Rear lane, Newtown
I was at my physical fittest when I walked for forty minutes to work and the same amount home again every day. Increasing living costs and a change of employer has led to living further out from the city and a reliance on public transport. I try to incorporate some exercise into my journey by catching the bus from a stop further from home, walking for longer than is necessary between buses and getting off early on the return trip.
As the start of a new academic year looms my thoughts are taken up with how to avoid the morning frustration of having to wait for ten to twenty minutes for the express bus from Central Railway Station. The queue stretches around a quarter of Belmore Park to facilitate the transportation of ten plus thousand students each morning.
There are a few options available to me, including a ten minute walk down the road to catch the 370. The route is picturesque, zigzagging from Leichhardt, through Annandale and Glebe to Newtown. As the total journey time can take over one hour on one bus I opt for a split journey that includes joining the 370 later along its meandering path.
This morning leaving the house at 8:15, I catch the bus from the stop nearest home on the Parramatta Road. Alighting at around 8:30, I walk a few steps along Mallet Street to be greeted by the familiar sound of song birds that reside in the area. Also, the electric buzz of cicadas in the trees of Camperdown Park; it’s going to be a hot day!
Being on a schedule I refrain from stopping to take pictures every few steps as I rediscover the quiet backstreets of Newtown. Row upon row of simple Victorian terraced houses squeezed into every available space and pockets of vegetation jostling for a spot to burst forth.
When I reach King Street I am confronted by the thunder of cars, buses and trucks speeding towards the city. This is an aspect of the suburb I don’t miss.
Taking my place in the shade of the awning I forget to look around to check if it’s safe to stop. The look on the face of a young skateboarder barely missing me lets me know that it was not.
The journey from Newtown to work usually takes twenty minutes. Queuing for the traffic lights as we approach Botany Road in Alexandria has quickly eaten into this overly ambitious target. I reach work at 9:50, an hour after boarding the bus. Even though I managed to take a rather lovely twenty minute walk the outcome of my experiment was disappointing. Maybe I can improve on the overall time by setting out earlier from home.
By Ox King is painted on the side of a single story house on Lennox Street, Newtown. Information about the inspiration behind the work is included below.
See also The divine withinThe Divine Within
For the last few weeks the following strands have been intertwining, drawing a dark shawl over my eyes.
- The gradual slump towards ‘hump month’ and the shortest day in the Southern Hemisphere.
- Gloom filled days interspersed with a smattering of sunshine
- A soft tissue injury in my left foot making exercise painful
Peeping through tiny spy holes skewed my outlook. Languishing here provided me with the inspiration to write:
Morning morosity takes hold;
Melancholic meanderings of my mind and
Morbid imaginings of this mindless malaise.
Energy constricted, ebbing. Woefulness clouds; dimming.
Knowing what is happening, not wanting it to stop.
Why go on? Hopelessness creeps in, chilling.
Darkness, warmth; slumber away the doubts.
For now, in this moment balance exists.
Serendipitous circumstances led to my release: email reminder from the Buddha Bar Healing Clinic, Newtown, Australia; space in my diary; promise of financial assistance from our health fund; and an appointment with the person who ‘felt’ right.
My journey began with a cup of rose and green tea then I was directed downstairs by Gavin to the ‘Harry Potter Room’. A deceptively large and comfortable subterranean cavern tucked under the stairs. This room, filled with colour, fragrance and spiritual artefacts, welcomed me into its womb like embrace.
After a 45 minutes massage with lavender oil and a quarter of an hour of Reiki I was decidedly wobbly. I don’t remember my walk to the train station or the trip to Lewisham. While making my way along the platform I felt a sensation in my head, and a slight dizziness as I stumbled to the left. The walk home was taken at a snails pace. The accumulated stress had been replaced by a deep trancelike calm. Like sparks from the fire, thoughts of the previous weeks popped into my head and dimmed without gaining traction. Three days later inner peace persists, a testament to the most profound massage to date.
The Buddha Bar Healing Clinic
Sunset, Newtown, Australia.
This former tram booking office has been renovated as part of an upgrade of Newtown railway station. Built at the turn of the 20th century this building has been repurposed for retail. It stands in stark contrast to the former tram sheds featured on this blog earlier this month Urban decay.
Heritage listed tram sheds sit decaying alongside the recently modernised Newtown railway station, Sydney, NSW, Australia. Authorities attempt to minimise the visual impact of graffiti by painting over it using ‘mission brown’.
I find inspiration when and where I least expect it, here are three examples:
In going for a spur of the moment meal last Tuesday at Atom Thai Restaurant, Newtown, we were able to chat to Atom. He showed us photos of himself and his partner becoming Buddhist monks for a day in Thailand. He explained that this was a traditional part of the funeral for his mother. After chatting to a Buddhist monk, Atom has realised that becoming a monk could be a path he might want to take in life. Atom exuded calm, peace and serenity.
Since writing a blog I do not use Facebook as frequently. On one of my recent visits a friend had liked Emmanuel Dagher. After checking out his website I signed up for his email newsletter. I received a link to Unconditional Love Meditation. In the middle of our breakfast cereal yesterday, my partner and I took part in a 10 minute guided meditation. The experience was blissful.
I just saw the most exquisite photograph of a swallow tail butterfly posted by Ajaytao 2010
The reason I’m telling you this is after a week of self doubt and endless chatter in my head, I have experienced moments of clarity. I have unconsciously achieved a sense of peace and calm. I am ready for whatever this week has in store for me.
I took the picture of the yellow flowers on Friday in our local park with my mobile.