WEEK 6 : THE BUILDING WITH NO ENTRY

There is the building. Right in my path. Enter, the sign says.

There is a door, So I open it and go in. And find myself outside the door.

I repeat the process more slowly. Watch how I turn the handle. The door swings easily enough. I walk through the doorway and I’m

Outside the door. Outside the building again.

There’s something funny about that entry. It looks like an entry, but it sort of doesn’t seem to work. Maybe I should go round it looking for other ways in. Problem is, they might be illusions too.

What I like about a locked door is that it removes doubt. As long as it has a handle, I can pull or turn it or something, and the door stays put, doesn’t swing or slide. Annoying, maybe, and when annoyance has passed the challenge remains. Here is a door I can’t open.

But not this kind of door.

So I’ll open it and go in again. What will happen this time?

In fairy tales, one has to say ‘open sesame’ or ‘speak friend and enter’ or some other sort of password. From memory though, until you spoke the right words the door stayed put without opening. Or those tales didn’t mention the kind of door you could think you’d gone through and then find you hadn’t.

Back at university there was a particular course, where no matter how I  tried, the tutor wasn’t satisfied with what I wrote in my essays. I was chatting with another student on the course one day and I remember him saying how pleasantly surprised he was at the good marks he was getting. ‘Not my style at all’, he told me.

I worked harder on that course than on any I’d ever done before and still got a fail grade.

So does it come down to, we think we’re speaking the same language so we believe we understand each other, but we’re really speaking such different versions of the same language that we actually don’t communicate?

What if there’s someone inside signalling frantically, trying to get my attention? ‘Do it this way!!!!!!!!!. Then it works.

Maybe. But meanwhile I’ll have another sleep. Sometimes good ideas come in dreams – maybe if I put my ideas out of the way for a bit I can get a subconscious message that will make it all so easy and obvious.

 

WEEK 5 : THE UNSTORM

On my pocket radio I heard the news of yet another storm somewhere else. Bigger than ever – that’s the best way to count on getting in the news. In a storm there’s much less choice and something has to be done. Over here where the storm isn’t there’s much more choice including doing nothing.

Some people say humans are now clever enough to create their own storms or at least build up and control those already started. It’s easy to think that’s totally crazy and see it as fact when it’s really only an opinion based on not having met the idea before.

Might there be someone who knows how to start a storm? A scientist or government ? Come on. You know there might. Would such a person tell everyone about what they could do? Perhaps not until they decided it was their best choice.

Where I am, the rain has stopped and the sun has come out. When a storm is over I feel tempted to do nothing for a while, then sooner or later I start wondering which fix of the damage will work best this time.

What about finding out if a person can create a storm or not? Then it would make sense to consider the possibility of turning it into an unstorm.

Be careful. We just might be more powerful than we’d like.

 

WEEK 4 : THINK OF A PLAN

That was a good sleep.

I stand up, feeling hungry. Immediately fruit and vegetables spring out of the ground. I eat some of them and feel ready for action.

What now ?

I wave goodbye to myself in the mirror and start walking. Almost immediately I notice a piece of paper on the ground in front of me. I pick it up and notice that it has two sides.

On one of them, in a language I understand, is the message ‘YOU ARE HERE’.

Good, I think. I understood that. I turn the page over and read ‘WELL DON’T STAND THERE ALL DAY. GET GOING !’

No need for directions. Away from the swamp will do nicely. Then I remember that lost people are known for going round in circles – they know this is happening by finding themselves doing it. Well if it happens to me at least I’ll have the veges to eat and the mirror to look in.

I forgot to mention that swamps are always followed by plains and I’m walking across one now, looking behind every few minutes to see if the mirror is still there. When it finally disappears I know I can’t be as lost as before.

Then, a long way ahead, I see the Thing. Good. Something to walk towards. This is going well. Not a crisis any more.

What next?

WEEK 3 : THE MIRROR

I plod on, fall over, get up, plod on. Means the water is getting shallower, must be gradually getting to the edge of the swamp. Swamps have edges don’t they, or they couldn’t be swamps.

About ankle deep now, must be nearly there.

But what’s this I see?  Well, it’s a full length mirror. How about that.

I wasn’t expecting to find such a clean shiny thing in such a mucky place. I know I’ve been in a mucky place because I’ve just seen myself in the mirror and I’m not approving of what I see. Hours later, I’m still there looking at myself and scraping away at bits of hardened stuck- on mud.

Can’t go on looking like this, can I. Might meet someone and get looked at critically. And the part of the swamp where I could have got a reasonable wash is not only way back there, but to return from it I haven’t thought of a way not to get dirty all over again.

Here’s an idea. Whatever I decide I won’t do it just yet. Or decide just yet. Perhaps, maybe, a doze about now would be a good idea. I won’t try to make it happen – let’s just see if it doesssszzzzzzzz…….

WEEK 2 : THE SWAMP

The experience of becoming a mastermind with limitless power over my own life.

I climbed the cliff, stood up to look at the view, fell backwards but fortunately not all the way. Crawled back up, not too far but into a thornbush at the cliff’s edge, marked ‘what’s the difference between ‘doing my best’ and ‘doing the best I can do’ ?

What’s the best way to crawl through a thornbush you can’t see the other side of? Answer : lie down and think about it some more, sloth feels soo comfortable.

Through at last and into the swamp. There’s an edge to it somewhere… the bottom can’t be seen, sometimes it isn’t there so some slow swimming gets done, sometimes it’s shallow enough for some soggy slippery steps.

“The art of being a hero is being prepared to look like a fool with a smile.”

Was that helpful ?

GREATNESS COMES THROUGH CRISIS

‘Our greatest fear is not that we are small and insignificant. Our greatest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.’

– Nelson Mandela

So what did Mr Mandela have to go through to come up with that ?

Well, he spent 27 years in prison. A bit of a crisis maybe.

If you don’t want to risk becoming great, I think I understand. What crisis might you be letting yourself in for ?

I’m kind of old now, but in a way just starting out. My life has been full of crisis and I’ve spent a lot of it trying to avoid them. Well, they tend to be shocking, embarrassing and generally painful

Is it in Mandarin Chinese that the word for crisis is the same as the word for opportunity?

What about this one? ‘If you don’t take the opportunity, sooner or later the crisis will come for you.’ That would be true if our shared destiny or purpose is to become great, in our own way, whether we like it or not.

I’ve gone back to school. On the second day I got to feel like a beginner again, learning the next wave of The Secret Mystery Of Computers And What They Do. This is my first ever blogpost, which I couldn’t have done if I hadn’t gone back to the beginning and through the crisis of appearing totally ignorant again.

When a crisis hits you, say hello crisis.

Then be sure to fall over. That way you find out where the ground is. Having done that, you can then use it to stand up and start taking steps again.

There is one real advantage about being in crisis. There’s only time for action. No time left to feel sorry for myself, there’s too much going on.

So if you don’t have one, make one. Some people would call it thrill seeking.