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How Walking Enhances My Writing

Updated on May 29, 2013

I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life..." ~ Henry David Thoreau, Walden Pond

Creek Near Intersection of Old Milton Highway and Pepper Bridges Road
Creek Near Intersection of Old Milton Highway and Pepper Bridges Road | Source
A markerOld Milton Highway and Pepper Bridges Road, Walla Walla, WA 99362 -
Old Milton Highway & Peppers Bridge Road, Walla Walla, WA 99362, USA
get directions

And I haven't stopped walking since.

Headed East on the Old Milton Highway
Headed East on the Old Milton Highway | Source

...to live deliberately...

Thirty-seven years ago, I was introduced to an 1849 essay written by transcendentalist philosopher, Henry David Thoreau. It was entitled, Civil Disobedience.

Mr. Thoreau had refused to pay the poll tax imposed by the local municipal government on the principle that it was an immoral tax. As a consequence, he was arrested and placed in jail. Of this experience, he wrote:

I saw that, if there was a wall of stone between me and my townsmen, there was a still more difficult one to climb or break through, before they could get to be as free as I was.

I was so struck by that powerful and poignant statement and imagined my spirits buoyed by such resolve. Definitely, I wanted to read more of this man's work.

So I bought a copy of his book entitled, Walden Pond.

While reading it, many passages gave me pause to reflect on my own life and where I stood on the issues that were current at the time. For example, I was moved by Thoreau's statement:

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.

A little over three months ago, I made a conscious effort to liberate myself from the self-imposed prison of a couch potato lifestyle. I was literally tired of an existence where the experience of life had been relegated to whatever I might happen to observe on a glass screen in the living room.

The work I'm involved in keeps my mind actively engaged in the soulful process of creation, but it's sadly conducive to the premature atrophy of a body stuck in a sedentary rut.

I yearned.

I prayed.

I affirmed.

I willed.

If I was fated--by nature or nurture--to be a creature of habit, then let my propensity be that of a higher caliber.

On December 1, 2012, I plotted my simple strategy.

On January 1, 2013, I took my first step towards physical rejuvenation.

And I haven't stopped walking since.

I want the term, early bird, to have relevance in my life.

In the early morning, a couple of robins check out some prime real estate.
In the early morning, a couple of robins check out some prime real estate. | Source

...search for self.

I want the term, early bird, to have relevance in my life.

And so I get up extra early each morning, say an initial prayer (reserving specific prayers for my walk), read my Bible, shoot off a few connection-oriented comments to my fellow writers on HubPages, check my emails, do a little bit of busy work on my eBay site, and then do my Superman thing.

You know, where the old, fat man dons his superhero sweats, baseball cap, and reliable, well-worn sneakers, and goes in search of the thin young man somewhere deep within.

For in that lonely world of the long distance walker, there's a lot of quality time to search for self.

Writing is like walking in a deserted street. ~ John LeCarre

Out of the dust in the street...
Out of the dust in the street... | Source

...every telephone pole I pass marks the turning of another page...

John LeCarre, the English writer of espionage novels, once said, Writing is like walking in a deserted street. Out of the dust in the street you make a mud pie.

There's something to be said about the significance of dust in the creative process.

Seems to me there was a time when the Author of the Universe played in the dust and created His finest masterpiece.

Prior to that golden moment, He had spoken everything into existence. But when the day came for Him to fashion a living image of Himself, the Writer got down and dirty in the dust and the clay and the mud to form His best-selling creation of all time.

I ponder the lessons that I can learn while playing in the dust and how the tactile sensation of dirt against my skin takes me back to the kindergarten sandbox.

And how, at the age of 5, I would leave the confines of the sandbox to explore the world beyond the 1" x 8" wooden boundaries.

I write now as I lived then...beyond that which confines and limits. Thinking, always thinking, outside the box.

And as I walk, every telephone pole I pass marks the turning of another page in the book of life.

I write the way I walk. I have no outline. I have no map.

Southeast Towards the Blue Mountains
Southeast Towards the Blue Mountains | Source

How far do you recreationally walk each day?

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...did something twice this week that I never once considered doing before.

Writing became such a process of discovery that I couldn't wait to get to work in the morning: I wanted to know what I was going to say. ~ Sharon O'Brien, an acclaimed author of both trade and scholarly books and a well-known Willa Cather scholar.

The first word I write and the first step I walk...these are the only conscious things I do in either venture.

Everything else is at the whim of the writer's muse or the beck and call of the wandering gypsy.

Often, I will write that I don't know what I'm doing, and people think I'm kidding.

I honestly don't know what I'm doing.

I write the way I walk. I have no outline. I have no map.

The discovery of well-turned phrases and the novelty of freshly-coined words are the eureka moments that thrill me to no end.

The same goes for every time I get lost in my walks.

For one truth I know is that following in others' footsteps--the drudgery of conformity--is tantamount to being shackled in the unspeakable stench and incomprehensible agony of a long ship's slave galley.

I'll take the freedom of spontaneity instead.

I neither chew bamboo with the Panda nor slide on the ice with the Penguin.

Algorithms were obstacles I hurdled in Calculus, knowing full well that I would never use any of it in life. Not real life.

As for google--or googol--why, that's just the number one followed by a hundred zeroes. And isn't that the same thing as fascist lock-step conformity? Anyone concerned about how this cyber Pied Piper is luring the innocent children away?

Point being simply this--

A writer has a responsibility to confront his truth, and whatever that happens to be, that's the road he needs to travel.

I will never earn a living writing for HubPages. This is the truth I confront every time I write a hub. The fact is, I'm not good at formula writing. But I am good at writing about my truth. So where I'll earn my living as a writer is by walking where I've never dared walk before...you know, that place just beyond the bend in the road. The junction you get to only by passing the part about thinking outside the box.

Walking enhances my writing simply because it emulates the same kind of adventurous spirit that accompanied the old Star Trek lead-in: to boldly go where no man has gone before.

With that in mind, I did something twice this week that I never once considered doing before.

I walked ten miles...

It is what it is...

Yellowhawk Creek
Yellowhawk Creek | Source

Am I being impeded, or am I being challenged to exercise my ingenuity?

Don't call it writer's block. Call it Life. ~ Patricia Spears Jones, an American poet.

A lesson learned on a long walk through the country and suburbia is that there are creative ways to avoid labeling things and people and to see everything with a different perspective. Walking provides me with a sense of seeing the big picture with greater clarity, like having a powerful remote control that enables me to zoom in on details I had not seen before or, sadly, chosen to turn my back on. And so life's big picture is one huge mosaic of inter-related and fatefully connected organic and inorganic things and events.

It's seeing life as less of a struggle between entities and more as a symphony of different parts coming together as one.

So when I pause in my ten-mile walk to peer over the edge of a man-made rock barrier and gaze at the creek rushing by me below, and I meditate upon the tree that fell, unattended, to its premature death into the incessant flow of the liquid traffic...

I don't see conflict.

I see connection.

And the thought I reserve in my brain for reflection later is simply this: It is what it is.

Eventually, when next I sit at my desk, staring woefully at the blank laptop screen, my hands habitually poised in such a way that I know that each finger has a symbiotic relationship with its own assigned group of letters, numbers, and symbols, the moment of It is what it is comes back to me.

In a moment of lingual constipation I would customarily refer to as writer's block, I remember the creek and the dead tree traversing and rotting away in it.

It is what it is--a log not intending to impede the passage of the creek; a creek learning how to maneuver abound the log.

So I ask myself, Am I being impeded, or am I being challenged to exercise my ingenuity?

Ultimately, I choose the right answer, and my self-imposed shackles fall off. Inevitably, I begin to write the words that will eventually result in the photo-essay you're reading.

...after I've savored the wonderful entree...

A View to the Southeast as I Walk the Old Milton Highway
A View to the Southeast as I Walk the Old Milton Highway | Source

When we decide to eradicate an addiction, we will find something to replace it.

You know what's the saddest thing? I know I'm simply exchanging one addiction for another. ~ Hawaiian Odysseus, HubPages wannabe writer

Having been a couch potato, I'm well aware that the potential exists for me to return to the business of creating sofa indentations.

For me, then, the extinguishing of an unwanted behavior is more about having greater dread of doing something than the comfort of indulging in it.

Additionally, it has to be about discovering that there's greater joy, fulfillment, and a sense of well-being in doing one thing in lieu of another.

Finally, there's no middle ground. Because of our human propensity to fill holes, we cannot declare that we will simply do nothing.

When we decide to eradicate an addiction, we will find something to replace it.

The vacuum created by the absence of a habit is the most amazing and formidable black hole the majority of us will ever experience in our lives.

And so we must be creative.

I pass my couch a hundred times a day because I have to. It calls to me like the sirens called out to Odysseus.

Where once I easily succumbed to its alluring comfort, I gently and telepathically respond, In good time, my friend, after I've savored the wonderful entree life has prepared for me in my walk today, I will join you for dessert.

...The undiscovered country, from whose bourn, no traveller returns...

There is a place of quiet rest... ~ Cleland McAfee, Presbyterian Minister Mountain View Cemetery, Walla Walla, WA
There is a place of quiet rest... ~ Cleland McAfee, Presbyterian Minister Mountain View Cemetery, Walla Walla, WA | Source

Then, maybe then...makes any kind of sense.

But that the dread of something after death,

The undiscovered country, from whose bourn

No traveller returns, puzzles the will,

And makes us rather bear those ills we have

Than fly to others that we know not of?

~ William Shakespeare, Playwright, Hamlet


And you, my father, there on the sad height,

Curse, bless me now with your fierce tears, I pray.

Do not go gentle into that good night.

Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

~ Dylan Thomas, Poet, Short Story Writer, & Playwright, Do Not Go Gentle into that Good Night


I talk about writer's truth. So here's my truth.

It hit me square in the face the first time I passed this cemetery on 2nd Avenue in Walla Walla. I was about a half mile into a 7-mile walk, so my sexagenarian body was still warming up and working out the knots and kinks and nagging little hurts that impishly distract me and, true to my former couch potato lifestyle, try to get me to give up this novel nonsense.

A few weeks of walking have established the habit.

I've worn enough grooves in my brain's synapses that the action of walking for long distances has replaced the couch potato lifestyle.

As morbid as it sounds, by way of LSD (long, slow, distance) walking, my body has been eating away at the fatty deposits I have literally spent decades building up into a hefty nest egg. Gallons of ice cream, hundreds of bags of potato and corn chips, groves of macadamia nuts covered with vats of creamy milk chocolate, a ton of Snickers, and truckloads of fried chicken...not to mention rivers of sauces, gravies, shakes, malts, lattes, and condiments were liberally devoured by this one insatiable Pacific Islander in the sculpting of the body I am now attempting like a madman to risk destroying...one fatty cell at a time...to unearth the thin man just dying (interesting word choice here) to emerge.

On my right is this cemetery. Across the street, on my left, is an elementary school. A few blocks up ahead and to the left is Walla Walla High School. Youth and life on my left, the dead and buried on my right.

And I am a 60-1/2-year-old man raging...raging...raging against the dying of that good light.

Kept to myself...like the secrets that feed addictions...nothing about what I'm doing makes any sense.

The simple and absolute truth, then...my writer's truth...is that I am compelled to share my truth with you.

Then, maybe then, the struggle of writing on HubPages for pennies a day makes any kind of sense.

Then, maybe then, walking for an hour to three hours a day makes any kind of sense.

Then, maybe then, doing whatever I need to do to relish staying on this side of the fence, for just a few precious moments longer, makes any kind of sense.

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  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Good morning, Liz!

    At least until the wintry weather is upon us once again, I'm trying something different and getting off to an earlier start in the mornings for my walks. Previously, I've been in the habit of hitting the laptop as soon as I get up to check on any eBay action and engage in connecting with others on HubPages. Then, I'd either end up walking in the unbearably hot sun or rationalizing not going on a walk at all for the day. I tried the new system out today, and I've actually been more productive as a result. Now, if I can just be consistent, I'll be more prepared and psychologically/emotionally/spiritually motivated to do some quality writing. Glad to hear that you're reading Walden. I like how the reading of great books rubs off in our own personal writing projects. Judging from your wonderful output, I can definitely tell that you are well-read, my friend. Aloha, and have a terrific day!

    ~Joe

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    Elizabeth Parker 4 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    I love this hub- along with the first quote from Walden. I am halfway through that book, but still have yet to finish it. Although- there are many quotes in there that are perfect. I've been walking a lot for years and it definitely clears the mind. I love it. Glad that you began to do it as well! Thanks for posting Joe. Uplifting and motivational.

    ~Liz

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @AliciaC I'm thankful that you dropped by to walk a mile or two with me. I intuitively knew that if I stepped away from my eBay work and writing to walk long distances, both passions would be enhanced. What I didn't anticipate was the tremendous surge in the discovery of self. Have a great weekend, Linda! Aloha from SE Washington! Joe

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    This is such an interesting - and meaningful - hub. Walking is an important part of my life too, and means far more to me than simply a form of exercise. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  • AliciaC profile image

    Linda Crampton 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

    This is such an interesting - and meaningful - hub. Walking is an important part of my life too, and means far more to me than simply a form of exercise. Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @CrisSp

    Oh, Cris, not a problem! You can call me anything you like...just don't call me late for chicken adobo!

    Have a wonderful week and may God bless you with safe passage through the sky!

    Love,

    Ed (Ha-ha!)

  • CrisSp profile image

    CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    Hello Joe (not Ed)! Didn't I just make a big blunder in here, eh? Was it my clumsy finger, dehydrated brain or lack of sleep?

    Bwahahahh (my evil laugh)! Kidding aside, I am sincerely embarrassed my hawaiianodysseus. Please forgive me. :)

    Love from the sky~

    P.S. I'm still thinking who is Ed. :(

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Devika!

    Just got back from an 8-mile walk. I took pictures of these very dark clouds, thankful that I made it home before the "liquid sunshine" began falling. I don't mind walking in the rain--in fact, there are times when I love the cleansing ritual--but I just didn't want my iPhone to get damaged. LOL!

    I'm looking forward to reading more of your literary creations. To that end, I'm honored to follow you and your work.

    Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Arun Kanti!

    I'm delighted that you took time to read and share your comments regarding this hub. Writing and walking AND my eBay work are wonderful passions in and of themselves, but I love it when I can have present them in an intertwined fashion. My home state of Hawai'i has often been referred to or regarded as a melting pot of nationalities and ethnicities. I like to think that this melting pot identity comes across in my hub niches as well. Thanks for stopping by and gracing my article with your presence and input. Aloha!

    Joe

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    Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

    Walking is such a fit way of doing anything I enjoy walking daily and you have written such a wonderful write up on How Walking Enhances your Writing

  • ARUN KANTI profile image

    ARUN KANTI CHATTERJEE 4 years ago from KOLKATA

    Excellent hub and bautiful picures with the message- walking for enriching writing prowess.As one health freak and fond of walking I am at one with you and thank you very much for sharing such a rare hub.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @CrisSp

    Ha-ha! Not to worry, my dear friend. I totally understand jet lag...reminds me of the years I worked as a bagel baker during the graveyard shift.

    Seriously, thank you so much for always taking time from your very busy and hectic schedule to come and pay a visit. I look forward to enjoying more of your fine writing.

    Aloha!

    Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @CrisSp

    You know that I love you, right? But I just wanted to tell you, my dear and beautiful angel in the sky, that my name is Joe, not Ed. (Whoever Ed is, he's a lucky guy--that's all I can say!) Ha-ha!

    I'm laughing with you, Cris! Thank you so very much for sharing in this walking experience and for your uplifting words.

    Love and blessings,

    NOT Ed, but Joe : )

    (Have a nice chuckle over this!)

  • CrisSp profile image

    CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    P.S. Sorry, Joe....I wanted to edit that "Ed" and I don't know where I got that but HP won't allow me. :(....jetlagged and rushing for another leg of flight today. So, sorry my hawaiianodysseus.

  • CrisSp profile image

    CrisSp 4 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

    Oh my living God! Ed, this is one of the most profound hub that I've read here, so far. I love the oasis of serenity on all your images, the fluidity and honesty of the author. Round of applause.

    "I write the way I walk. I have no outline. I have no map." - I love this line simply because I can relate. I am also stealing these from you: "I yearned. I prayed. I affirmed. I willed." --there it is written and pinned on my vision board.

    You're doing a great job, Ed. Keep it up and continue to inspire us. I am very pleased to know you.

    Thank you for this very delightful and inspirational hub. Up+++ and absolutely sharing.

    Love from the sky~

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @LKMore01

    Hey, Lisa! Thanks for coming by. The welcome mat is out anytime! Looking forward to reading more of your excellent writing in the days ahead. Have a great weekend!

    Joe

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    LKMore01 4 years ago

    Beautiful, hawaiianodysseus. So happy I discovered your HUB this evening. Wihout going into to detail, this was a HUB I needed to read. Thank you.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Maggie Bennett

    I apologize, Maggie, for not getting back to you sooner. To the best of my recall, I thought I had responded to your kind and uplifting comments, but as I was searching for it today, I discovered that it may not have been processed, or I messed up and didn't send it.

    In any event, I want to thank you for going the distance with me by way of this hub, Maggie, and for sharing your response to it. Best wishes for continued success here on HubPages and beyond.

    Aloha!

    Joe

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Phyllis Doyle

    Hello, Phyllis!

    I went for a nice long walk around the Waikoloa Beach Resort a couple of weeks ago--a veritable oasis of hotel complexes, complete with a couple of shopping centers, huge lake, several golf courses, and--of course--bordered on one side by magnificent beaches. This resort area is otherwise surrounded by massive lava fields.

    As I walked, I thought of the irony of me--a local boy from Kaua'i, the oldest isle, now transplanted to SE Washington--playing tourist on Hawai'i, the youngest isle, a role I'm not particularly accustomed to yet was very grateful to be blessed with. Anyway, I experienced a Thoreau-like moment...realizing that the very act of walking, so intimate a connection with the earth in comparison to just driving around all of the time, brought me closer to a heightened spiritual awareness and the exhilaration of knowing that neither man-made hotels nor the natural phenomena of lava fields could ever fence me in.

    Thank you for walking with me for a while by way of this hub experience, Phyllis. I'm honored and thankful that you took the time to come by for a visit, and I heartily welcome you back any time! I look forward to following you and your work over time.

    Joe

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Lisa!

    Walking does wonders for one's overall well-being! I'm blessed to live in a community where physical fitness is a premium and the surrounding geography looks like a panoramic palette that God paints upon every day. Thank you for stopping by. Welcome back anytime, and I myself will be enjoying your hubs from time to time. Congratulations on the wonderful work you're doing and for being a tremendous asset to our literary community!

    Joe

  • Phyllis Doyle profile image

    Phyllis Doyle Burns 4 years ago from High desert of Nevada.

    HawaiianOdysseus, as Walden dwelled, pondered, and dreamed in the woods, so have I done in this wonderful hub of yours. Walla Walla is part of my homeland, and I once again walk the roads, the memorable places and the past as I read you hub. I must go back and read it again, so as to keep the memories fresh and alive.

    Thank you, for writing this very thought provoking hub.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @AudreyHowitt

    Ah, good to hear from you again. Thank you for yet another visit. I'm honored, Audrey! My passions are God, family, eBay, writing, and--in recent months--walking. Decades ago, I was a jogger/runner, but my sexagenarian body is pleading with my younger mind to keep things at a pedestrian pace. Even so, I wax deep and nostalgic when I walk, and I often find that it's like a novel way for my soul to take a shower. I do feel free, Audrey, and I'm glad you picked up on that. Thank you for walking with me via this hub experience. Have a wonderful and memorable weekend!

    Joe

  • AudreyHowitt profile image

    Audrey Howitt 4 years ago from California

    Very interesting post! I don't know your work,but I loved the meditative slant to this---loved that you feel this kind of freedom.

  • Lisawilliamsj profile image

    Lisa Williams 4 years ago

    This is beautiful and inspiring! I now have the urge to take a walk, I think I might just have to follow your lead. Thanks for sharing, I voted up.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @billybuc

    Thanks, Bill, for both the uplifting comments and the offer to be of help. In so many ways, you already have with your sharing and inspiration. Your closing statement makes wonderful sense to me, a reaping of what we sow. One of the prayers I earnestly send forth is this--Where once I was a curse, help me now to be a blessing. For me, it provides perspective in my journey. I'm glad to have made your acquaintance, Bill, and I look forward to more of our Walden Pond walks here on HP.

    Aloha!

    Joe

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    Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

    Any follower of Thoreau is a friend of mine...to live deliberately has become my personal mantra. You are a good man and I'm happy we linked up. Keep doing the things you are doing and you will keep getting the rewards you are getting. :)

    Aloha my friend,

    bill

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Eiddwen

    Hi, Eddy!

    You're an absolutely beautiful human being, and it is my honor and privilege to have made your acquaintance. What I'm led to share with you today is the thought that there has been much pain in our respective lives that has traumatically ripped huge holes within our hearts and souls. Writing, walking, our loved ones, and all the other things that we passionately embrace have a way of lovingly filling in those holes. I wish you continued peace, serenity, and healing, Eddy, and a thousand memorable walks under the majestic Welsh sky.

  • Eiddwen profile image

    Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

    What a wonderful hub and one I could relate to.

    Walking for me is also inspiring;especially walking around our beatuiful Welsh countryside ;today I tend to carry and notebook and pen in my pocket so that I can jot down anything that comes to mind,.

    Your obnvious hard work has certainly paid off here and I am looking forward to many more.

    Enjoy your day.

    Eddy.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @xstatic!

    Thank you, my friend! I'm writing to you from a Starbucks located at the bottom of a slight hill and part of a HUGE complex known as the Hilton Waikoloa. My extended family and I are staying here for a couple of nights, spoiling ourselves as it were, even though it does seem a bit surreal being a "local" and playing tourist. Still, I'm enjoying being with my family of origin and enjoying the sights on Hawai'i's youngest island. Will be here until Friday when we make the long trip to the other side of the island and a quaint Hawaiian town, Hilo. Thanks for stopping by once again, my friend, and generously offering your loyal support and goodwill. Aloha!

  • xstatic profile image

    Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    Just read that comment and your answer! What a great day to be in Kona! Rainy & stormy here! Walk a lot and eat well!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @ryanjhoe

    Thank you for stopping by to share your thoughts and participate in this experience. You're absolutely right about the benefits of walking, both from a health AND creative perspective. I write these words while sitting at a Starbucks in Kona, Hawai'i. Flew in yesterday from Washington state to be with family, and I got a short amount of walking in today already. Best wishes to you for your continued success here on HubPages and beyond!

  • ryanjhoe profile image

    ryanjhoe 4 years ago from Somewhere over the rainbow

    Nice idea and usually walking indeed giving many great ideas especially if we walking while viewing wonderful scenery. I used to walking at the beach in the morning or afternoon to seek some wonderful ideas for writing. Thanks for sharing!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Kathryn Stratford

    Ah, now we are getting to the meat of the matter as to why we write. There is such magic when a writer receives word back from an appreciative reader that they were moved in some way by the penman's message. It means so much to me, Kathryn, to hear that you were right there alongside of me on that little journey. The power of the written word, accompanied by beautiful and complementary photos, can do so much in moving all of us to a greater awareness of the human experience. I am so grateful for your sincere report and our growing literary connection. Have a wonderful and memorable rest of the weekend, Kathryn!

  • Kathryn Stratford profile image

    Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

    Joe, that was beautiful! Between the quotes, the reflecting, and the photos, I felt almost like I was walking down the road, listening to you, and watching what you watched. I'm glad that you have made a habit of getting off of the couch and on the road! Walking is a good thing to do!

    I laughed at your comment about how you did the "superman thing". That was funny!

    Thanks for sharing your reflections and your photos, and for making me laugh.

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @ rajan jolly

    Good morning, my friend! Your comments are a blessing for me today, and they reinforce my parallel journeys of walking and writing.

    I look forward to reading more of your wonderful health and nutrition articles.

    Namaste.

    Joe

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    Rajan Singh Jolly 4 years ago from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar,INDIA.

    Joe, frankly your writing feeds my soul. Your inspiration is from the Master, and thus, whenever I read your musings I feel satiated.

    Keep walking and enjoy your travels with nature! I need my sustenance.

    It's always a pleasure to be here trying to keep up my pace with you, my friend!

  • hawaiianodysseus profile image
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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @xstatic

    You are very welcome, Jim! I've had strong impressions like this before, so there's a good reason that I thought of you and Dennis. It's the Muse within me at work. : )

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    Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    Came back by to check out comments here and am glad to see many new ones. I also appreciate the kind words in your comment to Dennis, Joe!

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Dennis!

    Wanted to share something really strange, yet in a nice way. I was responding to Heather's (Mommymay's) beautiful comments a few minutes ago, but for some reason, you and Eugene, Oregon's xstatic kept popping up in my head. I was able to finally relocate the two of you to the tool bar of my brain's computer screen (LOL!) and concentrate on what I wanted to say to Heather.

    No sooner did I send Heather's message off than your message pops up.

    I had to mention it, Dennis, because the thought of you and Jim (xstatic) was pretty powerful.

    Within the last 24 hours, I had the extreme pleasure of reading the wonderful tribute you wrote to and about your mom, and the experience left an indelible impression upon my heart.

    I also had the privilege of learning more about Jim in his flashback hub about experiences and lessons he gleaned at a job at Hollywood and Vine in the Camelot year of 1962.

    Both of these hubs, along with previous hubs each of you has written and I was blessed to have read, convince me that we baby boomer men--along with our female counterparts (God bless them all because they remind me just how thankful I am to be a BB! Baby Boomer, Bad Boy, either one fits! Ha-ha!)--are indeed a nice complement to the literary trendsetters of today, adept in their knowledge and usage of modern concepts like SEO, content, keywords.

    I've decided that each kind of writing has its significance.

    I've also decided that, like you and xstatic, I am very happy and content writing in old school style.

    So your comments mean the world to me, Dennis. I value you as a fellow writer and even more so as a fellow walker on this hallowed earth.

    Finally, I want to share with you that I thought of my father when you mentioned how in the spring and summer, you are closest to God when your bare hands are in the dirt. His church was the sea he fished in and harvested seaweed from...and I can only wonder about the eloquent sermons God whispered to him as he planted, weeded, and lovingly tended the vegetable and flower beds for hours each day.

    I cherish our connection here in Hubsville, Dennis. Thank you for the gift of your thoughts this morning.

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    Maggie Bennett 4 years ago from New York

    I love walking too. At the moment it is still too cold for me to do it everyday. I've walked the last two days as it hit 50 for a change. Once warmer weather is here I will be out and about again on a regular basis. I find that walking frees my mind and soul like nothing else.

    I really enjoyed this hub and I am so glad you shared it with us.

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @Mommymay

    Your comments far excel a thousand High Fives from either the Panda or the Penguin! Thank you so much for confirming, along with the others who have graced this comments section, the essence of why we write and the integrity of who we are as writers. One of the magical things that propel us to new heights is when a reader, especially a fellow writer who engages in the process and understands the struggle, shares with us his or her personal interpretation of what we've written. Like a good movie we're ambivalent about walking away from because it had to end...eventually...(think Pursuit of Happyness or Shawshank Redemption), there are passages we encounter in our reading that tap at the moral compass within us, adjusting the needle so that it once again points True North. I might write about things that won't draw the tumultuous gate proceeds, but for those few I do connect with, I promise to do my part to feed that kindred spirit relationship. Thank you for your gift this morning that reminds me, at a moment when I needed to be reminded the most, why it is that I write.

    Blessings to you and your family, Heather, and Happy Hubbing this week!

    Joe

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    Dennis L. Page 4 years ago from New York/Pennsylvania border

    Voted up, Awesome, beautiful, useful, interesting and shared with all. Oh, I also tweeted, pinned and put this on facebook.

    Now I know why we are such great friends here on HP. You write from the heart with an ebb and flow of words that exude honesty and personal candidness. I snickered to myself when you touched upon algorithms and earnings. I too get a kick out of those who are putting together articles based on key word searches and SEO rankings. As the saying goes, "Different strokes for different folks." Never have I written anything based on the number of "hits" my article might get. I compose a story because it is something I care about or am feeling at the time I put fingers to keyboard. I have never written a story with an outline. Like you, I will put the first paragraph up for me to ponder and the rest just happens.

    In spring and summer I do much of my meditation and prayer while mowing the lawn or playing in the dirt of my vegetable and flower gardens. Anyone who knows me will tell you that Dennis feels he is the closest to God when his bare hands are in the dirt.

    I live where International Business Machines (IBM) began. Located throughout the IBM complex are plaques that display a 5 letter word. That word is "THINK!" Aah, a word so simple, yet loaded with meaning.

    Finally Joe, let me close with my own personal motto: "Don't sweat the small stuff. For you see, when you're on your death bed it is ALL small stuff."

    Thank you again for writing such a beautiful and thought provoking article.

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    Heather May 4 years ago from Ohio

    Joe -

    This is so poignant to where I am in life in so many was. I am certain, that like most of your hubs, can be read by 100 different people and interpreted in 100 different ways.

    If there was a"Chicken Noodle for the Dieter's Soul" or "Chicken Noodle for the I need a better life soul" or a hundred different options.....this would be in it. For me, this speaks right to where I am in life. I entered my 20's passionate about making my own ladder to climb. Somewhere in my mid 20's I became more concerned with climbing my boss's ladder to success. Now...in my 30's, I am determined to throw out the rule book and design, construct, and climb my own ladder. It may take a few attempts since I don't like instruction manuals but that it the fun of life. So your hub to you may have been about the walking relation to writing, or the swapping of an addiction to another, but to me-and many others...It is applicable to growth in life.

    Thanks again for the morning inspiration and the sudden urge to go grab a poetry book!

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @faythef

    Faythe...what a lovely name and a unique spelling!

    Thank you for joining me for in this walk today.

    When I started my walking campaign on the first day of the year, it was so very difficult. Less than three months later, I'm almost surprised when I find myself back home. It almost seems like the time stood still. I try not to look at my watch until I am almost at the finish line, and often, I am surprised at how far I've walked. Walking gives my brain a thorough spring cleaning, and I am left wondering why I ever thought the best entertainment in my life was what I saw on the boob tube. There is absolutely nothing as spectacular as the panoramic IMAX screen of God's creation.

    I appreciate you and your positive comments today. Welcome back anytime!

    Joe

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    Faythe F. 4 years ago from USA

    Walking clears my head of muddy thoughts....it is a great stress reliever..beneficial to my over all health/weight....great article

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @torrilynn

    Good afternoon, my friend, and I'm delighted that you stopped by to share in the experience. Yes, you hit the nail on the head about walking being such a great stress-reducer. Stress has always been around, but sadly, it seems, the greater man's advances, the lesser his ability to cope effectively with all the changes. It's refreshing to know that we don't have to employ fancy means or spend a lot of money to cope with and relieve the stress. It's all about getting back to basics, and you can't get much more basic than walking.

    Thank you, my friend, for sharing your uplifting comments. My very best to you!

    Joe

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    torrilynn 4 years ago

    i feel that walking may help you to relieve stress and to get

    away from the fast pace of reality and constantly worrying about bills

    money food and etc. when you are walking your mind is clear and therefore

    you are able to create more ideas and to think more. really great hub.

    Voted up and shared.

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Rebekah!

    I did indeed treat myself to your absolutely marvelous hub about presence. Yes, I hope that anyone who might be reading these words will rush on over to your profile page, soak in the heartfelt encapsulation of who you are and what you believe in, and read your hub about presence as well as many of your other offerings.

    Thank you so very much for your thoughtful and spot-on comments and for the loving aura you bring to this literary community. Here's to further mindful sharing with you in everything that's presence-oriented.

    Joe

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @pstraubie48

    I am delighted to have written this piece and that you found it enjoyable. Because of your visit, I thus had the joy of perusing your profile page and finding the wonderful gem regarding your grandson's health issues. I hope that anyone who might read my words here will be compelled to read your hub tribute to your grandson. You put the grand in the loving title of grandma.

    Thank you so much for gracing my hub with your presence and participation. Welcome back anytime, my friend!

    Joe

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @kashmir56

    Tom, it's always a delight to hear from you. Thank you so much for reminding me that when I walk, a part of me embraces the wonderful connections cultivated here on HubPages...that there's amazing individuals like you that I just can't wait to interact and share my new discoveries with as well as hear about what's going on in your lives. To me, these are the real and lasting payouts on HubPages. Have a wonderful today and a great and memorable week to come! Aloha, my New England friend!

    Joe

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    Thomas Silvia 4 years ago from Massachusetts

    Hi my friend your walking is becoming has impressive as your writing is. I have enjoyed reading your articles and think you are a great and clever writer. I have enjoyed reading this hub and enjoyed reading these quotes from books you have read and that have inspired you. I'm glad to hear you traded in your couch potato clothing for your super-hero sweats, it make proud to know you and have you has a friend. Be well super-hero !

    Vote up and more !!! Sharing !

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    Hi, Karen!

    Yes, Mr. Thoreau and his mentor, Mr. Emerson, are historical neighbors of yours...with Massachusetts being only a couple of hours or so from Connecticut. Back in their day, Walden Pond must have been even more beautiful and inspirational for both aspiring and established writers.

    Your region must be breathtaking, Karen, especially during the transitional periods from one season to another. I wish you good health and godspeed as you participate in the rawness of life during your walks. As always, I am so grateful for your presence and sharing of comments in my hubs.

    Aloha!

    Joe

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @bdegiulio

    A phenomenal thing I'm discovering is that--having covered these routes on foot, and thus experiencing the various landmarks close up and more intimately--the same distances that once appeared longer when driving are now perceived to be shorter. Yes, Bill, for those of us who work at a desk, the walks and runs are the few throwbacks we have left to man's infant history. Thank you for stopping by to share in this experience. Have a great week ahead, my friend!

    Joe

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    rebekahELLE 4 years ago from Tampa Bay

    I enjoyed reading this wonderful essay about walking. I immediately thought about Thoreau's essay titled Walking, which is one of my favorites. I think walking clears our mind and allows us to simply experience the joy of being present in our everyday life, (what other life do we have? It seems too many are waiting for this new life to suddenly happen.) I love some of your lines, very beautiful. I generally don't mention my hubs while posting on another hub, but I think you might enjoy one of mine about presence. I describe what I see while walking. Cheers to you for a well-written hub about one of the joys of life which costs nothing!

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    Bill De Giulio 4 years ago from Massachusetts

    Two 10 mile walks in one week! Joe, you are kicking some serious butt. I really enjoyed this hub and the photos along your walk are beautiful. No wonder you just keep on going :) I find that long walks or runs really help to clear my mind and I actually come up with many of my hub topics while I'm out walking or running. I sit at a desk all day at work so I relish my time outside on my journey's. Keep up the great work.

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    Karen Hellier 4 years ago from Georgia

    First let me say your writing always surprises and delights me. Love this and all the references to Dylan Thomas and Henry David Thoreau, one of my personal favorites. And I also love the 5th picture of the Blue Mountains. You are fortunate that you such beauty to view as you walk. I applaud you for an amazing sharing of your mind and a fantastic hub which includes deep thoughts, beautiful pictures and meaningful quotes.

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    Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

    Great hub. Walking walking does all that you say. It speaks to my soul...all that I see and feel as I walk along. I can so relate to the early bird too.

    Enjoyed reading this...I will be back.

    Sending Angels to you today :)ps

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @xstatic

    Jim, I really appreciate your unique and uplifting comments. You picked up on my frustration with the entire SEO conglomeration and how it interferes with the pure writing process that we baby boomers grew up with. The walking, Thoreau's statements, and the sentiments of the gifted writers helped me express what I really have been wanting to say for a long time. Behind the scenes, the research that I conducted taught me a lot as well as underscored my preference for writing freely.

    Thanks again, Jim, for making such relevant and sincere connections with a fellow writer and his work.

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    Hawaiian Odysseus 4 years ago from Southeast Washington state

    @wetnosedogs

    Thank you for your loyal visitation and support, WND! No, that was not a face...merely, a reflection from the sun. I am such an amateur photographer. I was actually walking east in the early morning and did not think anything about pointing a camera in that direction. I should have waited until I was on the other side of the tree to take a picture from the opposite direction.

    The weather's been very nice, and whenever I have my camera along, I try to take some new shots. I'm really enjoying the walking, and every now and then, I see other walkers as well as joggers and cyclists and take time to greet them.

    Thanks for stopping by, and I look forward to checking out your next hub!

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    Jim Higgins 4 years ago from Eugene, Oregon

    There are not enough buttons to push for this wonderful hub, though I pushed all I could find. " I neither chew bamboo with the Panda nor slide on the ice with the Penguin." This is like something out of John Lennon! Your walking, your meditations on walking are creating huge strides in your writing and this one is evidence of that. The quotes you use (by some of my favorite writers) illustrate and enhance your point.

    Truly, this is one of your best, Joe!

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    wetnosedogs 4 years ago from Alabama

    Hawaii,

    First I need to ask before I think I did and didn't or it slips my mind-- in that second picture, there is a face reflecting behind that tree. Am I right or just making something more than something is?

    Twice in a week, ten miles! Wow, that is a great accomplishment.

    And you are getting to be quite a book reviewer with the thoughts and quotes that come from books that have inspired you.

    Fantastic pictures along with a fantastic walking hub.