I wasn’t sure if it was the look in mums eye, her hugs, or even something as simple as her making me a sandwich which only mums can do. The way dad told me everything will be OK as he smiled that smile of comfort that as a young child made me feel safe, secure and home. Was it the smell of nana’s cooking, the Sunday roast, or the freshly cut grass…I had woken up mid dream, and the awake part was the nightmare. Not because of what, who, or where I was, but because I couldn’t go back to sleep and pick up where that dream had been. The space in my head where my spirit had taken me in the night, clearly a place of refuge, yet for now it would be interrupted, it would remain a distant memory.
Our lives can be traced through the emotional tags we bind to certain events. Some fill our hearts with joy, some with sorrow, and some that make you so happy you just cry.
I remember the smell of my grandparents house, the taste of Dencorub after getting smashed in a tackle playing rugby league as a teenage boy, and the way I felt when I had my first kiss, I was so nervous. I recall what it felt like to hold my daughter and son for the first time, to say the last goodbye to my mum, and to look angrily at my Pa when he passed. Angry because I had not finished learning from him. I remember vividly, learning that my wife had lost everything for me, that gut wrenching feeling that when you realise you had broken something that was unfixable, unrepairable, yet you refuse to believe in that moment in time.
Our parents, and even more so our grand parents are living textbooks, real-life almanac’s that we have access to yet we seem to pass over because we are ‘too busy’. A friend of mine told me just the other night at dinner that time is a currency that we all have the same share in, and therefore claiming we have ‘no time’ is a fallacy.
Now a little bit older and wiser (in theory) I realise how much easier it all could have been if I just listened. Listened to my parents, my girlfriends, their parents, my teachers, my ex-wife, and most importantly my gut! What exactly does that ‘gut feeling’ constitute? Is it our spiritual side engaging us to lean left or right, or is it a set of preconceived ideals we subconsciously carry that drive us towards a destiny that we think we want? How does it all connect, how do the smells we know and love, the emotions we embrace, and the moments in time all come together to give us a spiritual compass; a gut feeling!
This last five days I have been in New Zealand working on the V8 Supercars. On Friday I took myself off to the ANZAC Day Dawn Service, it was the 99th anniversary of the year the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps landed on the beaches of Gallipoli, Turkey. This day invokes a whole swag of smells, emotions, and gut feelings. Mostly ones where I fall victim to the emotional landslide, especially when I consider the context of what conditions those ANZAC’s fought under. There isn’t a solider I know that doesn’t live a life long battle after the war fighting is done. A silent enemy, a dream that you want to wake up from…yet are too scared to force happen in case you don’t like the scenery when you open your eyes.
We all have time, some of us get to chose what they spend it on. Some of us less fortunate do not…
George Michael’s new album – Symphonica has been playing this week, along with Ben Harper, Michael Buble, Pink Floyd, and Norah Jones. What a mix! Like I said before, who cares what you listen to, if it works for you then do it. Music is one of those universal currencies, except its value it governed by you!
Try and listen to something every day, if your struggling with your emotions, direction or purpose, start by listening to yourself. Turn off all the distractions, all the flood lights, the windows, every escape route. Put yourself in front of that mirror and do not move until you love what you see…
One shot! One….
Photos by Steven Markham Photography