Friday, March 6, 2015

A couple of months ago, someone asked me if it was true that I had a book coming out. I said yes and went on to add that it was scheduled to be published in April and that the title was " The Man Who Learned to Walk Three Times". The person I was talking with was quiet for a moment and then asked "What's it about?" And I will admit that I was stumped. If the title was insufficiently self-explanatory than I had no idea what the phrase self-explanatory meant. It is truly an account of the three times I have learned how to walk.

But now, there is a blog with the same title and I am stuck with the same question my friend had. What's a blog called The Man Who Learned To Walk Three Times about? And why should you read the blog, if you can read the book and vice versa?  The reality is that the book and the blog share a title and that's about it.

So what can you expect?

Science, Sociology, Spirituality, Analysis, Humour, Observation, Photos, the odd interview, a stanza or two of poetry, a  few chords of music and stories, lots of stories.

In the book, I recount and reflect on three difficult times in my life, and what those repeated efforts to acquire the skill of walking meant to me and my family, in practical terms and psychologically, In the process of writing the book, my fascination with walking, a thing that has always bothered and perplexed me, grew, and my fascination and curiosity about walking continues to grow.

Walking is both the easiest thing a person does and the hardest thing imaginable. There is an old joke about learning to ride a bicycle and how you never forget. I never learned how to ride a bicycle, leg problems made it an activity fraught with potential problems, but if it is anything like learning to walk, you can forget and forgetting something as simple as walking opens up a whole universe of contemplation, reflection and speculation. How we learn, walking or anything, how we forget, what makes walking different and the same as any human physical activity, what impact does our difficulties with walking have on our day-to-day lives and other's perceptions of our day-to-day lives, what role does technology play in learning to walk, in maintaining the ability to walk, in re-acquiring the ability to walk or even replace it are all questions I will be tackling in this blog. I'll explore everything from side-walks to shoe design, braces to balance, canes to conundrums and everything in between.

The other thing this blog is about is the very process of writing and talking about the deeply intimate and deeply troubling situation of being less than perfect, being ill, being damaged. Nothing outside the norm truly ever escapes judgement, especially from strangers. Detailing one's medical history and personal problems can be raw, embarrassing, painful and simply a challenge. This is all especially true if you want to do more than be simply self-referential and self-absorbed. I am modest enough to accept that my story is my story but I also believe that talking about your own story in a sufficiently open manner can spread some light, however dim, on what I have learned about what it means to be.

If you'd like to subscribe, please do so, if you'd like to exchange thoughts, I'd love to hear from you.

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