Hi stranger, it’s been a while.
Okay, that’s the understatement of the century. It’s been a long while. Arguably too long since I put pen to paper, thought to word and word to world.
But the good man Banksy consumed, captivated and inspired me once again with a little quote. It was likely directed at someone brilliant, some time ago, somewhere cool, and in it, he said:
‘When you get tired learn to rest, not to quit’.
And god, have I been resting.
I haven’t stopped thinking, or pondering or lamenting on life for one second, I’ve just been too busy looking outside bus windows in admiration of majestic landscapes, and introducing myself with the same “it’s Fiona with an S-H’, in between mouthfuls of Europe’s delicacies, in the best cities of the world. The summer has been an adventure, but it hasn’t given me a chance to drown in a pool of contemplation and come out the other side with a written lil-somethin’ to share.
Sadly, writing hasn’t been a priority, until last night, it was. And the idea came to me from the most unlikely, yet oh-so Spanish source…
I can’t confirm whether it’s me spiraling back into the #studentlyf where nanna naps are a daily necessity, or if I’m truly turning japanese spanish as my intention for exchange would have it – but siestas are becoming a regular thing for me.
Broken down: roughly around the same time everyday, I take myself to my room, close the door, put on a slow playlist and close my eyes – but not to sleep.
In these moments I’m not particularly thinking of anything, but everything all at once.
I’m imagining scenarios, watching plots of reality unfold, rewriting scenes then jumping to another, to meet and play with something else. I’m thinking about goals and aspirations and fears and uncertainties. I wonder why I didn’t buy more goats cheese on my way home and how much water I keep forgetting to drink. I reminisce about the people I met 8 countries ago, and keep getting stuck on that ‘Closer’ song I cant get out of my head (baby pull me closer, blah blah blah something Rover). I also think of what to eat next, what to do tomorrow, tonight and how cold it really gets in Pamplona. Did Hemingway mention it at all?….
A million and five things race through my head, most often to the sound of an acoustic cover, and before I know it, I’m pretty convinced I’ve solved most of the world’s problems.
I may even drift off for a miniscule nap somewhere amongst the madness.
But what happens, after a week (okay three weeks) of this indulgent behavior, I’ve become dependent on my daily siesta. I’m hungry for silence, thirsty for a clear my mind, excited to think, deeply.
Like untangling a heap of necklaces, finally cleaning the water bottles out of your car, or managing to correctly cook rice on a stove without ruining the pot – a mental de-clutter is almost euphoric, and probably a pretty vital skill.
Like the good spring clean mum insists on doing every (damn) time a visitor comes, I’m convinced our minds need the same TLC.
So stop, seriously even if it’s just for 5 minutes* and let your mind run it’s course, empty itself.
My gal Sylvia Plath coined herself a ‘victim of introspection’, but contemplation doesn’t need to be that dark. Think deep, solve the world and your own mysteries. I don’t believe time is wasted by ruminating about something or nothing at all.
*Of course 10 minutes of down time is better than 5, and 15 minutes even more so, then you can look into mediation and wow, that’s a whole other ball-park. The Headspace App is a good place to start.