I was happy that today's challenge is to write about a thirty-minute detour. I actually did this last night, because I was looking for inspiration that I could draw from for #The100DayProject which I have started yesterday.
After alighting the P2P bus, I walked along the sidewalk instead of entering the mall. I may have been tired from work, but was in dire need of a change of scenery. I was initially worried about tripping over my skirt's hem as I was wearing a floor-length one, but I did not care anymore once I let the symphony of headlights, billboards, vehicle sounds, and traffic wash over me like a wave. I followed the crowd and weaved my way through the sidewalk vendors. They were selling street food which were tempting to try, but I trudged along, focusing on letting the surroundings take me forward, instead of ruining my appetite for dinner.
I was fascinated by the unspoken agreement between the crowd that the only way to go is onward. While I doubt if everyone in the crowd had a sense of purpose, I was certain that at that moment, they knew where home was, and that was where they were headed to. Like them, I let my feet instinctively take me towards the direction of the parking building where my car was waiting for me, but I was not ready to drive home yet. Since I seldom walk along this path, I was impressed as to how this urban tableau has recharged my senses. It is common to think of retreats along tree-lined paths or quiet mountains, so I really was not expecting to feel so connected to my own purpose of creatively sharing myself for the coming days in my writing challenges. I felt inspired by the onward direction of the crowd, the lights and sounds which is commonplace in rush hour traffic, and the fact that I was still walking, despite my fatigue from a hard day's work. I stopped a few times to browse through some of the goods being sold by the vendors. I realized that I ran out of prepaid cellphone load this morning so I topped-up from a peddler on the footbridge. It was after I checked my cellphone credits that I saw the vista which was sprawling in front of me. I was standing on an intersection right in the middle of EDSA, the busiest thoroughfare in Manila. I have just reconnected myself to the world through my prepaid credits, but I have also internally realized my sense of purpose in the center of city lights and the collective courage of the working class.
I am no different from anyone else in that crowd at that moment, but I was still going onward with a renewed sense of self to fuel my creativity.
I got inside my car and started the engine. My mind was fired up by the spark of awakening I have experienced. I could not wait to share this on a writing challenge, and I was amused as to how I experienced beauty in a polluted and crowded highway.
I was inspired enough to bring my watercolors and brushes with me to work today so I could spontaneously do some art journaling whenever I have downtime at work. I got in the office hours prior to my shift (as usual, since I love how quiet my cube is) and was pleasantly surprised to see that today's writing challenge involves thirty minutes of focus. While I do not have the luxury of wandering away from my desk, I had my traveler's notebook and paints with me. I whipped out my journal and just let my hands convey what my mind could not process yet at that time. I also ate my breakfast of pancit and slowly drank the cup of coffee I bought before logging in. I drew roses because I realized that I can still dream amidst the atmosphere of work and transient silence. Before I knew it, my thirty minutes was over. I have produced a page on my art journal while managing to slowly appreciate my breakfast. And then I realized that there is joy in the mundane, if only we will unplug from the noise surrounding us and look inside of us.
So I found my purpose in the middle of EDSA last night, and this morning, I had a mini-break over brekkie. I have wandered without going too far, because I tapped into my creative core. I hope that you will also find yourself in unexpected places and settings, and may this help you move onward.