“No one perhaps has ever felt passionately towards a lead pencil. But there are circumstances in which it can become supremely desirable to possess one; moments when we are set upon having an object, an excuse for walking half across London between tea and dinner.”
To think, I had bought my copy of Viginia Woolf’s “Street Haunting” years before I knew I would end up in London, albeit temporarily, myself. The beauty of its prose encapsulates the wonder of wandering at best.
Aside from having a personal affinity towards the word “flâneur”, for me, there’s no other way to acquaint myself with a new city than by getting lost, preferably with a camera in tow. Try it. Then get lost again. Go find spots that aren’t in the guidebooks and make them yours. Walk. Just keep walking. Do it in your own city. I’ve been living in Shanghai for over 6 years and I’m still constantly “getting lost”.
Perhaps all writers romanticise walks. Maybe we possess an additional percentage of curiosity that enables us to look further into otherwise mundane corners and everyday crosswalks. Or that we are comfortable in solitude so that seemingly lonely walks instead become poetic inspiration.
So, go. Writer’s block, life stress, heartbreak, boredom, whatever it may be. Go walk it off. Start at one point, in place and thought, and keep going until you’ve forgotten what your first point was at all.
There’s an intersection waiting for you…somewhere.
Have a curious weekend.