A view from the top

DSCF2224

(The Shard is an 87 storey skyscraper in London reaching the height of over 1000 ft. It is currently the tallest building in Europe. It has over 70 habitable floors but also sports a viewing gallery at its top. It is located near London Bridge station where I pass almost daily when in town).

As I was passing the impressively high Shard building in London Bridge, I instantly looked at the very top, immersing myself in its majestic height and trying to see if I could distinguish any little human figures in the top floors where a viewing gallery had been opened a few months before.

Then my gaze lowered to the middle floors, where the tower was strong and wide, but also appeared to be empty. Newly-built, the Shard housed a very talked-about viewing point at its top, but did not seem to have yet found the rightful owners of the mid and lower levels.

Behind the blewish windows, nothing seemed to exist. Like a dark interior to a very large labyrinth of a place. A sudden sense of mystery enveloped the child’s mind in me as I imagined getting lost in that maze, all alone, wandering each floor in the endless pursuit of the exit. Such a journey on foot would surely take a lifetime…

And then it got me thinking at how our lives, in many ways, were not entirely dissimilar to such an aimless wander, in what seemed to be a constant search of a mysterious “door” to a more real, much talked about but somehow intangible world. Somewhere we’ve heard of, but have not yet attained. Call it the pursuit of happiness, nirvana, fulfilment, enlightenment or just something better, something different.

There seem to be three realities associated with this state of mind:

*Not knowing that we are in a tall and ever-expanding Shard which, although impressive and seemingly endless, contains an exit door to a whole new world
*Realising that we are indeed in the pleasant clutches of a self-contained glass sardine can, but deciding that this is not that bad, because the view is good, the amenities sufficient and the foundations strong and solid
*Realising where we are, but also wanting to now explore the other side, therefore getting up and energetically setting off to find the door to this mysterious and alluring “other place”, in this example – a door quite possibly miles away in a dark place indeed.

But however much exciting it may be to hop from one floor to the next, enjoy the view from different angles and come to know so many new things that our previous perspective may not have allowed, we soon realise that not only are we no closer to “the mysterious outside”, but we have now also grasped the magnitude of this whole place and are slowly acknowledging that we may not, at least in this lifetime, have the time or energy to find what we are seeking.

And so we settle, perhaps on a different floor, where the view appeals to us more, where we feel different and special, for a while at least. We may stay there, or move again, or spring up in the autumn of our lives and give the search one last try… We may be happy, or feel that something is still missing…

But I would like to think that there is fourth choice to the keen pursuer of “the other” – what if we got hold of the blueprint of our imaginary Shard? What if we managed to study its structure, channel our curiosity on the patient and quiet contemplation of the whole construction of the place and slowly figured out that all the wanderings we have done could never replace intimate knowledge of the bigger picture.

Then maybe we can simply calm down, because we know where we stand and therefore all action – each step – become purposeful.

I most certainly don’t hold that precious blueprint, but feel that I am slowly getting to know the structure around me, building up the picture of where I stand. Some of the main tools which help me to see clearer as I march ahead can be summed up as such:
*Reduce the clutter (around you and inside you)
*Be positive (and surround yourself with positive influences)
*Meditate (or walk, or swim or stare are little bunny rabbits)
*Identify your values and passions and live with the latter as your guiding lights

As we march on, all of us, into an unknown future, of course we will stumble. But I sincerely think that a purposeful and mindful trot will inevitably reach its goal more rapidly than the mad and unexamined dash to the finish line.

Here is one last look at our own little walk through beautiful Spain, I hope you enjoyed reading about it as much as we loved being on it.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

A great evening with lovely people
A great evening with lovely people
A popular bar on the Way where pilgrims left change from all over the world on the stone wall.
A popular bar on the Way where pilgrims left change from all over the world on the stone wall.
The best part of the day - the early misty mornings.
The best part of the day – the early misty mornings.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

The countdown was on... Yet all I wanted to do was slow down the time...
The countdown was on… Yet all I wanted to do was slow down the time…

image

image

 

image

This little guy was so friendly, he followed us for more cuddles... Of course we obliged.
This little guy was so friendly, he followed us for more cuddles… Of course we obliged.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

Oh, to the little pleasures of the Camino...
Oh, to the little pleasures of the Camino…

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

The guy on the right is a bit more representative of reality.
The guy on the right is a bit more representative of reality.

image

image

image

20km from the finish, we came across this very apt sculpture...
20km from the finish, we came across this very apt sculpture…
Very unceremonious, but here it is nonetheless .
Very unceremonious, but here it is nonetheless .

image

image

image

image

image

image

Our final step on the road to Santiago.
Our final step on the road to Santiago.

image

image

Oh St James... We walked a long way to see you!
Oh St James… We walked a long way to see you!
Our certificates!
Our certificates!

image

image
Time to relax and celebrate

image

Ahh, new clean clothes, old ones discarded, and a trip to the hairdresser , felt amazing!
Ahh, new clean clothes, old ones discarded, and a trip to the hairdresser , felt amazing!

image

The next day, we took a bus to Finisterre, to truly complete the journey at the Atlantic coast of Spain.
The next day, we took a bus to Finisterre, to truly complete the journey at the Atlantic coast of Spain.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

A little windy you say?!
A little windy you say?!

image

image

image

It felt incredible to see our old scarves, intertwined, battling the wind as we walked away to what felt like a new beginning, truly enjoying each and  every step.
It felt incredible to see our old scarves, intertwined, battling the wind as we walked away to what felt like a new beginning, truly enjoying each and every step.

Published by

Madnessasmantra

Hi! Thanks for visiting! Hope that you enjoy the blog! For more photos and art, or to purchase prints, please visit me on www.iamni.com

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s