Monday, August 01, 2016


Sometimes I feel ragged and used up, like yesterday's newspaper. It's Monday. The time is 18:43. I'm sitting in a cafe because I can't sit at home and listen to the quiet. I can't watch a movie like I do every night and escape from it all. I can't sit and listen to the crushing silence. I look at the last five years, the last seven years, the last ten years, and think to myself, "My God, has it been that long? Where did all that time go?" It didn't go anywhere. It sticks with me, time. It's right here. I can feel the clock hands ticking, and I might think things are moving, but really it's always been just me and the thoughts in my head.

This weekend I took the Yorkshire Three Peak challenge. It's a twenty four mile march across three mountain peaks that has to be done in under twelve hours. I did it, and it was hard. When I finished I was shaking all over, and my body felt broken, but inside I felt good. For a day I was able to switch off the thoughts in my head and to move on. To let things go and focus on the moment I am in. There was no mobile signal, no news for me to follow. It is as if there was no revolution or war or suffering anywhere in the world, and in the moments where I paused to catch my breath, I looked around me and there was nobody for as far as my eyes could see.

For the first time in years I was surrounded by total silence. There was no bird song, no wind blowing, and it was as if I was all alone in the universe. Such a simple act, a simple journey, that took me farther away from myself, and yet closer to who I am, than anything I'd felt before. I was so happy, I hunger for it still, as I type this. I sit and think about that real world, about that place where it is just you, stripped of everything that isn't important, and the path ahead, and I look forward to walking it again.

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