Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The Walking Reading Woman


I just saw her - the walking reading woman, I call her. She lives in my neighborhood, and for the past almost 30 years I've paid little attention to her eccentricities. I've been too busy raising kids, tending to the dog, doctors appointments, homework, fencing practice, dances lessons. The drill. But now that the kids are grown, I see things in my environment more closely, with a keener eye. And so when I spied her this morning: her hair roped into a single, think braid, with one hand holding a book out in front of her, reading intently as she walked at a brisk pace, I felt compelled to record the moment.

I've often heard of people who do mental activities better when they are in motion. The eminent late physicist Richard Feynman used to say riding a bike helped me to figure out complex problems. Einstein always wondered why he got his best ideas while shaving. And Steven Spielberg has said that inspiration comes to him when he is driving on the freeways of Los Angeles. 

So movement enhances thinking. My son used to fiddle with things while solving math problems. When I finally realized this was actually helping him, I refrained from telling him to stop fidgeting. 

I don't know how she manages to avoid tripping while walking and reading at the same time. As for me, I've got some work to do in this moving and thinking activity - first I have to perfect the art of walking of chewing gum :))

11 comments:

  1. I never thought that Steven Spielberg and I would be kindred spirits - not that I drive on any freeways but just driving seems to help. My son, too, constantly fidgets with a pencil when he is doing his homework. It drives me nuts but perhaps it does help him concentrate.

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    1. It drove me nuts that my son fidgeted with stuff while he was doing homework until I understood that it was actually helping him concentrate, so hang in there with him!

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  2. my mind wanders a bit during a run, and I've gotten some good ideas there... not so much walking though, because I'm too busy looking around at stuff. Is that b+w picture the Victorian version of folks walking about looking at their I-phones? Looks just as dangerous

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    1. Actually the Victorian lady may be holding an iPad or an e-reader ;))

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  3. As I suspected, walking while reading can lead to interesting "trips."

    Blessings and Bear hugs!

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  4. I like to start my writing days with exercise, either a solitary dog walk or swimming laps, so that I can compose my ideas in my head. I don't think I could walk and read at the same time unless it were an audio book.

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    1. Me too Sarah - I'd trip before you knew it.

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  5. I could not walk and read at the same time!

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    1. Me neither Ola - one too many things to keep track of at once!

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    2. Neither could I… I'm sure I'd end up in front of a bus ;-)

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