Weighing everything by the measure of the silent presence of things . . . each step a meditation steeped in reality.
During my years of graduate study before the war I studied philosophy in the classroom and at a desk, but my philosophy took shape mainly on foot. It was truly peripatetic, engendered not merely while walking, but through walking that was essentially a meditation of the place. And the balance in which I weighed ideas I was studying was always that established in the experience of walking in the place. I weighed everything by the measure of the silent presence of things, clarified by racing clouds, clarified by the cry of hawks, waters of manifold voice, and consolidated in the act of taking steps, each step a meditation steeped in reality (The Inward Morning, p. 139 — entry for Aug. 7).
It is just so true that I find myself needing to bring it before you again here. It is really only on foot (or in my case also on the bicycle) that I can do any proper thinking. (When I am at my desk — especially on a Saturday writing my address for the following Sunday — I find I can only write in so far as I am able to draw on the meditations of place that have occurred earlier in the week.) A pencil note of my own in the margin a few pages later sent me on to the entry of Sept. 17 (ibid. p. 194) in which Bugbee quotes Thoreau from Walden:
"Every path but your own is the path of fate. Keep on your own track then."
Of this Bugbee says, in part:
"The Way can be but one unique way for each person. Yet this is no way, no clear prospect, or marked path ahead: neither straight and narrow nor broad and meandering" (ibid. p. 194).
The import of these words accompanied me on my walk home.
As always I add here a few photos from the day.