>>"And I remembered that’s why I never built a good meditation practice or went to therapy. Because I had writing and music and walking and they have always been enough."

Funny you should say that about music. That's going to be the focus of a future season of my newsletter. Well, I guess I know what we're talking about when I have the honour of interviewing you!

Also, a thing I have learned from many super-musical friends is: when someone tells you how good they are as a musician, it's information that's less than useless - either they're FANTASTIC and they're self-deprecating with the same pressure they've exerted on their skill to make it shine, or they're SUPER-AWFUL and the bottom end of the Dunning-Kruger graph is making an all-singing, all-dancing appearance. So, I'm taking your protestations of not being good at the harp with exactly the right pinch of salt.

>>"Walking never gives answers, I say to people often; but it is always *an* answer."

This has been bouncing round my head for the last few days. It feels like a ruckus in there. A really good and important one...


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Because of construction I've had to walk in town more this spring, and after 3 years of being freaked out by OTHER PEOPLE, it's nice to return to the small pleasantries of running into people on the trail. There's an older guy, who like me has some creaky joints, and we had a nice long chat the other day about the eagle's nest and our concern about the ditch work and was it going to endanger their tree. There are people I see but just nod to, and I keep running into my friend Debbie, and it's been lovely to have a chance to catch up. Even Hank-dog, who can be aggressive, is getting better about passing other dogs. I can really see my mental health deteriorate when I can't get a walk, and a nice quite place by some running water to say the Heart Sutra every morning.

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Music. I don’t know why I haven’t even been listening to music of late. I might get a record player and start listening to my old albums.

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May 14, 2022·edited May 14, 2022Liked by Antonia Malchik

I'm very late to catch up with these last ones and had something to say about Rolfe from The Sound of Music, but that's already three weeks ago so maybe another time.

I miss the identity of feeling like a musician. I took just enough piano as a kid that I can still kind of sightread and work out tunes by ear. I was a decent French horn player in high school and college. But the bar got too high and at a certain point you just move on to other things.

What I really miss though, is a world in which many of us listened to the same music together, on the radio or on the stereo, the new album release as a social event, the new favorite song as a soundtrack and emotional resource for our daily activities. Sure, there's great music out there as always, and musicians all over the place. But most of us listen alone now, or not at all. And what we do hear in public, together, is either oldies or product. What does this do to a society, when the music we share is mostly dead?

Walking, unlike music, is practical. But it's like music in that (not to ignore disability) humans were born to do it, and it's equally valuable being done for its own sake.

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May 14, 2022Liked by Antonia Malchik

There are many reasons why I love walking with her, but intimacies aside, I love that she walks with her nose. Because of ber, I think more about who all passed by during the night, or how dirt must not always smell the same.

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May 13, 2022Liked by Antonia Malchik

I think walking is why God invented dogs or visa versa. Either way, walking in the woods with Polly never fails to feel godly. We have ospreys floating above.

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Thank you, Nia! Solvitur ambulando! I started walking to work when the pandemic started, and that daily 1.75 mile commute each way has become something I love in all weathers. It's a de facto antidepressant, antianxiety med, and just ... fun.

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