Header image for Things Become Other Things — Available Now!

Walkers, have I got a walking book for you:

Things Become Other Things.

It’s a book about walking thousands of kilometers of the Kii Peninsula. About walking those old Kumano Kodō paths — but not the ones you probably know. It’s about talking with a thousand fishermen and farmers and kissa owners, about communing with the mountain fauna, about hopscotching around leeches. It’s about floods and tsunamis and the capricious fecundity of nature. It’s about walking through a hundred old villages, many gone or soon to be gone. It’s about whispering priests and suddenly-appearing rain-soaked Irish priests and foul-mouthed little kids. It’s about the life of one lost friend, decades back, and an ocean away.

This is a book where I’ve tried to distill why it is that I walk so much: Walking as a way to become who I wanted to become but didn’t know how to. Walking as a way to reflect on where it is that we come from. And walking as a way to bear witness to a certain grace visible only when you’re bored out of your skull, when you’ve been walking for weeks on end, and when you think you should just pack it up and go home. There, at that point of exhaustion, appears a little thing — a hello, the smallest gesture, something that becomes, yes, almost supernatural, spiritual in a way that is impossible to recognize amid the average day-to-day routine. Something you can only see in that elevated rhythm of the walk.

This is a book of those moments.

If you like my writing and photography, have an interest in Japan, walking, and banal adventure (the best kind), then I think you will love this book.

Things Become Other Things spread — concreted mountain photo

Things Become Other Things’ fine art edition is now on sale. Not only is it a great read, but it’s a gorgeous object: Offset printed on Heidelberg presses, with a cloth, foil-stamped illustrated cover, 56 photographs, 68 chapters, 240 pages — yes yes yes. This is a thing — something to hold and feel the softness of (so soft! that cover!), the little ridges of the debossed illustrations, the real heft of the whole. Printed and hand-bound here in Japan, I dare say it will delight the heck out of your mind, your fingertips, and your eyeballs.

This book is made possible by my membership program — SPECIAL PROJECTS. A huge thanks to all of you out there who are members. In manifestation of that thanks: Yearly / Lifetime members get big discounts on these books and prints. If you are already a member, you’ll have gotten an email with discount codes last night. If you’re not a member, you’ll get emailed the discounts the moment you join. Becoming a member is a way of voting: Yes, I want more of this in the world.

This fine art edition of Things Become Other Things has been two and half years in the making. That it’s now available is an event — for me — as surreal and bizarre as any. I can’t wait to get it to you. It starts shipping around December 6.

Thanks for your support,

Things Become Other Things back cover — concrete pylons in the ocean

Not subscribed to Ridgeline?
(A weekly letter on walking in Japan)