Dorothy walking from Kendal to Grasmere and Grasmere to Keswick,
a mere 33 miles, from Alfoxden to Lynmouth and back again for the sake
of a landscape, an internal painting, refining in brushstrokes a new form
of breathing. She could breathe again, and wrote it up, notational: March 30:
Walked I know not where. March 31: Walked. April 1: Walked by moonlight.
Walked till blind. Walked by wind. Walked into time. Hunkered woman,
dove-shaped as the hand takes on the size and shape of a bird across
the pages of a journal: Walked in silence. Walked inside. And was neither
heard nor herded, although I sensed the gathering forces trying to gather up
the indeterminate group of all things headed forward. I will sort them.
William in his happiness without a cloud owed it all
and from it came a life of living William said
to these unbeautiful legs I owe the fact that I am lost
and though have walked almost 200,000 miles I owe
my life and will gladly pay its weight in cloud. For whom
there was no difference to walk simply was to write and
vice-versa. Rhythm as a mode of sight in walking saw
with faceted eye and the colors all on the inside—for instance
he opened his hand and there in the palm the road
walked alone and someone fell into step as he glided off once
again there is no him
before a strong wind the colors deepen the greens sinking
even diving and the farther he walked the deeper it went
seven miles just to get the mail and another fifteen to meet
a friend for tea.
And the writing itself must be a figuration of the walk itself, which
should wander unruling the paper and thus all the inventions that
order the world—the classification of the plants and animals—all this
in William’s hand written in a crossed letter as one would
shadow a favorite acre as he walked up and down the path
in his garden, calling it a journey left behind.