So I walk
In the midst of a long, hot summer, whilst enjoying it and being wide-eyed awake to why I have chosen to live in a Mediterranean climate, whilst day by day I can walk in the sun and bear a grateful smile back to it, and whilst I can spend most of my summer in a pair of Havaianas and almost be in disguise of my 100% British self under a five-month tan, I have been in the cupboard above my wardrobe where I keep my bags and my eyes have fallen on my backpack. And this makes me realise that it is always this time of year I am thinking of where I am going to pack off to next. It’s when I always have to decide, and this year, we have to decide. It lays there waiting patiently like a dog for his owner to pick up the lead to attach to his collar and go out for a walk.
When this happens I realise how I have to keep on moving. I can’t stand on ceremony and let it be. There is too much to see and do. My curiosity of this world will not let me sit in the sun with my book, some good tunes and a mojito, especially when I can take all of them with me and head off somewhere. My mind tells me I have no excuse.
So there is a journey plan. To get to the airport, to get on a plane, move between airports and hop on different flights, transfer here and there, maps and Lonely Planet a go-go. A trains, planes, and automobiles kinda life. And then Carpe Diem knocks on my mind’s door and says, ‘hey fella, don’t forget about me’.
And he has a pretty good point. He usually comes knocking as I leave the house every day after the first alarm call reminds me to get the hell outta bed. And it quietly stays by my side as I take those first few steps along my street and take in the morning air. And it is a reminder that at this time of year how much I like that feeling hitting me. It really is a wake-up call. These thirty minutes it takes me to walk to work I would not swap for any car to get there quicker and in comfort. It is easy to say when the sun is shining and the air is warming to the day s that it isn’t yet beating on you, but a gentle warm up to your gym session of a working day. I like this in winter too. I like the nip of cold to remind me of life and how to live it and keep away complacency. I can feel change in the air in this period, but I don't want to change this daily journey, wherever I may be.
So even as I start to plan my next backpacking adventure, I feel the need to stay in touch with the unplanned daily journey, the one to work every day. This is my time, my space, and I need it. Sometimes I can fill it with my trusty Ipod, when I tune in to the finer points of the music, the beat and the bassline, the piano melody and the guitar riff and really learn to appreciate what makes up the whole piece. Other times, or better said, many more times, I organise my mind. I try to focus and tune in to it like any bassline. I have to admit that here I can get lost. I can go in real deep. As I pass over the border to work, I sometimes forget to take out my passport because I am in my own world.
If you see me and I don’t see you, or I even seem to not acknowledge you, it is not out of ignorance so please forgive me. But I am in my time. I need to look after this private moment. I don’t need a dog collar and lead but I need to do this walk as if I was a four-legged friend. I need to move and think, because I know these things go together for me (hey, look at me, man do multi-tasking!). Sometimes when I write I have to get up, pick up my hockey stick and tap a ball around the house while I try and let the words find me instead of me trying to find them. It is my own radio dial to tune in to me.
The last couple of times I have been in London and on the tube at the start of end of a working day, I have been aware of people crammed next to you with distant faces transfixed in to nothing. People say how society has become indifferent to each other in places like this. We don’t seem to give two hoots about anyone else. But I say, just maybe it seems like we are all tuned in to our own space too. Maybe we are all in the Mind Library, where we are all there to read and dwell and think, and have to respect the quiet and keep ourselves to ourselves. A library is a communal non-communal place, if that makes any sense to you. If not a library then it can be my body's cargo area where I load and unload, the crane is non-stop.
The day is made up of many moments. And there are moments that you can just not live without. Moments that make you move, where they just won’t let you sit still. There are inspiring moments that I personally need, to be inspired to do something every day, even like yesterday where I somehow needed inspiration to pay a bill and change a contract…it shouldn’t be that way, but what can I say? I found that moment. Maybe it was a moment that gave me energy. All my blog posts here are moments in time; my time.
And this walk to work is one of those moments. We should all treasure our own moments to tune in to oneself, because this can help us to be with others, which at the end of the day, is what this world and this life is all about. I need to keep moving forward, hence I need to journey, my mind commands it. Not just by packing a bag and going on holiday, but in the everyday journeys I make. So I walk.
“The most dangerous thing to do is stand still.” – William Burroughs