Seemingly a waste of time! How many times over the years have I sat down with a laptop, a computer, a word processor or a typewriter and set out on that quest for the long awaited ‘bestseller’! Back in the earlier days it would be a sack on my back, a wad of A4 paper, a bunch of pens, a few carrots, bottles of water and a search for solitude in the mountains or along a coastline. There were the mountains in Kashmir, the beaches in Cyprus, Greece, the Canaries, Thailand. The list goes on. The failures go on!
But I sit here again, laptop out and my AEG Olympia Traveller de Luxe S typewriter under the desk, ready for when power dies down or I feel the need for the physical satisfaction of bashing out words and seeing them in instant print.
I made another short video on my mobile phone yesterday. Another video about the quest to help in the Missing Persons field. I think I will get there. I just need to keep trying.
I have three sayings written down on my office whiteboard in front of me. They are:
“When nothing goes right-go left”.
“Go and wake up your luck”. (An Iranian saying).
And “Don’t wait for the opportunity-create it”.
All good sayings I feel. The first one reminds me of a trip through Turkey back in 2001. I had no money and no work. I was hitchhiking to Damascus from Geneva and was walking along a windy and dangerous road with traffic roaring past me. My thumb was out but no lifts were offered. The noise of the lorries was horrible, the fumes equally bad. I was really pissed off, and a little voice in my head said ‘turn around, go in the opposite direction’. Of course, I thought this was ridiculous. Damascus was that direction, why would I want to go the other way? But the voice grew louder and I said right, things are bad enough as they are, let’s turn around. And I did. I put my thumb down and walked in the opposite direction. After a short while I saw a turning to the right. The traffic noise receded, and the fumes disappeared. The roads narrowed and I walked up into the hills. The birds sang and the sun started to set. I walked through a very small village and then darkness came down. It was cold but I wrapped myself in my jacket, lay down in a field and actually managed some sleep, some peaceful sleep. I was right to follow the voice. Sometimes, when struggling, it can be a good idea to stop the struggle, slow down, and try the opposite approach. I got up from my field as dawn broke and started walking down the road. A horse and cart drew up beside me and the driver motioned for me to climb aboard. I did. He gave me a lift for about a mile and a half. Such a pleasure that was.
The second saying is as I say an Iranian one. I came across it after having read a book by an English lady who travelled around Iran on her motorbike. It was a good read and I thought the saying was mighty powerful. If life is boring, or not working for you, and no one is helping you to change that life, then it can be up to you, “Go and wake up your life”!
And the third, “Don’t wait for the opportunity-create it”. However hard this might seem to do, it has to be possible. If we have a strong enough drive or desire to do something then as Goethe says, and I have his full saying on the wall of my campervan, “commit yourself and a whole stream of events issues from this decision, raising in one’s favour all manner of unforeseen incidents and meetings and material assistance which no one could have dreamt could have come your way. Whatever you can do or dream you can do, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.”
So, what do you want to do with your life? Are you happy with it, then fine, if you are not, would anything of these sayings help you change direction?