Greta Garbo walking in Manhattan – 1974
“Every day she went on two walks: long meandering strolls that might take her up to the Museum of Modern Art or the Waldorf; walks for which she shod herself in tan or chocolate or cream suede Hush Puppies. … Often she went all the way to Washington Square and back, a loop of six miles, stopping to gaze in the windows of bookstores and delis, walking aimlessly, walking not as a means but as an end, an ideal occupation in and of itself.
‘When I stopped working, I preferred other activities, many other activities,’ she once said. ‘I would rather be outside walking than to sit inside a theater and watch a picture moving. Walking is my greatest pleasure.’ And again: ‘Often I just go where the man in front of me is going. I couldn’t survive here if I didn’t walk. I couldn’t be 24 hours in this apartment. I get out and look at the human beings.’”
– Olivia Laing, The Lonely City: Adventures in the Art of Being Alone, 2016
This is kind of beautiful. She was mega mutable – Gemini Rising, Sun and Mercury in Virgo, a Mars in Sagittarius.
In Ancient Greece, people like Aristotle and Co thought that the brain ONLY worked when people were in motion. And it’s true that daily, long walking practice – usually solitary – is endemic among successful creatives.
Charles Dickens was apparently an obsessive walker – he was Aquarius but madly mutable – Virgo Rising, Moon Neptune in Sagittarius, Venus Pluto in Pisces, Jupiter on Midheaven in Gemini.
Quick astrology lesson, if you are not doing the 99 Astro Hacks – having a strong planet like Jupiter on the public image/legacy point of the Midheaven and in wordy Gemini = enduring words.
My walking is of two kinds: one, straight on end to a definite goal at a round pace; one, objectless, loitering, and purely vagabond. In the latter state, no gipsy on earth is a greater vagabond than myself; it is so natural to me, and strong with me, that I think I must be the descendant, at no great distance, of some irreclaimable tramp.
Charles Dickens, The Uncommercial Traveller
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