Small portions

I’ve been sofa surfing. My first realisation is that I’ve got some brilliant friends with brilliant places to sleep so despite the phrase “sofa surfing” the only sofa involved has been my own sofa, where I am tonight. I’ve been so spoilt. Sara and Jack have a spare room with one of the most comfortable beds I’ve slept in for months, apart from the one that Tanya and Tristan have… I’ve had two great beds on opposite sides of London presided over by people who matter deeply to me. It’s unusual shifting my base in this town. But I’m very used to waking up unfamiliar. My moments after waking have been confusion.

I’m still dreaming pilgrimage, which is understanding considering I’m still living out of my rucksack. But I wake up and open my eyes in an unfamiliar room and recalibrate myself and wonder where I have to go today. Perhaps that’s how it should be. Where do we have to go today? Good question to ask, every morning. Small portions.

All of these big things you are trying to achieve – you don’t just teleport there. You wake up, portion out the day, aim for a minimum distance and go. Sometimes you don’t make the minimum. Sometimes you make much more. Either way you’re not where you started unless you do nothing. If it seems too far away you just aim for the next big city or the next waypoint. You meet people on the way who are heading in the same direction as you. Some of them you stick with. You’re in competition with none of them. Sometimes they’re faster, sometimes slower. But everyone makes it in their own way. And you get to where you get to. The only real obstacle is you.

I had times where I didn’t care about anything I was heading towards for weeks. After Pamplona there was nothing I was interested in until Cruz da Ferro. After Cruz da Ferro, nothing until El Cebreiro. Weeks in between just inventing destinations. But eventually I made Santiago. And then Finisterre – my true destination, with the closure that was so necessary for that walk. If I had really thought about the distance I might have stopped myself before the beginning. Big tasks in small portions. I’ll be off to Jersey in January for another one…

I’m glad to be heading to Sheffield for Carol, because it’s a chance to ply my trade and express what I do. The Scrooge story resonated deeply with me – more so than ever now. No matter how fucked we think things are, it’s never too late to turn a corner. That’s the message, for me. And that’s a powerful reminder. Because I’m concerned that having the distraction of a nightly show will push me back into old habits, when I have a lot to do.

I think the key is how I wind down after work. I remember witnessing a conversation between my best friend and a well known actress about this. How do you put yourself back in after a show? I think this run, I’m going to experiment with ways to wind down that don’t involve being up all night.

Here’s the ticket link by the way for Sheffield types. This crazy happy show that has become part of my life and has brought me so much joy. Come play if you can! (Particularly in the first few weeks as I think they need more sales then!) 🙂

Here’s my bed tonight… My crumply sofa. Because despite two great beds and numerous sofas across town, I wanna be near my car and able to load a case full of clothes because I might hit the North tomorrow…


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

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