Before today I blogged by trial and error, the way I learned to ride a bike. Talk about pressure. Now here I am, registered at Blogging U, relieved to have a teacher. Which means I’m less of an adventurer than I imagined when I left “home” for the island.
Why did I start blogging?
- Jackie asked me to
- Fb doesn’t fit
- my visa calls me a writer and there’s not much writing going on
There’s a lot out there about the island written by and about tourists, academics, marines. It’s easy to find out where to shop, where the best beaches are, what exactly is “the Okinawan diet”–even the genealogy of different military occupations.
My why seems simpler: I just want to show what the island is like when I walk around the outside of it, that line that usually separates land from water.
For whatever time we have together, walking through and into it is how I get to know a place.
I can’t say that walking a place gives me a better understanding than any other way of knowing might. How is there more insight in looking at the pebble by your foot than the mountain range zooming by your car window?
What do you see walking anyways? The near, the small and anything it takes time to perceive, I suppose. But what virtue is there in that? And does virtue have anything to do with moving through a place? Even an idea of a place?
You hear people say they’ve “done” Italy or Pennsylvania. Is that “do” as in doing miles? Or time? Is it like doing the dishes, putting things in order? Like doing a thing up? Or doing drugs?
I know they mean something like “we’ve been to Pennsylvania” but in my ears it sounds like Pennsylvania is a bullet they can now cross off a must-see list. It sounds like a place is “done” if you can say you toured there.
Well, walking won’t let you “do” a place.
Walking is the boss.
When you walk, the wind or rain or sun or blister on your heel that walks along, unrelenting, “does” you.
Step by step, whatever you have planned, or have on your list, takes second place to what the road has in store.
Walking around an island like this, someone is sure to give you a cabbage, and you’ll have to “do” something with that.