I make skeletons that are able to walk on the wind, so they don't have to eat... eventually I want to put these animals out in herds on the beaches, so they will live their own lives.
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I make skeletons that are able to walk on the wind, so they don’t have to eat… eventually I want to put these animals out in herds on the beaches, so they will live their own lives.

-Theo Jansen

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...I shall let [Anne] Wallace put the case herself, at what I think is necessary length:'As travel in general becomes physically easier, faster, and less expensive, more people want and are able to arrive at more destinations with less unpleasant awareness of their travel process. At the same time the availability of an increasing range of options in conveyance, speed, price, and so forth actually encouraged comparisons of these different modes...and so an increasingly positive awareness of process that even permitted semi-nostalgic glances back at the bad old days...Then, too, although local insularity was more and more threatened...people also quite literally became more accustomed to travel and travellers, less fearful of 'foreign' ways, so that they gradually became able to regard travel as an acceptable recreation. Finally, as speeds increased and costs decreased, it simply ceased to be true that the mass of people were confined to that circle of a day's walk: they could afford both the time and the money to travel by various means and for purely recreational purposes...And as walking became a matter of choice, it became a possible positive choice: since the common person need not necessarily be poor. Thus, as awareness of process became regarded as advantageous, 'economic necessity' became only one possible reading (although still sometimes a correct one) in a field of peripatetic meanings that included 'aesthetic choice'.'It sounds a persuasive case. It is certainly possible that something like the shift in consciousness that Wallace describes may have taken place by the 'end' (as conventionally conceived) of the Romantic period, and influenced the spread of pedestrianism in the 1820s and 1830s; even more likely that such a shift was instrumental in shaping the attitudes of Victorian writing in the railway age, and helped generate the apostolic fervour with which writers like Leslie Stephen and Robert Louis Stevenson treated the walking tour. But it fails to account for the rise of pedestrianism as I have narrated it.

-Robin Jarvis

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(I know, it's a poem but oh well).Why! who makes much of a miracle? As to me, I know of nothing else but miracles, Whether I walk the streets of Manhattan, Or dart my sight over the roofs of houses toward the sky, Or wade with naked feet along the beach, just in the edge of the water, Or stand under trees in the woods, Or talk by day with any one I love--or sleep in the bed at night with any one I love, Or sit at table at dinner with my mother, Or look at strangers opposite me riding in the car, Or watch honey-bees busy around the hive, of a summer forenoon, Or animals feeding in the fields, Or birds--or the wonderfulness of insects in the air, Or the wonderfulness of the sun-down--or of stars shining so quiet and bright, Or the exquisite, delicate, thin curve of the new moon in spring; Or whether I go among those I like best, and that like me best-- mechanics, boatmen, farmers, Or among the savans--or to the soiree--or to the opera, Or stand a long while looking at the movements of machinery, Or behold children at their sports, Or the admirable sight of the perfect old man, or the perfect old woman, Or the sick in hospitals, or the dead carried to burial, Or my own eyes and figure in the glass; These, with the rest, one and all, are to me miracles, The whole referring--yet each distinct, and in its place.To me, every hour of the light and dark is a miracle, Every cubic inch of space is a miracle, Every square yard of the surface of the earth is spread with the same, Every foot of the interior swarms with the same; Every spear of grass--the frames, limbs, organs, of men and women, and all that concerns them, All these to me are unspeakably perfect miracles.To me the sea is a continual miracle; The fishes that swim--the rocks--the motion of the waves--the ships, with men in them, What stranger miracles are there?

-Walt Whitman

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Oh I could be out, rollicking in the ripeness of my flesh and others’, could be drinking things and eating things and rubbing mine against theirs, speculating about this person or that, waving, indicating hello with a sudden upward jutting of my chin, sitting in the backseat of someone else’s car, bumping up and down the San Francisco hills, south of Market, seeing people attacking their instruments, afterward stopping at a bodega, parking, carrying the bottles in a paper bag, the glass clinking, all our faces bright, glowing under streetlamps, down the sidewalk to this or that apartment party, hi, hi, putting the bottles in the fridge, removing one for now, hating the apartment, checking the view, sitting on the arm of a couch and being told not to, and then waiting for the bathroom, staring idly at that ubiquitous Ansel Adams print, Yosemite, talking to a short-haired girl while waiting in the hallway, talking about teeth, no reason really, the train of thought unclear, asking to see her fillings, no, really, I’ll show you mine first, ha ha, then no, you go ahead, I’ll go after you, then, after using the bathroom she is still there, still in the hallway, she was waiting not just for the bathroom but for me, and so eventually we’ll go home together, her apartment, where she lives alone, in a wide, immaculate railroad type place, newly painted, decorated with her mother, then sleeping in her oversized, oversoft white bed, eating breakfast in her light-filled nook, then maybe to the beach for a few hours with the Sunday paper, then wandering home whenever, never-Fuck. We don't even have a baby-sitter.

-Dave Eggers

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I make my way back whistling. Gerry nods towards Mrs Brady who is standing beside the trolleys.Morning, Mrs Brady, I say cheerfully.I push her provisions out to the car.Things are something terrible, she says. You can't trust anybody.No.It's come to a sorry pass.It has.There's hormones in the beef and tranquillizers in the bacon. There's men with breasts and women with mickeys. All from eating meat.Now.I steer a path between a crowd of people while she keeps step alongside.Can you believe it - they're feeding the pigs Valium. If you boil a bit of bacon you have to lie down afterwards. Dear oh dear.Yes, I nod.The thought of food makes me ill.The pigs are getting depressed in those sheds. If they get depressed they lose weight. So they tranquillize them. Where will it end?I don't know, Mrs Brady, I say. I begin filling the boot. That's why I started buying lamb. Then along came Chernobyl. Now you can't even have lamb stew or you'll light up at night! I swear. And when they've left you with nothing safe to eat, next thing they come along and tell you you can't live in your own house.I haven't heard of that one, Mrs Brady.Listen to me. She took my elbow. It could all happen that you're in your own house and the next thing is there's radiation bubbling under the floorboards.What?It comes right at you through the foundations. Watch the yogurts. Did you hear of that?No.I saw it in the Champion. Did you not see it in the Champion?I might have.No wonder we're not right.I brought the lid of the boot down. She sits into the car very decorously and snaps her bag open on her lap. She winds down the window and gives me 50p for myself and £1 for the trolley.

-Dermot Healy

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Woman lost (skin deep) like a damn fine thread in the fireWoman of the world caught up in your black machinationsI was a woman who cried alone at night, who gave it all away when she saw the good heart of the man insideWoman caught standing up; her open parts are broken -Someone's armour broke right through, it was you, youFor some reason I've been thinking about you, your lightToday, you poured out all the tension, the ego undergroundHibernating inside my heart. I was so close to it, to the flicker Of love in a lonely street and I turned my head and walkedAway from the flame in your arms. As I put away the fun inA house of fight I came across you and a mechanism inMy brain shifted chemically, walls caved in like the cadenceIn your words and I was lost in the darkness. Even now inMiddle age I remember when desire was a popular drugAnd everyone was selling it but I don't live to explore to beAble to illuminate the proof of my existence, live to burnVicariously though the diamond mouth of sleeping stars.From so much love, pictures of death arrived in black andWhite photographs and you're perfect, you always were -Illusions have no flaws; they're dangerous beings, smoke.Could I take the moon back and still live with my greatExpectations of nostalgia, laughter, tears and suffering -But they are all a part of me not the people of the stars,Long dead videotape, the past has stained the symphonyOf my soul (like the wind through the trees) throughoutMe finding myself, my two left feet as a female poetThe warning was there of the noise of eternity, signs That said, don't anger the sea, you have an ally in her.When men grow cold listen to their stories and bask inThe glory of their genuine deaths, their winters, putThem away so you can read them like the newspaper.Once in a while you can go back to where you stoodIn youth with your afternoon tea, the sun of God in ourEyes - I am that kind of woman who lives in the past

-Abigail George

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