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  • Writer's pictureAmanda Wowk


Climb. A piece, mostly uninspired.

Some of the best days are the days when we don't think about our lives at all. It's in those days that we leave ourselves open for inspiration. Clear minds ready for new thoughts and ideas, and perhaps most importantly, forgiving of expectations. I'll admit, the past couple of weeks have lacked inspiration. "But you took a totally impulsive 36 hour trip to Munich," you'll say. Meh. Munich left me... underwhelmed. Coming off absolutely falling in love with London, perhaps I had too high expectations for Munich. A lesson learned - if you're out looking for inspiration, you're apt to almost never find it. Well played, Munich.

The days that I'm most thankful for are those when physical exertion takes the place of mental activity; when I can turn off my inspiration-seeking brain and let the endorphins take over. Today was, happily, one of those days. I set out to hike Arthur's Seat, Edinburgh's 350 million year old dormant volcano, with the intention of getting some good ol' fashioned outdoorsy exercise and checking off one of the 'musts' on my Edinburgh bucket list. Blessed with a sunny and balmy 60-degree weather day, I climbed the abundance in the better part of an hour. As I had imagined (but couldn't fully fathom) the views from the summit were positively breathtaking. Taking some time to soak it in, ask a friendly stranger to snap a picture of me ("want one of you guys, too? My pleasure!"), and then a few more of my own for good measure, I gathered it was time to head back down the way I came. As timing would have it, a Fringe Festival act proceeded to set up shop just as I started to assess my descent. At first I was tempted to duck out of the intrigued audience. But then I looked around and thought, well why not -- with the Festival winding down and my weekends filling up, take a seat & enjoy the show - who knows when you'll be back?

To capture the audience, the equal-parts comedian/historian cracked jokes and waxed poetic about the hill's lesser know facts. His story started to take off and as I listened, my brain naturally began to reflect on the story he told. I was happy I had stayed to partake in this very exclusive Fringe session. But more than that, it got me to think, why was I in such a rush to leave? Hadn't I come here to experience something new, to conquer a new height, to get a change in perspective? More importantly, didn't I come here with an open & clear mind, full of energy and vibrance?

Sitting 800 feet up, I could clearly see the correlation in this climb and my lack of inspiration as of late. Why was I forcing it? Why was I frustrated by it? Stop looking. Just be.

As I tuned back into the storyteller's tale, he was asking the audience for 10 seconds of silence following the poem he was about to share:

"What is this life if full of care We have not time to stand and stare? ... No time to see, in broad daylight, Streams full of stars, like skies at night. No time to turn at Beauty's glance, And watch her feet, how they can dance. No time to wait till her mouth can Enrich that smile her eyes began. A poor life this, if full of care, We have no time to stand and stare." - W.H. Davies

Just climb. Just be.

And remember, you don't always have to go back the way you came.

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