07 May Walking Slowly, Without Purpose.
Last week they had a movie festival in Playa del Carmen, movies were free and as such I got to see a few films I probably would not have bothered with otherwise. One was a French animated film about a suicide shop (happy stuff) which wasn’t bad but was bizarre. The second film we saw was also a French film called “The Big Night”.
“The Big Night” is about two brothers, one a hobo in the French suburbs, the other a man struggling in his relationship and shit job. In short the brother loses his job, goes nuts, and becomes a hobo with his already homeless brethren.
I bring this movie up because one of the things the hobo taught his newly homeless brother, was how to walk without purpose. How to amble with the least amount of energy possible, because, well they are hobos and really they have nowhere to be and nothing which needs to be done.
I love this idea, and aside from the hobo part it is very much an opportunity I have in my life now. There are things I make myself do and there are things I tell myself need to be done. But in reality, I don’t have to do a damn thing if I don’t want to.
So it was I set off for lunch on a sunny Sunday afternoon in Playa. I threw on a pair of sneakers, opened the front door, and with a loose plan to have lunch somewhere, I started walking without purpose. This is harder than it sounds, to walk so slowly, with so little energy that you are a flexed fiber away from standing still. To move forward with no purpose other than to keep moving.
I loved it. It took me about half an hour to walk what should have taken ten minutes. During that time my mind wandered between the pointless and absolutely nothing. The afternoon sun bathed my skin yet I remained cool. The few people who were around flowed past me as though sprinting. My eyes roamed and saw things which normally I would not have registered in the short time they were in my vision. I felt more relaxed walking than I do sitting down.
Eventually I ended up at El Fogon, and had a large burrito type thing for lunch. I paid the bill, stood up, and then walked away so slowly that people actually watched me, no doubt questioning my mental stability or physical agility. What other reason could someone have for walking so slowly?
It took about an hour to get home. Walking down roads at random with only a general idea of where I was going. I snapped the occasional picture with my phone, but other than that, I just floated.
It was delightfully freeing, to know that this is all that is really required of me. That my built in need to be here, then to be there, as quickly as I can, is mostly unnecessary. I have no need to be anywhere if I don’t want to, and now I can choose to walk in a way which suits my lifestyle. Slowly, and without purpose.