We all walk. You walk. I walk. Although I am not walking now, but very soon I will walk, I will walk over to the kettle and make myself a cup of tea. Some walk quicker than others, some have a strange walk, some a funny walk, some of us have a serious walk, some march, stride, saunter, glide. Some walks are coquettish and some walks are so supercilious. You could be walking while reading this, you could be wishing you were walking, you could even now walk away. Walking the act is a paradox. Walking is the greatest act of man but also the most mundane. A simple pleasure is walking the streets and pretending that you are a flâneur or a walk through the countryside while reciting poetry. Walking is prose, walking is poetry, walking is that great song that keeps playing over and over again in your head. Some walk with their belly out in front, some walk without shoes but I don’t recommend it, the streets are full of crap now, some walk but have nowhere to walk to. I had just started to walk and that day I didn’t want to walk I wanted to watch the television. The house was quiet; the debris had been cleaned up. I lie to myself and tell myself that I remember reading this: The National Film Board of Canada presents, but there is no way I could have made sense of the shapes I mean I must have been two maybe three. I must have watched the cartoon on our first colour television. I remember the shape that turned out to be Present was red. After the miracle of reading the music started and I watched a blob metamorphose in a man and start to walk. The cartoon has no pretence to Darwinism this is me trying too hard. And so for five minutes I watched a cartoon about walking, there was no ghost, no Scooby-Do, no Mighty Mouse, no Thunder Cats, no Danger Mouse, there was no talking, no action, no chasing, I wasn’t scared out of my wits, I wasn’t confused, I didn’t laugh. I just watched people walking and it was the greatest thing I had ever seen. Now I see the nudity but back then that sort of thing just passed me by. À la recherche du temps perdu is all about walking, I have followed in the footsteps of Bloom and there are those that dream of waking the Via Dolorosa. This is me the cartoon that I watched in my old house had nothing to do with such things it was simply about the joys of walking and this is why it has stuck with me to this day, growing in influence, a fecund of inspiration. The drawings are immaculate, the animation truly breathtaking, the music mellifluous married to the images. Whenever I need a little joy in my life I go back and watch Ryan Larkin’s Walking.
Paul Kavanagh’s ‘The Killing of a Bank Manager‘ is out now, priced £7.99/$12.99.