28
Oct

Coming Home

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There’s something disenchanting about coming home from an overseas trip. You’ve traversed a time zone or two. You’ve travelled thousands of kilometres and seen amazing sights, to then have it all come to an end. Coming back home where things seem a tad more clouded or smeared, almost as if a faint brush of emptiness has re-touched the scenery with a greyness that you never noticed before or you’d abandoned once in the sphere of another reality far removed from the one we stand in, in our everyday lives. Perhaps it’s because of the closeness and familiarity that closeness imbues, once removed from that close and comfortable zone it so easily forgotten. Coming back to it affords a freshness and a type of amnesia of the menial everyday life we lead, yet it only seems moments pass when it all comes crashing back, just like you’d never left.. Prior to leaving you were acutely entangled within the mesh of everyday living and within its grasp you became blind and unaware that everyday life had all but ensnared you and held you hostage to a routine, which on the surface doesn’t seem like such a bad thing, however beneath the facade is the collateral damage of losing the ability to actually see and perceive the things around you. A comfortable and secure existence which is familiarity steals ones perception while trading it for a focal point that seems all consuming but is in fact merely just a distraction from the small things that make up the whole. Taking the time to stop and smell the flowers is not something which is often encountered in the hustle and bustle.

Upon returning from the ‘other side’, fresh eyes are still tuned to the perception that just on periphery there is so much more than just objects around you, so the once familiar is a little newer and a little fresher – one’s eyes are opened and moreover, receptive to the finer treasures that are everywhere but difficult to see when one’s blinkers are set to a narrow vision and focus. It’s unfortunate that fresh eyes soon tire and  fade back into the tunnel vision of routine. And how fast it returns is startling. It takes considerable effort to keep ones eyes open and not be consumed by all the things that you’d left behind to venture into the world afar but routine is an alluring seductress, she will invariably pull you close with her ruby lips, soft and sensual, whispering sweet little lies into your ears. The hot breath on your ear lobe telling you that you’re the only one for her, that all you need do is close your eyes and experience the here with the numbness and comfort it shrouds you in. To let yourself fall into those warm, endearing arms and be swept away with the ease and security that routine brings. Persistence wears away the memories from afar and your eyes are once again accustomed to the narrow tunnel before it, like the night vision we experience when we are thrust into darkness. As our pupils dilate to soak in what little light can be found in that darkness, the soft light at its end is all we soon see. A light that never seems to get nearer because the treadmill we are walking upon to get to that source of wonderment ahead – that light over yonder only perpetuates the illusion that we are travelling forward when in fact we are merely standing in the same spot while our legs are thrust in a motion that never gets us anywhere. A source we forever strive to reach yet perpetually fall short of, so it is – our beloved routine. Our mistress and comforter.

It’s a short lived experience, travelling the globe on holiday and all too easy to become reacquainted with normalcy upon returning home. Besides the fact that I am a new convert to the idea that going overseas is not a bad way to spend a few weeks it would be a entirely different ball game to up and leave and extend the travel experience by living and immersing yourself in another land, far away from home or to become a seasoned traveller who does overseas trips regularly. I have the impression that seasoned ‘travellers’ are a more adventurous lot and probably more interested and comfortable in the people of a place, where as a novice like me, prefers to avoid the people and focus on the actual place. I’m not one that likes to get in amongst the masses of the world meeting new people. I’m not good at it! Partly because I’m far too uninteresting to make any sort of impact but more so because not that many people really impact me and besides, I detest the little game we need to play with the trivialities and nuances of small talk. I understand the necessity of it,  treading carefully around the edges, sussing the other out before revealing too much of ourselves, but lets face it, it is a tedious process and unless one possesses the ‘gift of the gab’ to drive small talk in a direction of greatest interest it will ultimately fall into the two most uninteresting topics of conversation ever imagined.

I definitely do not in possess said gift, I find small talk just falls flat with me.  I’m a difficult nut to crack because my interests are small and narrow and not as eclectic to fit the tastes of most people. I suppose I’m sort of getting better at it as time progresses but I still find the uncomfortableness and anxiety and dead end that it usually ends in with me as just not worth the effort when so much of humanity is just not that interesting, who mostly subscribe to a default position of sport and weather. Occasionally little gems are presented but for the most part the rabble is just that – rabble.  Perhaps I’m far to arrogant and haughty to have what it takes to ‘fit in’ with such a default position. But I am who I am. Perhaps you may find my previous post entitled ISTP revealing. It may reveal why I am such a difficult personality to crack or then it may not.

What my travel to Finland and short visit to England taught me, actually reaffirmed in me, is that I prefer and enjoy nature to the hustle and bustle of city life. City life is such an artificial environment and I’d forgotten what it was like to sit in an environment that wasn’t just concrete and scores of human beings wandering around in a self deluded daze. In fact I had a semi epiphany when at the local Westfield’s the other week, observing the trickle of shoppers who were lazily strolling with what looked like a glazed look. I couldn’t help but wonder, what the exact nature is of this meaningless activity we indulge our precious time with -  shopping for things we have absolutely no need for but somehow are compelled to buy? It comes back to the routine we are entwined with. We invest a large portion of our lives at our places of work, complete with a tunnel vision that our routine sees with, while time withers away, dying at the hands of routine and what better activity is there to complement the numbness than with other shoppers who are desperately in need of something other than that which they are doing but no longer know what it is! I know I do it and even though I often find myself in a semi existential crisis, wondering why on earth am I wandering around with the same glazed look as my fellow shoppers. It is because it has become a routine and because we are a herd creature, the shopping mall is the obvious place to be when not working. After all it isn’t for nothing that we spend 40, 50, 60 or 70 hours a week working for is it. We want to spend the money we earn and seeing as most of our time is spent earning and so few is spent in leisure, it is a place of worship for many of us. We can buy those objects of yearning that will show to our fellows that we are above the ordinary and indeed better than the you. But time is little so we flock to the local Westfield’s where everything is nicely compartmentalised and convenient so we need not spend too much of what is most precious – time, wasting it in search for our little piece of nirvana.

It’s pretty sad that more of us don’t actually see the madness and do something else like get together with family and friends and head out in the fresh air but the madness is such that we feel compelled to visit the church of capitalism, to hand out the alms of our faith and pay homage to the god we serve. It’s funny but the cash god we pay our lives for, is intrinsically valueless. Those bills we hold in our hands so dear has probably less value than the actual paper its printed on.

What can I say. Time for another holiday to forget all this nonsense we work for.

Category : Journal | Blog
30
Jan

The Australian Dream…bangin from side to side!

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My mind is still whirling. Anxiety levels increased. A threshold higher, not quite sure where it may rest so spins in alternate directions, swishing from side to side. Uncertain. Afraid. Do I? Don’t I? Alone. Excited. Terror. Calm. Disturbed. Disruption. I’m in some sort of labyrinth, lost and lacking the knowledge in navigating this maze. Giving rise to this uneasy feeling, creeping into the skin, crawling with indecisiveness and ignorance. Two Options. Rent or buy. Two simple but so very hard choices.

My heart wants to buy. My head wants to postpone for a little while yet, another year, perhaps two so I’ll be more reassured. In what way I’m not so sure about, perhaps with a little more down payment added  for peace of mind. Maybe. Home loans seem like a nightmare, one that I’d much sooner rather avoid than have to face in what is essentially blind fumbling. I have absolutely no idea about how all the options work and what they mean.

Crunch time! Now is as good a time as any. Really this is what it boils down to and is ten or twenty grand going to make that much more of a difference? Other questions; am I prepared for the long haul of repayment after repayment with what will invariably seem like no end in sight? The idea of twenty years, twenty five or even thirty seems like an eternity filled with a lot of uncertainty, it’s almost inconceivable. Perhaps it is a calling to end my infatuation with the finite, the absolute and what are sure things because it is not what, ultimately, reality is based upon. Random shift, chaotic meanderings and accidental merging are the stuff of progression. Stillness is perhaps cause for stagnation and decay, rather than stability and assurance.

Time. Both enemy and ally. I have some left, slowly and surely it is passing and indecisiveness will result in it being lost in some regretful way.

Decisions. Decisions. Perhaps it has already been made and I just need a moment for it to catch onto the grey goo floating amongst the frontal lobes of my weary head.

Category : Journal | Blog