Unknown Destination

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‘Unknown Destination’

 

The path to whatever is next in our lives stretches ahead.

The end of the track cannot be seen and there is no certainty as to what lies ahead.

We can be in trepidation of the unknown, but we can also be encouraged in our journey.

For we have already undertaken that hardest part of it.

Fear of leaving the known is usually greater than fear of the unknown.

And we do not arrive at “whatever next” without first stepping the track.

The pathway itself will provide the things we need, the tools, to reach the destination.

The journey, then, becomes as important as wherever we are moving to.

 

 

Daylight Will Not Be Saved

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    ‘Pohutukawa Branches & Sea’

New Zealand ends daylight saving hours this weekend, as the northern part of the country basks in glorious sunshine and the weight of Covid-19 diminishes the glow without totally extinguishing it.

So, the daylight hours “saved” will now be “lost” again!

If daylight itself cannot be preserved it leads me to wonder exactly just what can be saved right now.

I’ll settle for saving my sanity and, in doing so, remind myself that you can’t save everything and everyone, not even yourself sometimes. You can just do the next right thing, whatever it is, for yourself and others, in any given moment and then keep doing so in those that follow…

Meanwhile, I will make the most of the fading warmth and light of autumn. Despite everything it is still my favourite time of year in my neck of the woods. The picture above was taken on a gentle coastal walk yesterday.

Stay safe, if not saved, people!

 

Angst

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‘Angst’

” If you ask me what the most grotesque thing about alcoholism was I’d have said, indeed I did so over and over to anyone who asked – and plenty who didn’t – it wasn’t the physical stuff, it wasn’t the humiliating death stuff… it was the sadness. I called it my angst. A suitable august, Germanic word for a basement depression that was fathomless and occasionally erupted in gasping panic. And even when locked away it would seep out and sour every other emotion, like bitters in milk. Alcoholic despair is a thing apart, created by the drink that is a depressant, but also the architect of all the  pratfall calamities that fuel it. Alcohol is the only medication the drunk knows and trusts, a perfectly hopeless circle of angst, and it is powered by a self-loathing that is obsessively stoked and fed. And it’s that – the personally awarded, vainly accepted disgust – that  makes it so hard to sympathise with drunks. Nothing you can say or do comes close to the wreaths of guilt we lay at our own cenotaph.”

–  A.A .Gill, from “Pour Me: A Life.” (highlights mine, as were the lowlights…)

Play What’s In Front Of You

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Art and writing teach us much; I derive a great deal of benefit from the creative offerings of my fellow bloggers on this platform (thank you!).

So too, sport and games give us an understanding of ourselves.

My particular sporting activity is lawn bowls – above are photos from an early morning solo practice session and  a recent regional championship I competed in.

One of many learnings I have taken from the game I love is this:

You can only play what’s in front of you.

Whether it’s the level of tournament and opposition; the weather conditions; the state of the playing surface, or any other variable, you just have to accept it and deal with it.

That means you can’t always do everything you would like to do or indeed are capable of, as the game situation, in that particular moment, may not require those optimal things.

You must constantly review what the game is demanding of you, right now.

No time to dwell on the end or game just played, or to “future trip” about the next one.

You also can’t do anything about what you can’t control  – for instance, your opponent’s brilliance (or lack of it).

When it’s your turn on the mat, all you have is the bowl in your hand , and what lies in front of you on the green, in that moment.

Sometimes you will believe that discretion is the better part of valour, choose to play safe and tuck the risky shots away. At other moments, you might see a shot that no-one else thinks in on, trust your instincts and “just do it” (in the words of the great activewear philosopher Nike).

Game situation is a fantastic mindfulness tool !

These are, of course, lessons for life as well as sport.

Play what’s in front of you – for that is the only thing you can do.