Feb Photo 29 – Something I Am Listening To
Sometimes, when I wish to simply get away and clear my head, I head down to the Jawbone Marine Sanctuary in Williamstown, sit on the sand, and enjoy the serene and tranquil silence. Most of the time there is no mobile phone reception, no background noise of traffic, or even passing pedestrians. To be able to escape the ongoing stresses of everyday hustle and bustle, remove yourself from the digital world, and to simply be alone with ones thoughts can often do wonders for a person’s thinking capacity, not to mention the simple act of rejuvenating the mind, and perhaps thinking through some things that have been pestering or lingering for some time with a fresh mind.
Whenever I sit down at Jawbone, I often have the simple sounds of the wind in the grass to keep me company, perhaps the gentle sound of the water lapping against the rocks or sand. Occasionally I take my iPod, however I rarely have it on when I am there. It sort of defeats the purpose of being there in the first place.
Sometimes I take along a writing book or even a sketch pad, just to see what will flow when my mind is clear of other clutter. I have written a few songs down there, although none are recorded yet, and I have done a few drawings of various things. More often, however, I go down to simply think. Either to work through a problem that has arisen recently, think my way through some problems that have come up, or perhaps just to re-centre myself and de-stress before a long week at work, or an upcoming struggling time.
Different people have different ways to de-stress and centre themselves before or after a stressful or mentally trying period of their lives. Some choose to drink, some choose to go out clubbing or to a concert, some choose to go for a jog or do something fitness related, and there are always people who choose to do partake in yoga, meditation or some form of mental relaxation. Even simply sitting under a tree, or lying in bed with a good book can help the mind relax and focus itself on the challenges ahead.
The human mind is a complex and mystical place, and for different people, different things work in helping it relax. Sometimes, multiple things together work, other times a single avenue of approach is required, but this could also change. nothing is in concrete when the mind is involved.
Sometimes, I prefer to sit alone at the beach and ponder. Other times, playing my guitar loudly and almost scaring the neighbours into thinking that the North Koreans are attacking. Other times, I have simply got on my bike and rode. iPod in, music up loud and simply powering down a bike track, with no destination in mind other than ‘forward’. The only way to truly clear my mind is to stop thinking, and simply do something repetitive and simplistic (for me!) that allows my brain to switch into auto-pilot and not allow any new thoughts to enter. This allows my mind to simply work through the backlog of thoughts that are floating about in there, process and file them away, allowing my mind to reset and centre itself.
I feel rather lucky to have such a wonderful and quiet place so close to my house, within walking distance, and yet it might as well be a world away. A nature reserve, bird & marine sanctuary. It is the kind of place that is not too common, especially inland (the marine part should explain why!) and to have access to this little section of pristine native land is simply amazing in today’s day and age. Australia is really a blessed country to be able to have these little sections of nature so close to the cities, housing areas and public beaches, yet have them remain relatively untouched and preserved for generations to come.