Friday, June 22, 2007

Travelling Light

At the bookshop, I was pretending to be reading while I was actually having forty winks because the shop staff don't like their customers to use their store as a dosshouse.

To help me stay awake, I watched people walk back and forth to the toilets. Now the clever, shop staff have come up with a brilliant idea to keep all the waifs and strays out: they keep the toilet doors locked. Anyone who wants to use the toilets needs to ask a shop assistant for the code to open the doors. Since many people like to be discreet about going to the toilet, they're not going to ask for the code. It was quite amusing watching customers, who weren't in the know, go through the double doors only to return looking puzzled and disappointed. It was enough to keep me entertained and fully awake.

One such customer tried his luck but couldn't get in. As he walked by our eyes met and he smiled. I returned his smile. He walked away and then he was back. He asked me if I liked art. I said I did. He said he wanted to show me what he's been drawing. He said he has so much energy, he feels he needs to channel it somewhere. There were sketches of people and landscape. He also said he likes hanging out at a music store where he composes music on their keyboard. He asked me if I wanted to listen to his latest composition on tape. It sounded very good.

My friend asked me if I was reading anything interesting. I said I was just chilling. He said that we're in an age of information overload. Most of the time people don't need books but they buy them anyway. He used to have books of different subjects. He was so addicted to them he didn't have space in his bedroom. He used to cough and splutter because the books had collected so much dust, yet he couldn't get rid of them. He said it felt like he was pulling a sleigh of books behind him. He didn't want to give the books away because he didn't want to lumber anyone with them. He even had friends who volunteered to help him get rid of them but he didn't want to burden them with the task. It took him ages but he eventually got rid of all of them. He now feels so much better and lighter for it. He now has only a few books that are meaningful. He also realises that each of us has already got wisdom within them. it's a matter of going within.

I told him that many years ago, I had a friend whose relative bequeathed him a library of books, mostly classic works of literature. He felt they would come in handy for him as he was teaching literature at the time at the local college. When he moved I helped him pack his prized possessions into boxes, loaded them in a van, and moved them into his new flat. It was exhausting! Classic works or not I would have either dumped them or taken them to a charity shop. I wonder if he's still got those books.

Back to my friend at the bookshop. While we were chatting, I told him what the new shop policy was for using the toilets. He managed to get the code off another customer and he went to use it. I thanked my friend for sharing his art, music, and story with me. We hugged and said goodbye.

I agree with my friend that wisdom is everywhere present. All I have to do is just be still and wisdom comes flying towards me, effortlessly.

I love travelling light, me.


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