The Age of Exhaustion
Photo by jasonking.org.uk

Everyone, I know is exhausted. “Exhaustion” has become the new status symbol, if you are not exhausted you are viewed as being “Lazy“.  Exhaustion, comes from busyness and being busy is how people measure their own self-worth. In the western world we have lost the art of dreaming, of sitting still and being with ourselves. Actually I am wrong, we have not lost it, doing “Nothing” has been deemed as a bad thing.  In other parts of the world, exhaustion would be considered a terrible infliction something your family, your friends, your community would be very concerned about.

In Africa, nothing runs on time, but that is okay.  When in Africa, my husband once asked a bus driver “What time do we leave?” the driver looked at him perplexed and then smiled as he said, “When everyone is on board of course!“, two hours later, the bus departed.  While, seated on the bus awaiting its departure, my husband had time to study the other passengers. Some, sat chatting together and sharing food, others seemed to go into a trance as they gazed out the window. This trance or dream state was something my husband noticed everywhere in his travels across Africa.  He admired them for it, “Time means nothing to the people of Africa, they have an abitlity to go within themselves and can spend hours in a dreamlike state, staring out towards the horizon.  The African people know how to be still.”

When, I was a child, I used to spend hours dreaming. I would sit on my window sill and look out towards the hills in the distance and wonder who lived there, what their lives were like. I would lie amoungst the bracken on the mountain where I grew up and follow its leaves to their spiralled end. Now, I am a “Grown up” and my dreaming is lost to there always being something else to do.

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