Friday, 28 August 2009

Life trains

I spend much of my time on trains. A hefty percentage of my life at present seems to be the journey to and from. Of course, life itself is a journey. We start at point A and end at point B. We hope that point B will be old age without too much pain. We hope that we will have achieved much joy and greatness between points A and B. We hope that when point B finally arrives, that we will have had the time to look all the way back towards point A and say ‘my life was good’. We hope that the distance between point A and B will be large.

I currently live out of a bag. That’s not to say that I live through a bag. I just tend to carry a large bag with me about 80% of the time. The bag holds belongings that I need to negotiate daily living. I’m fortunate enough to sleep in houses. Currently the choice of house tends to focus around a main 3, which is steadily decreasing to a focus on a main 2. I’m in the process of slowly moving material items from one house to another house and when complete, I will have successfully reduced my houses to 2. I may give the impression that I am rich and own many homes. I do not and am not. I’m just in that transitional period, when part of your life ends and a new chapter begins.

I suppose where a person lives, in real terms, is irrelevant. At a basic level, we want to be warm, sheltered, clothed, watered and fed. I recently had a clothes downsize, in that I filled bags with clothes to sell (too big, too small, never worn etc), clothes for the charity shop, clothes for recycling. I have now found that my wardrobe is so empty that I could actually move into it. I’m soon to have shoe downsize. I’m trying - through recent Buddhist discussions and the early stages of reading Robert Thurman’s ‘Inner Revolution’ - to move my thoughts away from materials wants, away from possessions. I’m trying to de-clutter my life and my mind. It’s slow process but the journey has begun. I wonder if shoes will one day hold no value for me other than foot protection. I wonder if I will ever forget about the desire for beautiful home interiors and simply surround myself with items that enable me to survive. It’s hard to imagine. Yet, I want move in that direction.

I’ve been something of an eco-warrior for some time now. Though, when a friend once described me as such, I said really I’m more back-room staff than warrior. I didn’t really see myself as someone fighting for a new and better way of life. I was just making small changes and trying to encourage others to do the same. Yet in truth, if we all make small changes, if we all strive to be a better person, all those small changes have a big impact when combined. We could all make our life’s journey a wonderful and wise one. We could make our journey through point A to point B really make a difference. A path carved, is a path remembered.


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