Archie Roach: Walking Into Doors
A woman is wearing sunglasses on a dull, rainy day. She takes them off to reveal swollen and bruised eyes. “I walked into a door”, she says. Knowing looks are exchanged. The expression has become a sick joke. Domestic violence isn’t funny.
It’s not always men beating wives. It’s also the other way round. If only one-third of wife beatings come to light, because of the social stigma attached to it, I wonder what percentage of ‘husband’ beatings come to light? I bet it’s in single figures.
Well done to Archie Roach, I say, for, in his song, raising the issue of domestic abuse. And if this is the darkest example of the phrase, ‘walking into’ I’ve come across, yet one can applaud many movements and individuals for caring enough to put their talents to work to eradicate the ‘I walked into a door’ syndrome.
Here are some ‘walking the talk’ against domestic abuse:
For the record, I’ve never been the victim of domestic abuse. Thankfully.
Where ‘walking into a door’ really is funny is when it is slapstick. The word combines ‘slap’ and ‘stick’. A slapstick was a pair of sticks tied together that made a loud noise when struck together. The device was first used by the comic character Harlequin in the Commedia dell’arte. It was employed at the moment when a comedic character slipped on a banana peel, walked into a wall, etc. In the silent movie era, the slapstick sound was replaced by the sound of a musical instrument. The origins of the harlequin character are unknown, but one idea is that his name came from ‘Hellequin’, from French passion plays. In these, he was a black-faced emissary of the devil and roamed the countryside chasing damned souls into Hell. Well, it’s a motive for walking in nature I suppose! I don’t know if you would call it slapstick exactly, as the comedy was unintentional when a woman fell into an ornamental fountain in a shopping centre in the US while texting on her mobile phone! Unfortunately for the poor woman, her accident was caught on camera and posted on You Tube. It brings up the issue of ‘walking’ in combination with consciousness.
There seem to be two types of ‘conscious walking’. One is about consciousness of one’s body while walking, the other about consciousness of one’s environment. The purpose of both is to break the patterns of the mind and so reveal them to the walker.
Food for thought and some questions to ‘meditate’ perhaps:
- Do you walk ‘consciously’?
- Is it possible to be ‘conscious of the environment’ while the goal is to be ‘conscious of the mind’?
I’ve toured France’s Loire Valley and its chateaux extensively and can affirm the beauty of the area. If you fancy a walking holiday in the Loire Valley check out ‘Belle France’ who do a ‘chateau to chateau’ walking holiday, which they describe as “…An easy walk through the garden of France, along the limestone banks of the Loire. Turn inland through vineyards and flower-decked villages to take in some of the region’s enchanting châteaux. The grade is easy and navigation is simple and even the longest day has flat gradients”. I’d not recommend the ‘high season’. I found the heat impossible to bear! Though, there is respite in the cool interiors of the chateaux.
If the photo I took on a walk near Tourrettes-Sur-Loup attracts you to a walking holiday in the area – the Alpes-Maritime region of France – check out ‘Responsible Travel’ (sub-titled ‘Travel like a Local’ tp://www.responsibletravel.com.
You’ll find a link on the site to walking holidays throughout the whole of France.
While the above links to walking holidays are not personal recommendations, I can recommend a gîte (rural holiday cottage). Not only did my husband and I spend a week’s holiday there, but I returned in the following October to spend an enchanted 5 weeks on a self-imposed ‘writing retreat’.
A glimpse of Tourrettes-sur-Loup can be found at Provence Web.
I had a fabulous time thanks to my more than gracious hosts, Josyanne and René. The gite is situated on the steep slope of a mountain in the French Alps, 10 minutes from the historic and picturesque village of Tourrettes-sur-Loup and 30 minutes from Nice. At dawn, depending on the weather, I could see the mountains of Corsica across the sea beyond Nice.
Ten minutes by car further up the slope will bring you to a cheese farm and further on from that, some amazing mountain walks decorated in summer and autumn by alpine flowers.
The English language site for Lou Mascaron can be found at:
I’ve devoted several ‘shelves’ in my Walkers’ Store to the theme of walking and consciousness: the Philosophy of Walking, Walking & Spirituality, Walking as Metaphor, Walking Meditation and there are many links to guides and books for walking holidays.