Sunday, 29 April 2012

Waiting for a train that never comes


Plymouth to Exeter

Map courtesy:

     Once again I’ve made the mistake of venturing out in the so called British summer without a rain jacket or an umbrella (colloquially called brolly) or any warm clothing for that matter. I should know by now to always dress for winter or have the supplies ready, just in case the weather changes, as it often does here. It’s a coincidence, or perhaps not, that only a couple of days ago I attended a concert by Amanda Shires, a country/folk singer who sang a song about a train, the Union Pacific not turning up.  Here I am, waiting patiently on a wind-swept station, Exeter St. Davids, with rain pelting down, waiting for the First Great Western train that never comes, or one that is severely delayed.  The railway company staff can’t stop apologising; every announcement starts with, “I’m sorry to announce..”. The whole problem started at Ivybridge, a town just outside Plymouth where due to strong winds a tree fell down, blocking the railway track. It being a Sunday, everything is taking longer than usual.  Some being are happy though. The sea gulls are having a blast. The sea is stormy, and its windy and grey. They always seem to be extra chirpy in such weather. All is well with them!


The scenic rail route just before arriving into Exeter

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Right Here, Right Now

On a recent day trip to Teignmouth (an inspirational place indeed), I had this thought come to me that if I can't achieve something that I'd like to, in the present moment or condition that I'm in, then it's almost impossible that I'll be able to achieve it in the future.  If I can't do it now, then what guarantee is there that I'll be able to do it in the future?  The only certainty that I have is of the here and now, nothing can be said with accuracy about what is to come.  Then what is the point of dreaming up something for the future if I'm not able to believe that I can live my dream now?

This came to me in a bit of a raw form as above; I felt that the thought made no sense.  I then had counter thoughts about why should one bother dreaming dreams at all, for surely not all of them can be made to come true in this instance, in the now as it were.  So if they wouldn't come true now, then according to the above logic, they wouldn't come true in the future too.  Thus there was no point to this thought.

I mulled on this further, and slowly came to realise that whatever one aspired for or dreamt of achieving was mainly to do with the feeling associated with the aspiration, dream or achievement.  The actual thing that fructified the achievement was a physical thing, i.e. a change in one's physical circumstances, such as place, job, finances, relationship (presence or absence of someone), possessions and so on.  The feeling that came out of such a change would make all the difference and thus would be life changing, hopefully bringing about a change in one's mental attitude and making the effort worthwhile.

Now that this had come to light, linking it with the here and now made sense.  It has been said before that in order to achieve a goal, the best tactic is to assume that you are already there, i.e. the goal has already been achieved.  This philosophy as I understand it now, has mainly to do with the feeling/attitude/awareness associated with achieving the goal, not so much with the physical attribute of the goal itself.  Thus, if one proceeds with the task of making their dream happen, the feeling that they already own the outcome should necessarily be adopted.  Working towards the goal with such a feeling makes all the difference in many ways.  There is already a feeling of lightness, enthusiasm, joy, peace and a sort of unattachment to the result.  Doing the work then allows you to enjoy the journey to the goal and totally removes the stress element of achieving the result.  The state of happiness that one envisions with one's dream whatever it may be, is already there.  Thus is it possible to achieve, right here, right now.

But hang on, it's not over yet.  From my own experience I know that although I have tried in the past to assume that I'm already at my goal, and have worked with the diligence and sincerity that it takes to reach the goal, it has not been physically achieved after much labour.  How can this happen?  In answer to my querie, I found this article that cleared the glitch ( .  It speaks about an inner resistance that one might have towards one's dream/aspiration that prevents one from achieving it.  For whatever reason, one may not feel deserving of the result, or may not even want it, even though externally one may work hard for it having adopted the attitude stated above.  With such resistance comes doubt, thus the total commitment needed for adopting the 'winner' attitude is not there.  The words by Goethe and W.H. Murray talk about commitment beautifully (  One has to be committed externally through physical effort and internally through the attitude.  I do believe that with such a combination, it is possible to achieve your goal right here and right now.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

A kind of traveller

There is a kind of traveller who travels around without needing a base to return to. Wherever he travels is his base; it’s where he wholly operates from, it’s where he lives in his physical entirety for the time that he is there. He travels with reckless abandon, with nothing to lose or gain; he travels for the sake of the travel, following his heartfelt instincts. When it’s time to move, he lets go of everything that may bind him down, and trusts that the Universe will bring new supplies, resources, opportunities and encounters for him to experience and benefit from in his new ventures.

Such a traveller wastes no time. He goes at a pace as slowly or quickly as is needed to accomplish the purpose of the travel. There is nothing wrong in travelling a great distance if it’s only to stay there for a short while. Equally, when all his travels are done, he may stay put in a place of his choice for the rest of his life. Such travel is purely about quality, it has nothing to do with quantity. With quality is meant the lesson to be learned, the experience to be had, the work to be done.

Thus, you may travel without roots, stumbling along and allowing serendipitous things to happen to you, or you may travel with a plan and yet allow amazing things to happen to you. You may travel all the while having an anchored base to return to, or you may finally travel back to your roots. Each of these types of travels may be experienced by you if you wish, and then it is left to you to decide which journey was the most liberating and most worthwhile.

Monday, 23 January 2012

On Sarongs & Throws

Or How to hide your mess when under-the-bed is no longer an option.

I have always been mystified by sarongs.  These Indonesian/Malaysian traditional wrap-around skirts are so colourful more than anything else, that I’ve always felt they would serve better as wall pieces or displayed as materials of art rather than a piece of clothing. My feeling came true recently when some friends announced their intent of visiting me at very short notice.  Delighted as I was to be seeing them, chaos reigned supreme in my room, and in my mind too upon receiving the news of their imminent arrival.  My mind went into auto-pilot mode and before I knew it, I was working at amazing speed, efficiently bundling clothing and books away into the closet and the book case respectively.  Narrow longitudinal gaps between the closet and the wall can be efficiently used to squeeze in things such as overcoats and the laundry basket.  At this moment I remembered my sarongs.  I quickly dug them out from the closet and threw them over the piles of things that were seen from the in-between gaps that had been used as storage space. Open cupboards could also be covered by draping their front with a sarong.  I immediately regretting having discarded a rug that I had bought years ago from a shop called South Of The Border Imports.  It was a Mexican style rug woven in bright colours, rugged and huge as a rug should be.  Not only would it have adequately done the job of covering up things, but it would have made a bean-bag if wrapped carefully around a pile of winter woollies and pillows.

              Sarongs                                     Mexican rugs