Walk again

September 21, 2023

Who remembers film cameras? The days when you had to judge the intrinsic value of what you wanted to capture before pressing the shutter release seem so long ago.

Nowadays, you can take just about anything, such as your foot against the light of a lamp. Maybe, at that time, I wouldn't have taken the photo at all, and would have just observed the foot. Perhaps my subconscious would still have made it something to keep, something to think about.

I'd just come back from the hospital. I slept all the time. I probably wasn't in my right mind. I was about to go to bed, and my foot was sticking out of the covers. I stopped for a moment to look at it. I grabbed my phone and took a picture without overthinking about it. And now I'm writing about this foot in the light since I've kept the photo since it seems to want to speak to me somehow.

Instead, I wanted to write about my walk this morning. I was about to take the metro to work. Because of the antibiotic I was taking, my doctor advised me not to exercise as my muscles were weakened. Until yesterday, I still didn't feel strong enough to endure long walks. Going to the grocery store, an 8-minute walk from my house, took all my energy.

This morning seemed different. It was certainly chilly, but I had dressed well for the occasion. I was about to take the metro to the office when I saw the sun shining on the sidewalk before me.

I thought I'd try to get to the next station, a fifteen-minute walk away. I hooked up my headphones and chose a vocal work I liked, telling myself not to hurry, to go at my own pace.

Concentrating on the music, Jansson's Requiem Novum - I know, it sounds like a sombre music to soothe me, but listen to it, and you'll understand. Concentrated, I ignored everything else and walked on. Perhaps twenty-five minutes later, I reached the station. I was feeling fine, the air coming easily through my nostrils. I wasn't tired.

So I decided to carry on, reached Parc Jarry and continued my walk.

Usually, it takes me about thirty-five minutes to get to the office. It took me a whole sixty minutes, but I was happy. I just sat briefly on a bench, watching the dog walkers and joggers.

A small victory, then, of two feet moving forward one after the other, in full sunlight, without shade, firmly connected to a body that is quietly resuming its outward wanderings.

In other words, precious health is returning; it will try to make its way through the autumn viruses, and all will be well.

Well, everything's fine, at least for this brief moment of listening to a piece of requiem music and breathing in the fresh air blowing over my little existence.

Amen to that?