Saturday Evening Post#145: Where Ever You Are: Be There!

Sure, the shops are all closed by government decree around here, so I’m really talking from past experiences.

Have you been in a shop, ready to part with the hard earned, find what you want, approach the ‘sales’ staff, and find the they are busily enthralled in their own world on their ‘phone’. Some Tik-tok, spacebook, istafalm or other thing that holds attention.  Not wanting to make eye-contact under any circumstances, they’ll try to get the whole customer interruption, (used to called making  profit), out of the way.

Or perhaps, there is a ongoing discussion among several about lunch possibilities, or last night’s gym session.
Walk into a store, and my local greengrocer is such, and it’s a hive of activity, each customer is welcomed, a small banter of conversation, admittedly just above, “Oh have a nice day”, but at least an interest in the person.

I had a friend once who was forever telling people, “Where ever you are: Be There!”
The same concepts come across in many religions. I’m not into deep meditation, or discovering my inner-self, or even spirit-filled ether of nebulous thought.

Nearly 18 months back, we were so I remember being told, “All in this together”.
Now its down to arguing why vaccine support can’t be redirected to Sydney to help. (And, please, I do understand there is much packed into that simple sentence, and  pumping more arms tomorrow is not going to bring the numbers down the day after.)

If any, us Melbournians might want to have a little compassion given we were putting out numbers like 600 or more infections A DAY, this time last year.

Wherever you are be: Be There!

What my friend was advocating, these days,  carries a well-worn, and oft, misunderstood and misused term.
It crops up in all the ‘best’ websites, lectures, books and corner spruikers.

Lao Tzu defined it so much more simply.  “Focus”  Ahh good photographic term, something I can get my head around.

Poking my head up against the viewfinder, and carefully working the composition, at some point, I have determined which part of the image is to be:
1. The focus, and
2 the Point of Sharp focus.
Wherever you are: Be there.

Henri Cartier-Bresson said, “To take photographs is to hold one’s breath…. It is putting one’s head, eye and one’s heart on the same axis….
There is a creative fraction of a second when you are making the picture. That is the moment the photographer is creative
     Opp!  The Moment.
Once it is gone, it is gone—Forever.”

As bird watchers, counters, seekers or photographers we are acutely  aware of the around.  The calls of the birds across the paddock, the Magpie in pursuit of a raptor, the shrill call of a White-plumed Honeyeater’s warning, a pair of Magpie Lark bonding.

I’m taking to doing much more sitting and watching, listening and soaking up the winds, sounds smells and changes of season than previously.
What is around the next turn in the track is not as alluring as years gone by. I’m happy to be a little kid on the beach, looking intently at a grain or two of sand as being overwhelmed by the broad vista before me.

Where ever you are Be There.

Besties to all those locked down, all those who are struggling with the isolation and hats off to all those dedicated Heros who are working so hard for us.  You show us the way

From the Global Headquarters of the Doona Hermit.

You don’t get more focused than a hungry juvenile Australian Hobby lining up for lunch to arrive. 🙂


9 thoughts on “Saturday Evening Post#145: Where Ever You Are: Be There!

  1. A splendid image of the Hobby, David!
    And I must admit I got tired of being ignored in the ‘major’ stores – I send Di now!
    We need to be there, and be a part of there. We need to be aware of there!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. A fabulous shot and an interesting (as ever) rumination for our Saturday Evening Post.

    I remember reading a long time ago the saying “Eternity is now” – in other words, live in the moment rather than forever wanting what might happen next week or next year or whenever. Mindfulness as I understand it is another word for that same concept. We don’t know (especially in these grim days) what is going to happen in the future, so appreciating what we have in the moment makes more sense than ever. Stay focussed and well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Eleanor, thanks for commenting, it gets harder not to be come too philosophical when we’ve been locked down, and I’ve been browsing through a few old books, and copious notes that probably were just stream of consciousness stuff.

      One of my Tai Chi instructors is very much a non-conformist, and as such sees the traditional thought not as set in concrete, but rather to be explored for new values, and at the same time is constructively critical of the ‘new age’ attempts to hi-jack the principles as though they belong to them. Makes me laugh sometimes.

      I like the Japanese, “Forest Bathing” as another view of how we can be attune to the around.

      Looking eagerly to the numbers for next Tuesday, I am but hesitant to say the least.


  3. Great reflection about living in the moment David. I guess most hobbyist photographers and bird watchers can related to your musings.
    Your musings also reminded me of the writing from the personal experience of Fyodor Dostoevsky who was spared from execution under Tsar Nicolas I reign.
    In his novel The Idiot, written years later, Dostoevsky created a character who is facing death at the scaffold, and ponders what he would do if he was given one more chance to live:
    “I would turn every minute into an age, nothing would be wasted, every minute would be accounted for…”

    Jeremy ( a part-time Doona Hermit) 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hello Jeremy,
      Thanks for dropping by and taking the tim to comment, it is alway good to get your perspective and insight, which I value very much.
      It is indeed an awareness thing, as I get a bit older the opportunities to be frivolous with my time is diminishing and the importance of ‘Accounting for Every Minute’ is much more fore of mind than ever. 🙂
      I really like Dostoevsky, as the characters always reflect an insight into the human condition that challenges me to be more aware of people and their intent.

      hope we get some relief, even if small come Tuesday


  4. Well expressed David, I concur with your thoughts on mindfulness and the absence of it in the younger generation, adsorbed and addicted to them, I find the same. People are so much more easily bored today because they have come to expect that norm is to be constantly entertained, it required less energy and stress compared to engaging in relationship, which many are now finding difficult face to face. We remarked on a woman yesterday on our walk with her face in her phone and her only child playing alone on the play gym in the park, wishing her mum would watch her, how sad it is. Yes the cry of mindfulness was never heard before television came along, and it all just got worse after that. Love your hobby image ! Enjoy your week.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. G ‘day Ashley,
      Mr An Onymous reminds me often of his views on the sadness of watching an adult in a park absorbed by the phone and missing the wonderful opportunities to enjoy the exploration of their children. As you say, it is universal.
      I’ve become a committee of one try to highlight the work of the genuine heroes around us. It may not influence a great number but, its making me more focused on the works that the genuine people are doing.

      Trust that the Sydney numbers can be stemmed and that a glimmer of hope for some easing can occur quickly.

      Liked by 1 person

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