Every once in awhile, this blog must be forgiven if it takes a break from writing up books of a high literary character and indulges in its author's odd private obsessions. This post is one of them.
What are parkour and freerunning? Well, fans of the recent film Casino Royale are probably already familiar with the opening sequence that made this gymnastic way of moving through the urban landscape famous. For those who haven't seen the film, you can think of this as a whole new way of getting around and relating to your city or town.
Okay--I am not really the ideal candidate to practice this discipline. I don't think I'll be doing backflips off three story buildings any time soon, for instance. But of course the primal place for all of us is always our imagination, and whether we can practice this in the urban landscape itself, or only in the far frontiers of our imaginations, this stuff is really cool. It's a shift in our thinking about city streets, city railings and city buildings to imagine owning these impersonal public structures with our personal stunts and feats. If you're young and athletic, you may be able to duplicate some of the moves demonstrated in this book. But even if you're not, and I believe this is actually the important part, you too can imagine the streets you live on in an entirely new way. Take a look at this book, or the movie Casino Royale for that matter, and try to picture yourself doing such stunts on the streets where you live. You will inhabit your own space on earth in an entirely new way if you do.
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