I was in a supermarket watching and feeling sympathy for the workers. I reflected on their need for work, their lack of choice, the drudgery of what they do. Greet, scan bananas, tell me how much. They were like machines. I wondered about their internal life. How they were feeling, how they were necessarily numb. I recalled a remark I made yesterday. You’re freer when you ride a bike I said, and I like that feeling. It’s therapeutic to cycle the streets without start, stop, start, gear change, light, brake, slow, change, light, change. Cars are clumsy, nasty things when you cycle. All that weight, noise, pollution. You exercise your strength when you cycle both literally and psychologically. I watched the workers. Trapped on a chair, told what to do by the environment, exercising nothing. You recover your personal space when you walk. You climb the hills, exercise, navigate. You do it. You feel a sense of freedom. We don’t have much agency in life and that is partly spatial. It’s a long time since I’ve undertaken the Coledale walk which you see in the distance. When I’m not walking, these places exist in imagination.

 

Maiden Moor to Coledale

Friday February 20, 2015