Walking Stumbling Limping Falling A Conversation

We notice people who don’t walk normally. We notice ourselves when we don’t walk normally. There is, it seems, an intense, invisible pressure to walk normally. Straight is the gait. For about 9 months, two walking authors/artists, Alyson Hallett and Phil Smith, found themselves wrestling with not being able to walk normally. They wrote to one another about it and, amongst other things, reflected on: prostheses; waddling; Butoh; built-up shoes; walking in pain; bad legs; vertigo; falling (and fallen) places; hubris; bad walks; scores for falling down; walking carefully; disappointment. This book is their conversation. From it, there emerges an ‘Alphabet of Falling, ‘ a sustained reflection on the loss of normal capabilities, anecdotes, and autobiographical stories, and the beginning of a larger discussion about stumbling and falling: the pedestrian equivalent of blowing an uncertain trumpet. As the book concludes: When you next fall, stay down for a while, see what comes. Then, when you get to your feet again, rather than relying on your body’s natural approximations of space, choose your steps, not anxiously but in an excited kind of wariness; and, with each pace, a little more undo the ‘grounds’ that tripped you up. [Subject: Poetry, Mythogeography, Walking, Imbalance

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s