Robert MacFarlane

The Old Ways

“I picked a trail and headed out, following those tracks to see where they might lead.”

Robert MacFarlane (b. 1976) writes (and studies and walks) at the intersection of landscape, humanity, and society. With generous, meditative writing he explores our intersection with mountains, wild lands, and in The Old Ways, paths and trails.

These are the paths that make us wander, gather, root and find ourselves. They are a measure of place and self, of land and rock. And most of all, they are the traces of those who lived and forged their own ways. The Old Ways is part historical writing, part geological appreciation, and throughout a journal of human movement.

MacFarlane also develops a joinery between footfall and cognition. One gets the idea that walking drives him both mentally and emotionally. As it has with many others like Vincent Van Gogh who found his artistic soul while walking about or New York artist Maira Kalman who walks the streets of her city as a way to see and notice others.