Piccadilly paradox

The other day travel news reported severe delays on the Piccadilly line.

Not in itself unusual.

However, the postscript revealed that the severe delays were due to a shortage of trains.

Where did they go?

Is someone scratching their head, muttering "I'm sure they were there last night"?

Maybe someone forgot to lock the train shed doors and they slipped away for an adventure of their own? Right now, they're chuffing along on the outer reaches of the Metropolitan line – gone for a day out in Amersham.

Maybe someone parked them all in the wrong siding and train drivers are meandering all over Cockfosters calling for their lost trains?… "Fenton!"

Maybe the fat controller said "park them at Harrow" and was misheard? Trains are right now queued up at Heathrow instead.

Anyone seen the trains?

I hope they're found before Monday.

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not the mannequin challenge

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In a world or urgency, a life of striving, a treadmill of anxious achievement, one thing seems to be increasingly necessary. An antidote to the stresses of this harder, faster, greater, further, more more more existence.

Stillness.

Not in itself a thing. You cannot hold it. It has no form. Stillness isn’t just freezing your limbs, fixing your gaze, holding your breath.

Stillness is a way of being. It is the gap between the doing.  A deeper consciousness. An awareness of your very existence.

Stillness offered another is truly a gift. A place from which connection comes. A foundation for attention. Being with.

Stillness within. That is the real challenge.

the past can only be remembered now

Reflecting on your day, hundreds, or thousands, of things happen. In fact each day of your life this is so. This moment, Now, is therefore only one of many, many moments.

Yet this moment, Now, is as it is. Indeed, it cannot be otherwise.

Moments of the past are merely as we recall them. Moments of the future are dreams, creations of thought. The division of moments, the division of our lives, into past, present and future is mind-made and ultimately illusory. The past can only be remembered, now. The future only imagined, now. So in essence all there is that is real, is Now.

When your attention moves into the Now, there is space, clarity, simplicity, peace. There is also an alertness.
Many people confuse Now, with what happens in the Now. But the Now is deeper than what happens in it. It is the very space in which it happens.

This moment, Now, is the one constant truth. No matter what happens, no matter what changes, one thing is certain … it is always Now.

Makes you wonder why we dwell on the past and worry for the future, doesn’t it? Wasting Now.

Don’t waste it, embrace it. Now.

people are falling off the planet

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Walk any city in the evening and you will see people in shop doorways settling for the night. Huddling, or lying prostrate. Walk any side street or back alley and the stench of stale urine will rise to greet your nostrils.

Travel early in those cities and you will see, wrapped in sleeping bag cocoons or under piles of cardboard, those not yet risen. Some you will see with large bags or shopping trolleys to transport their worldly belongings. The lucky ones may have been left a coffee by a passer by or by a charitable agency.

Walk any city during the day and you will see an array of cardboard notices outlining each individual’s plight; some held, some lying by cap or cloth on the pavement. Or you will encounter those seeking some loose change or perhaps a spare cigarette.

This seems to me to be getting worse. More people with less. More living at the edge of humanity.

Yet, for the most part, we walk by. Perhaps increasing our pace or looking away to avoid eye contact. Maybe it’s shame? Maybe it’s fear. Maybe it’s security? Or maybe we simply can’t face what is happening around us?

What has gone wrong?

 

 

the power over us that is evil hair

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We have a strange relationship with hair.

We coif it. We clean it. We condition it. We cut it and shave it. We brush and comb it. We put things in it to hold shape and create effect. We run our fingers through it. We twiddle it. We caress our face and lips with it. We examine its ends. We scratch it. We spend a fortune styling it. We protect it from the rain. We comment on other people’s.

Yet, find one in the bath at a friends, or on the bathroom floor at a bed and breakfast; find one in the bed at a hotel – especially a short curly one; get a strange long one caught in your toes … and we go mental.

Yuk. Human hair!

What do we imagine? What horrors are in our thoughts? What deadly harm might arise from this strand of humanity?

Funny. But real.

 

when…

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When you look at the tall, sturdy trees steaming in the morning sunlight,
When you feel the pounding rain on your face,
When you gaze up at the ever present majestic mountains,
When you watch the sun rise or set,
When you observe the drifting clouds,
When you’re startled by the flash of lightning or its sister clap of thunder,
When you fly over an immense, never ending forest,
When the ocean pounds the beach,
When the midday sun warms your back,
When you look to the distant horizon,
When you look up at the bright, blinking stars…

you realise just how insignificant you are.

Yet,

when you think of those you love and those who love you, you realise just how significant you are.