Living, there is no happiness in that. Living: carrying one’s painful self through the world.
But being, being is happiness. Being: Becoming a fountain, a fountain on which the universe falls like warm rain. —
― Milan Kundera, Immortality
Owl_Food thought: am thinking a lot about ‘legacy’ at the moment, but also what precedes and influences such a concept
Perhaps because my very owliness, I find it difficult to participate wholeheartedly on the ground with all this ‘occupying’ activity over these days of increasing local occupation globally - and have been occupied elsewhere but observing from the branch.
However on looking through my incidental snaps taken on this weekend of Occupy London, it occurs to me that I have been inadvertently occupying the city in my own particular way…from several perspectives :-)
It’s not that I’m not engaged in the topic(s) that are being aired and bellowed: I very much am. But it’s that I can’t take a fixed position on an ‘us’ and ‘them’ … for me it’s just ‘us’.
Back at the branch momentarily: to pause - and finish this thought that took hold a few hours ago.
Amongst other things as you will see - it’s also just a wonderful counter-attack on the defeated despondency
a) that is expressed so frequently and freely about public transport in London, and
b) that most recently descended over even the more optimistic ones amongst us, after the #ukriot events in the last few weeks:
AN ADVENTURE IN LONDON WITH A HAPPY ENDING:
I left my handbag on the No.76 bus in London this morning, when I got off to go to work.
My head was full:
- of thoughts on my earlier morning chats with an outstanding person, about an exciting venture / idea that’s been brewing: involving storytelling, volunteering, a digital platform, and linking communities locally and globally… and more…
My hand was full:
- with my travelcard (thankfully as it happens) but alsowith my iPhone, typing away an email to a friend about another interesting project - raise finance for the interactive part of her amazing film. I was on 30% battery…
My handbag was full:
- of my passport, wallet, housekeys, mother’s housekeys, 2 x security passes for different offices… and my iPhone charger.
So off I got, mind elsewhere, and left the handbag behind, also preoccupied about not leaving behind the umbrella that I’d kindly been lent. Bus drove away, and only 5mins later when I’d pressed Send on the email I’d been writing, did I realise.
Big, dejected exhalation. Then:
- Phonecall to friend: special listener of my ideas in the morning, and lender of umbrella - to check where the No.76 ends up. Waterloo. OK. Started walking to Moorgate.
- Called TfL Lost Property (0845 330 9882), who gave me Tottenham bus depot’s number (0208 271 0404)
- I spoke to ‘Jackie’ or could be ‘Jacqui’ - who called the driver (who had been super friendly when I got on earlier) who confirmed he had the bag. Good stuff. Crisis contained.
- By that time I was at Moorgate tube station. J said that the bus hadn’t reached Waterloo yet, but that it would most likely turn back around in 5 mins, to head back to Tottenham. She was doubtful that I’d be able to reach Waterloo in time to intercept… but hey - worth a try, and I had a 12.30 meeting to make. It was 11.15am.
- Moorgate to Waterloo by seamless tube journeys. Exit Waterloo to track down bus-stop and it happened to be the nearest one to me.
- Was at bus stop for approximately 40 seconds when smiley driver pulled up - looking a little surprised that I’d reached him in time. Had my bag in the cabin and handed it back to me, contents untouched.
- Called J to thank her profusely. Called lovely friend to report success.
- Mind was so full of ‘note-to-self’ chastising - be in the moment, etc - that I wasn’t in the moment at all when I made my way to Waterloo station public loos for a quick regroup and pitstop…
- Paid my 30p, went through the turnstile, and looked up to realise that I’d walked into the Men’s loo. What does it take to get the message…. a row of urinals clearly.
- Very lovely attendant / cleaner had already spotted me, and swiftly led me through a secret door, which he encouraged me to go through alone… and like Alice in Wonderland I magically appeared in the heart of the Ladies’ loo area. Who’d have thought. More seamlessness.
So - determined to stay ‘in the moment’ once and for all today - made my way (running early!) to my lunch meeting.
It was in that mood that I noticed something in Piccadilly tube station that I’ve never seen before.
THE WORLD TIME TODAY clock - take a look at it next time you pass through.
How’s that for the most literal of life lessons.
Thank you to all who conspired to keep me on my axis today… it will be a long time before I join the clan of doomsdayers. There’s no denying that things are messy… but others are so beautifully simple too.
PS The 12.30 meeting was very excellent indeed… of course.