The language of walking

I used to have a heartbeat of approximately 60 beats per minute. It was like a clock. I used to like that. It gave me the feeling I was in tune with time. Sometimes it beated faster, now and then slightly slower but usually it was 59, 60, 62.

Lately my heart started to beat slower.

Could it be the walking? I know I once wrote that walking makes time disappear. It is true. Or at least to me it is. So it makes sense that now I figured that out, my heart needs a different rhytm. Needs to slow down. Be out of time. 51, 54, 53.

I walked with one of my old Walking Heroes last month. I made notes of all the important things he said. I didn’t write down much. We mainly walked. In silence. Slow. As slow as 75 meters per hour. We walked from one wall to another one in two hours. “How can somebody be a historian?” he had said earlier.

He didn't know that I studied history for almost seven years. That I can officially call myself Master. Master of what? Time?

Catching time. Impossible. But I wore the watch he gave me to be able to measure the two hours down to the second. Measure time to measure distance. I succeeded. In a way.

It was a beautiful exercise.

Can you measure a life? We measure it in years, in achievements, in what we reached. We say “he was only 37” or “her life was just about to begin”. But how can a life be about to begin when it is about to end?

The slower your heart beats, the longer you might live. The more you use it in a good way, train it, the slower it beats.

I’ve been using it a lot lately, in many ways. It slowed down. I might live longer. But longer than what? Than whom? Than the other me?

In Spanish there are two words for the verb “to be”. There is “estar” and there is “ser”. One is used for permanent states, the other for non-permanent. If you would only say “I am.” you would translate it “Soy.”. It indicates basic characteristics or origin, whereas “estoy” is used to describe location, situation, position. Sometimes I rather feel myself as if “Estoy.” As if I could be anywhere, anybody, anything. Anytime.

I started learning Spanish only a few weeks ago. I had a vague idea of moving to Spain possibly. Doing Permaculture somewhere in the mountains. So I went to do a Permaculture Design Course near Girona, I walked through the mountains to a village where I once was happy, I danced in Barcelona. A friend gave me the soundfiles of a language course by Michel Thomas of whom I had never heard but apparently he survived several concentration camps where learning how to block out pain while being tortured unveiled the potential of the human mind to him. He used this experience to build his new method of teaching languages, a very succesful method. 
I like learning Spanish with Michel Thomas. And it makes me somewhat sad that we need extreme situations to learn wonderful things, but I'm afraid there is no beauty without ugliness. Some things can never be changed. And therefore history will always repeat itself. And the historian, if he exists, is doing the same thing. Like a clock.

It is good to learn a new language. To think about words. I like having different possibilities of being. And I realise that there is a word that has been troubling me. It is another verb. The verb “to have”.
To have. As in “possess”. Have to. As in “must”.
We have a lot of things. And we have to do a lot of things.

Tener. Tener que.

Is there a language where this word doesn’t exist? I’d consider moving to the country where they speak it. But I guess I’d have to forget about all the other languages I know. And there aren’t many ways to forget.

I wonder if walking is one of them.

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