This week saw me in Melbourne, once again. Not by choice; another work trip. If you have been keeping up with my travelogue (posted as ‘Rooms with a View’ on my blog), you would have probably gathered by now that I am not a big fan of this eastern Australian city. I simply don’t get ‘it’: the city, the hype, the rivalry, the building codes.
Having had a week or so of news and happenings of the type that makes the average person question the meaning of life and beyond, I was in no mood to write any snarky commentary about my time in this city; not this time. Instead, I dropped my bag in the hotel, opened the curtain to survey the view of my room-for-that-night, and….
The disappointing but now familiar view of a crumbling brick wall was not going to get to me this time. So I headed out the door, in search of a different sight to rest my eyes on, before the sun set on this heat-slowed day. Soon I stumbled upon a park, near some well-cared for buildings of yesteryear and, breathing in deeply, I took off along an unknown path. Coming across a pond, where even the ducks looked chilled, I found a vacant bench seat and just sat. It didn’t take me long at all to let go, to free my mind of recent thoughts, and just be.
Once upon a time, I did this often; whether through meditation or being surrounded by nature, the state of just being was essential for my well-being. It wasn’t always easy to reach this state, with young children to care for, but I achieved moments that cannot be easily described. Then years later came the ever-churning thoughts of work: what happened that day, what needed to be done the next, who did what, how to step up the next rung of the corporate ladder. These thoughts would keep me awake for hours. Some unexpected turns in my career path last year cured me of that habit, and reaffirmed that following a more creative and visionary path was where I really wanted to be.
Now my mind is always wandering off into creativity-world, letting potential plots, characters and scenes take over; until they become a jumbled huddle, all demanding that their story is written first.
I know that taking more time-out to let go of the everyday hassles, unfortunate happenings and whirling stories of my imagination, to simply be, is probably essential for me. Time spent not writing is as important to story-creating as those hours of tapping away at a keyboard. Precious moments of relaxing, of letting go, is never wasted time.
The next day, walking to a taxi rank, it suddenly hit me. Melbourne and Adelaide do have a few similarities, even though residents of both cities would deny this. Kind of like estranged cousins: the family resemblance is there, in the facial features, but neither would care to be reminded of it. Walking along the noisy street, trying not to notice the unwelcome smells, I imagined Melbourne as the Hipster cousin, with a new boob job. While I see Adelaide as the younger cousin, quite content with who she is and has nothing to prove.
Ok, so I said I wasn’t going to be snarky this time, and then went and did it anyway. With another trip to Melbourne in a few days, I wonder what the city will reveal to me next?