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From Chatwin's Notebooks ...

(From: The Songlines, Bruce Chatwin, Published 1987)


"Our nature lies in movement, complete calm is death"

Pascal, Pensees


"A study of the Great Malady; horror of home."

Baudelaire, Jounaux Intimes


"Internal burning ... wandering fever ..."



"In The Descent of Man  Darwin notes that in certain birds the migratory impulse is stronger than the maternal.  A mother will abandon her fledglings in the nest rather than miss her appointment for the long journey south"


"Darwin quotes the example of the Audubon's goose, which, deprived of its pinion feathers, started out to walk the journey on foot.  He then goes on to describe the sufferings of a bird, penned up at the season of its migration, which would flail its wings and bloody its breast against the bars of its cage" 


"The heavens themselves run continually round, the sun riseth and sets, the moon increaseth, stars and planets keep their constant motions, the air is still tossed by the winds, the waters ebb and flow, to their conservation no doubt, to teach us that we should ever be in motion."

Robert Burton as quoted by Chatwin


"He was a great walker. Oh ! An astonishing walker, his coat open, a little fez on his head in spite of the sun"

Ringhas, on Rimbaud in Ethiopia


"The man with footsoles of wind".

Verlaine on Rimbaud


"Above all, do not lose your desire to walk: every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness; I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it ... but by sitting still, and the more one sits still, the closer one comes to feeling ill ... Thus if one just keeps on walking, everything will be all right."

Soren Kierkegaard, letter to Jette (1847)


"What is this strange madness, Petrarch asked of his young secretary, this mania for sleeping each night in a different bed?"


"Solvitur ambulando. 'It is solved by walking'."


"It is good to collect things, but it is better to go on walks."

Anatole France


"Wandering re-establishes the original harmony which once existed between man and the universe"


"There is no happiness for the man who does not travel.  Living in the society of men, the best man becomes a sinner.  For Indra is the friend of the traveler. Therefore wander !"

Aitareya Brahmana


"Life is a bridge.  Cross over it, but build no house on it."


"All things considered there are only two kinds of men in the world - those that stay at home and those that do not/"

Rudyard Kipling


"In middle English, the word "progress" meant a 'journey', particularly a 'seasonal journey' or 'circuit'."