Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Strides

After a spell of lovely sunshine it suddenly rained hard and then dried up again just a quickly. The light that remained was quite piercing (very, according to the light meter) and everything was contrasty. The man in the shot is a bit of a reprise of a similar one from some months ago. On that occasion a woman was walking the opposite way in the same fashion. I felt as if I had redressed the gender balance - literally. But it occurred to me that pedestrians in the Pembroke Road never saunter or linger, preferring to stride purposefully along. Perhaps because there are no shops or maybe because it's a very definite strip, they adopt a certain gait suited to the urban terrain. The leg is very much about social relationships - in order to physically meet with another the leg is vital. Yet the leg is employed in different ways - running, loping, or just walking - not to mention ambling. Shakespeare even speaks of children creeping unwillingly to school! This person is striding and there is something measured about this kind of walk. The person takes temporary ownership of the path as he passes.