Monday, 30 September 2013

Strolling Through The City

In nineteenth-century Paris, there was a type of man known as the flâneur.

He was a sort of strolling dandy, a work-shunning poet, who ambled through the city, lingering in the arcades, lolling on benches and making observations.

Some of the most extreme flâneurs used to take a tortoise on their walks, because they liked to let the tortoise set the pace.

We can be a modern-day flâneur in our own town:  just set out from your front door and make a deliberate attempt to walk slowly.

It will seem unnatural at first, but that is only because we are starting to overcome years of A-to-B speed-walking conditioning.

Soon the slower pace will become more habitual and you will take great pleasure in the world of limitless wonder that ambling opens up to us.

Of course having your camera on hand is an added bonus!


“But the beauty is in the walking -- we are betrayed by destinations.” 
~~ Gwyn Thomas

“Now shall I walk or shall I ride?
'Ride,' Pleasure said;
'Walk,' Joy replied.” 

~~ W.H. Davies

Fountain near the Sydney Art Gallery

Mural painted on a house in Surry Hills, Sydney


Juneau, Alaska we came across two husky dogs while walking around the town. - May 2013

13 comments:

bill lisleman said...

I learned a bit of French history in your post. I've been walking slow forever. Ask my wife who needs to stop and wait for me all the time.
I think of it as a saunter. Sometimes you need let the world come to you.

Christine said...

lovely photos, never heard of a flaneur, interesting!

miruspeg said...

@Bill you would have fitted in very well with the literary types in 19th century Paris.

"Charles Baudelaire characterized the flâneur as a "gentleman stroller of city streets" and he saw the flâneur as having a key role in understanding, participating in and portraying the city".

@Christine I am pleased you liked the photos. I hadn't hear of the word flâneur either until I read a book that used the word....so I did some research and thought I would share my findings.

Marja said...

In Holland we've got the word flaneren, which means slow walking to be seen or show of. So slightly different. WHen I read about French artist this takes me in my mind straight to the Bohemians who come together to talk about art and literature or philosophy and drank wine. they didn't do much else and they mixed all sorts of colours together in their house. Would have loved to hang out with
them for a while.
Anyway I love observing the environment slowly and yes a camera helps or a child. They stop you to show you the world. Lots of love from Christchurch. I hope all is well with you :)

miruspeg said...

@Marja thanks for adding to the conversation my friend with your observations!

I too would have loved to have been part of the Bohemian set. In fact when you and I get together and enjoy a glass of wine or two the conversation invariably turns to art, literature and philosophy!

Also I had forgotten for a moment, that strolling with a child, is one of the greatest pleasures in life.

Namaste and hugs and love from this Aussie in Sydney. ♥♥♥

Mike Smith said...

Brilliant photos, Peggy - hope you are well, my mucker!

miruspeg said...

Thanks me young mate.
Lang may yer lum reek!

Roban said...

I'm sure we miss so much of the world's beauty and wonder by walking too quickly. I'll have to remember to stroll a bit more. (Now, my 8th-graders have the amble down to a science. They really, really, really know how to take it slow!)

miruspeg said...

@Roban I find one of the best aspects of travelling, is the enjoyment of strolling through new surroundings at a very leisurely pace.
My aim now is to do the same, at least once a week around Sydney.

You will have to tell your 8th graders they are flâneurs, they will probably enjoy the name-tag.

If you are ever thinking of travelling to Paris this book "The Flaneur: A Stroll Through the Paradoxes of Paris" by Edmund White sounds like an interesting read.
http://www.amazon.com/The-Flaneur-Stroll-Through-Paradoxes/dp/1582342121

Thanks for taking to time to leave a comment my friend. ♥♥

bill lisleman said...

Ok if you don't post soon I think your blog will freeze over. It appears to have started in the header picture. Of course your season is warming up I guess. But the internet is a cold virtual world only warmed by the messages, posts, music, pictures, video, etc. that users upload and share.

miruspeg said...

Thanks for the nudge Bill. I actually was thinking of posting a couple of days ago but didn't get around to it.
So tonight spurred on by your kind self I posted a little ditty.
Cheers mate. xxx

Can-Can said...

Thanks for the info and the permission to amble and ramble. When I was growing up in St. Louis, MO, I was always so happy to have free time away from chores and church that I would take long walks. I continue to do so today - just go where I feel with a book to read and a little money to get a snack. Sometimes I find a spot and people-watch. Thanks for this post.

miruspeg said...

Candelaria a book and a little money for a snack sounds a perfect way to spend a few hours and people watching is one of my favourite past-times too!
Keep shining. xxxx