Today I practiced martial arts in my room for an hour or after feeling stressed about some money and work things I had(still need) to deal with. Starting to reach a point where I felt less energetic, I decided to stop practicing and go for a walk to the end of the driveway and back. It stretches about a quarter mile and has gravel all over it. I have a goal to run full speed up and down it with no shoes on before the end of the summer, so I take some oppurtunities to go walking on it. I've read about foxwalking, setting the front foot down before putting any weight on it and from what I put together, sort of shifting the weight of your body to the front one. I thought walking on rocks meant building up enough callous to not be bothered by all the tiny stabs of my feet pressing around variying shaped and sharpened rocks, but today I thought I'd take more of a foxwalking approach. I tried feeling the rocks with my feet like reaching out to pet something or examine it's texture, but firmly. This made me notice the landscape of rocks across the bottom of my footscape. That's how it felt. Like my feet had a landscape of their own made of skin and muscle and bone and every time I stepped I let the rocks leave an impression on me, literally. As I kept walking I found that I could increase my speed and feel many rocks quickly. Feeling them let me move quickly over them connecting each step, but only for tiny moments could I feel each rock's shape and texture pressing into me, changing me, strengthening me.
I do this sometimes because I want to make myself stronger and I guess more receptive to what I encounter physically. Also you kind of have to focus through the while thing or you stumble across them squinting away from the sharp stabs So going barefoot on rocks makes a good activity to complement martial arts. I've read about Tom Brown Jr.'s encounters with speaking stones and wondered how does he hear them? It doesn't seem so strange, just a very deep kind of connection for something people normally treat like things in a "everyday no big deal" sort of way. Some people like my dad love rocks. He says he looks for different shapes and interesting features. Sometimes specific and others just catch his eye. What does someone need to listen for to hear them? How does one speak with that which seems not to make a sound without hitting against something else? Maybe touching them with our feet and trusting them to carry us forward is a stepping stone towards that goal.