Being There

My wife, Tamara. made a comment during our trip on safari to South Africa. She said that with all the TV nature programmes she/we had seen, it was sometimes hard to feel that we were really there when there were animals in front of us.

What she said has slowly penetrated my brain to understand it is a profound statement. The worlds we can experience now are unlike anything from previous centuries. We can be anywhere in the world that the camera has been. Of course, being there in actuality is different. But it takes effort, and in one sense, the images that are seared into our brains are stamped in, whether from a film or from being there.

I think there is another ‘problem’. I have travelled quite a lot. And I know from experience that when I am in a new place, my senses are easily overwhelmed. The world seems to speed by me, or I speed by the world. It takes an effort to stop and slowly let the world come to me. Then I start to discern detail.

I have discovered this technique of slowing down works even in familiar surroundings. I mean really slow down. Really slow down. Walk at a pace that is considered unnatural to others, even slower than dawdling. It means putting one foot in front of the other consciously, and looking around as I do.

Try it if you don’t do it already, and I think you will discover a whole new world of detail.

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