So much for celebrating walking — Hobgoblin and I went on a three-hour walk today and about halfway through I could feel one of the muscles in upper back/shoulder area tighten up into an ugly knot, and now I can’t easily move my head. I’ve had trouble with tight muscles and knots and pinched nerves in my upper back for quite a while now. I’m pretty sure this began shortly after my first rather disastrous backpacking trip for which I carried a backpack that was much too heavy and which apparently did a lot of damage.
Funny, as much as I’m loving reading The Walk, it hasn’t yet talked about how much walking can hurt, and yet, much as I love walking, it quite often hurts very badly.
Anyway, just a couple quick notes on books — I finished Rainer Maria Rilke’s Duino Elegies recently and thought they were extraordinarily beautiful. They cover so much it’s hard to describe what they are about, but it seems like they are about everything important — birth, death, angels, lovers, time, beauty … rather than try to describe the book, I should simply give you a couple quotations:
Who has turned us around this way so that we’re always whatever we do
in the posture of someone who is leaving? Like a man
on the final hill that shows him his whole valley
one last time who turns and stands there lingering —
that’s how we live always saying goodbye.
How we squander our sorrows gazing beyond them into the sad
wastes of duration to see if maybe they have a limit.
But they are our winter foliage, our dark evergreens
one of the seasons of our secret year — and not only a season
they are situation, settlement, lair, soil, home.
If you are looking for some great poetry to read, I highly recommend this.
And I’ve begun Virginia Woolf’s The Voyage Out; I’m excited to be reading Woolf again, and so far I’m enjoying it — I was particularly pleased to see Richard and Clarissa Dalloway appear as characters here; I’m curious to learn more about why Woolf used these characters multiple times and how they develop from one novel to another. Fortunately, I have Julia Briggs’s book Virginia Woolf: An Inner Life on hand, which perhaps will explain some of this for me.