way we’re always taking part in the human story of seeking and finding, or leaving or arriving, and the daily walk is one of those times we are doing, physically, what we are always doing metaphorically, simply by being alive.

We may find something, we may lose something; we may discover something, we may unburden ourselves of something. Whatever it is, the daily walk can take us there.

While we’re on the subject of a daily practice, I’m pretty excited about the visual artist Linda Stillman, who I discovered this week on an impromptu curator-guided walk through the Hunterdon Art Museum in Clinton, New Jersey.  Come back tomorrow and I’ll tell you how a serendipitous meeting with a local curator Mary Birmingham led me to several wonderful discoveries on the banks of the south branch of the Raritan River.

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