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Tuesday, 8 March 2016

An Exercise In Mindfulness



I wish I had began journalling when I arrived here, marking each day as I did when I embarked upon that first adventure three years ago.

Although I suppose my words on this site are something of a journal, charting progression through time and my emotions as much as my experiences. Sometimes I like to scroll back through posts, remembering where I was when I wrote them and what was going on for me. Some of the first ones feel alien to me now, as if I can't remember the woman who wrote them.

So many of the posts that end up on here start scrawled in notebooks, when an idea strikes and I simply must write it down before the thought escapes me. It is a remarkable feeling, when your hand can't keep up with the momentum of your mind, and muscles stiffen as they frantically move the pen across the page.

I can't remember when this space became more than photographs of travel, but quiet reflections of the world around me. Now I couldn't bear to not share them. Yet I don't know if I have always had this ability to write inside of me, and ignored it, or if it sprang afresh out of new experiences. I wasn't much of a writer as a child; a reader, yes, ferociously. But journals were abandoned after a day and the only regular writing I seemed to do was in my school jotter.

It does not matter. I can't change the past but I can at least embrace the present, allowing each sensation to drive new sentences through my mind.

I am trying to be more present, for normally I am absorbed in memories of the past and dreams of the future. Those who are mindful tell me to observe my surroundings and I am trying: white walls with grubby handprints encase me; light flows in from airy windows through which I can see the ocean, where boats bob gently on water that is not quite blue. On the other side houses sit proudly, no more than a storey high. their rusting iron roofs protecting inhabitants from the fierce sun. Music pulses in the distance, and I feel its bass within my body more than the actual tune. It is stifling hot in here, the fan sits idle and I do not know how to turn it on, and so its lack of movement taunts me as my body protests. I have become used to the drops of sweat that run down my chest in a way I never thought I would.

It feels good to be more present, as if I am making more of the experience by forcing my mind to sit within this room. It sits for a while, but soon it begins to wander again and I let it. Start slowly, isn't that what they say?




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