Candid Dialogue: Walking The Landscape For Peace


Candid: revealed essence, authentic self, a captured moment of truth when the guard is down often when no one is looking. Revelations through walking. Open and honest truth. An inner glimpse. Candid conversation can lead to understanding and change.

Candid Moments

Often the best photographs of people are captured when their guard is down. Moments when they are fully focused. Moments when they may be stressed or challenged. First moments, first impressions, first meetings. Moments of expressed joy and delight. Equally moments of exhaustion, rest and repose.

Walk for Peace
Chance meeting and opportunity for a moments rest with pilgrims headed from Burgundy to Scotland. Ian and Judith revelling in the chance encounter.


In these moments the mask may still be worn such as the moments that we first meet someone but we can still get a glimpse and insight, maybe you may call it body language or a clue into the authentic core of a person.

The Art of Walking

This blog is about the art of walking and how it can stimulate dialogue, how it can resolve issues, solve problems, dissolve past barriers and energies.

Ambulando Solvitur

Each morning before we begin our daily pilgrimage to Jerusalem we stand together and repeat the aspiration of why we are walking. It reinforces our commitment to focus our thoughts throughout the day. The daily liturgy ends with, ‘ambulando solivitur – it will be solved by walking’.

Walking can become a powerful tool to open up our hearts to find our way both for inner peace and peace in our world.

Walking for Peace
The meeting of the Italian pilgrim headed towards Santiago de Compostela. Arthur confidently speaking in French with flowery expression. Arthur is a soldier, marching with great cheer despite hidden pain. A pure gentleman in every way.

 First Impressions

Along the journey we meet strangers and within moments we consciously and subconsciously gather our first impressions. The body speaks its own language that belies what the spoken word may be saying.

Facial expressions, body stance, the level of animation of people we meet – their body language is the universal language that crosses the barrier of spoken language.

A hearty smile reveals a lot about the character and life of the person you meet for the first time. The way they engage you with their eyes.

A few days ago we were guided through the forest by a big burly French huntsman. It was very clear that he had a big heart. He was generous with his time to help us and one could feel his zest and energy for life. It was quite clear that he was an honest man who lived a full life.

Big Picture Linking

First impressions are often big picture stuff in the sense that we pick up on subtle cues, and linking them together they give us a gross idea of who this person is, how they live their life, how there stories mould their view and how they live their life.

Walking for Peace
Friendly ladies at the Boulangerie in Tergnier where we bought our lunch for the day. No doubt they hadn’t had a whole bunch of pilgrims headed for Jerusalem enter their store before.


Some people have more awareness of their environment and pick up these cues of body language, expression and ‘aura’ of others easier than others. Some people are quite sensitive to the ‘energies of others’. When traveling this can be highly useful to quickly understand the motives of others to stay safe.

Candid Conversations

Walking longer distances as we are doing allows the opportunity for longer more candid conversations with others. As we traverse the landscape with each step there is a slow opening up through conversation of a person’s life. Walking allows a space that brings out stories and the walker’s inner truths.

Walking for peace
Judith and Denise chilling at a French cafe in Bruyeres-et-Montberault.

Traversing Through Conversing

The act of walking allows with each step with each word to traverse the landscape of one’s life. Walking side by side provides an environment for opening up.

Long  walks encourages a slow flowering, an opening up of heart, a revelation of depths, of softness, of vulnerability.

Just like an onion there may be many layers to peel through but the act of walking allows this gentle flowering, the slow opening up, this tender stripping back.

Walking for peace
Lynn sitting under a tree, a moment’s rest before lunch. Bois St Nicolas.

Bringing Up Stuff

Times of walking alone in silence is also very powerful to strip back those layers of life, of stories, of letting go of the past and energies that have held us bound. It provides an space for self examination.

The repetitive motion of walking creates weariness and fatigue, the perfect environment to ‘bring up stuff’. To regurgitate and chew the bitter cud held deep down in the depths of ourselves that we may have kept hidden sometimes for decades.

Candid Inner Dialogue

With no other distractions but simply putting one foot in the other the stuff that surfaces can be talked about. Not through an inner monologue but pure honest dialogue. We have the opportunity to have candid conversations with our inner self.

Long walks give us the ability for gentle yet critical self examination and the opportunity for healing.

Walking alone can bring up and reveal hidden or suppressed truths. These candid moments open up our soul, our core. Excuses and falsities melt away as we sweat away toxins under the blazing sun.

Walking for peace
Tim in a moment of blissful repose at lunchtime in Bois St Nicolas.

Walking It Off

How many of you have used the power of walking in your life?

An incident may have happened where you feel someone has wronged you and you become hot under the collar. You may have had an argument with a loved one, received an unflattering email or are greatly stressed.

Often a long walk can help us to ‘cool off’ and prevent us from inflaming a delicate situation, can stop us from rash actions like taking things in our own hands, hurling abuse or writing a nasty email.

Walking it out or walking it off can help us burn off the negative energy and open ourselves to new perspectives.

New Horizons

As we traverse the landscape of our lives burning away negativity we lighten the load so that we can walk towards new perspectives, experience new vistas of hope. Having walked through the forest of darkness, we reach the edge and look forward having let go of the past. Unlike Lot there is no looking back.

Walking the landscape for peace
Ian in a quiet moment of reflection. Ian is a very thoughtful and beautifully sensitive soul. Ian, in the ruins of Abbaye de Vaulclair, his last day of walking with us before returning home to the UK.

The Subversive Act of Walking

Simply walking is a subversive activity. It is gentle slow deliberate non-confronting, yet can be powerful and political. Walking creates a slow opening up for talking, for conversation.

A landscape can be traversed, explored, laneways walked down, fields ploughed through, bridges crossed, rivers forded, dark forests entered. Walking the landscape allows for new perspectives, ideas to be developed and discussed, new possibilities and horizons to open up.

Resolve, Solve, Dissolve

Talking is like walking. Dialogue gives the opportunity to traverse the landscape with openness. To find understanding, to reach middle ground together, to dissolve past grievances, to walk towards reconciliation and lasting peace.

Walking the landscape for peace
Steve – a gentle soul who drove us to our pick up and drop off points each day, and sourced and set up incredible spreads for lunch.

Redirecting Energy

Walking redirects and aligns energies. Energies can be used to create separation or in the case of walking side by side can create connection.

Walk The Talk

Walking gives the opportunity for people to walk in the same direction. Whether it be people walking in solidarity or rivals searching for new grounds of understanding.

Walking side by side creates an equal starting point. Walking gives the opportunity to walk towards the same destination.

Waking the landscape for peace
Ivor the driver – the earthy bee keeper Welshman extraordinaire who ferried us around and fed and watered us in the first two weeks of our journey.


Monologue oppresses. It stymies speech and expression. It prevents other viewpoints. Suppresses knowledge. Limits ability for change and freedom of speech.


Great change can only happen through open and equal exchange of thoughts and ideas. Through open and candid conversation.

Dialogue involves both listening and speaking.

Giving a platform for expression, becoming a respectful sounding board for listening creates openness and understanding.

Walking the landscape for peace
French gardener with cheeky grin and warm eyes we met while walking through a small village. We gave him a card to let him know what we are doing. We asked him if he wanted to join us but I think you know what the answer was 🙂

Just Walk

Walking to Jerusalem is about creating a conversation. It is about dialogue. It is about the power of walking to create solutions.

Amos Trust in their wisdom understood that this one walk will not solve all the problems in the Middle East that is wishful thinking. It will at least open up opportunities for greater awareness and dialogue to happen.

Open Up the Gates For Conversation

It also gives a voice to the oppressed. To use our privileged fortitude of being born in free countries to walk in solidarity with a people who have been silenced through occupation and military blockade.

Walking in solidarity we hope to open up the gates to conversation to help a people who’s avenues for free speech have been violently and systematically controlled. Walking together we can tear down the walls of fear, mistrust and oppression.

Walk for Peace

As we walk to Jerusalem for peace in Palestine we hope to create an environment for more level headed conversation and awareness to happen.

Awareness through walking can provide a podium for conversation to happen, for fear to be replaced by understanding and respect, to change the dialogue not through engaging in violence and suppression but through peaceful walking.

Walking Towards A Peaceful Future

There is a long walk ahead of us to Jerusalem and no doubt much learning. In our simple act of walking we hope that it may help those in the Holy Land to some day walk hand in hand side by side as equals walking in the same direction. Every little step counts.


What do you think?

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • Anne

    I’m loving the challenge of your words David……..they are searching out parts of me that need to be found. I see myself as a better listener than talker, but am starting to see that fear could be the reason for that – fear of being misunderstood and fear of betrayal …… be honest about those fears feels good……..thank you for your words.

    • David Cuschieri

      Thanks Anne for your comment. I’m glad that the blog is bringing up stuff. I’m finding that the physical act of walking brings up stuff that I thought was resolved and things that must have been long buried. Some days are physically challenging but the things that are coming up from the past have been my real challenge. I’m so grateful for the journey and appreciate your comments as hoping in some small way my journey may help others too.