A Walk With No Destination

I walk Duke for miles, getting out away from traffic and housing, into the countryside as far as I can. I like the relative quiet of nature, it’s where I go to figure things out.

A lot of people define themselves by what they’re opposed to. I watch with equanimity at the arguments and provocations online, glad that I am no longer embroiled in it.

I used to be, mistaking outrage and anger for achievement and activism. I let go of it about a year ago, because the writing felt more authentic, more of a purpose that I could reinvent myself around.

I enjoy being a man. I’ve dealt with the wounds that I’ve suffered, accepted the drives and appetites that I used to struggle against and I revel in certain parts of it. Walking my dog is one of them.

I like to lift heavy weights, the struggle, the burning sensation of lactic acid in my muscles, the solidity of me and the strength that I carry. Even my voice sounds different, gruffer and deeper after I’ve lifted.

I could talk about the patriarchy, but I won’t. I won’t sell out my fellow men to gain favour with women, because we’re all individuals with varying degrees of damage and trauma. We survive but we don’t do so unscathed.  I accept the things that have happened and forgiven the injuries I’ve done, and asked forgiveness for what I have done.

I don’t apologise for who I am, only what I’ve done. I didn’t choose to be white or heterosexual, so I won’t choose to conduct the grief and pain of others that manifests into a strain of activism.  I listen to the experiences of others and show them compassion but I don’t demonise anyone for who they are, but what they do.

I think about how the trees look like the veins or nerves of living things, how the seasons change each visit here and the realisation that at 11/12, Duke won’t be here for much longer. A dog’s love is eternal if you show it basic affection and we go far and wide.

So, when you ask a man who has walked a dog what he did and he says ‘nothing’ smile in understanding that he’s conquered worlds in his head.


One thought on “A Walk With No Destination

  1. I don’t walk a dog, but I walk myself (race training) many miles and I know the peace and conquer that takes place on those walks.

    Men and women aren’t so different, even in our opposites. Where you lift weights and feel the deepening of your voice, I curl my hair and hear the rising of mine. Where you let go of your anger to feel more authentic, I did as well!

    We are as alike as we are different. It is very interesting to see masculinity in this light though, Matt. Thank you for sharing!


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