There is a conspiracy in the world against trying to think differently. I realised this again as I stood on the packed train back to Cambridge. Peering over the shoulders of fellow passengers seated I could see, aside from the odd person doing overtime on their accounts and invoices, a large proportion playing games. Or watching films. Filling time from A to B. Taking time out from life. Perhaps making life bearable.
I was not inconvenienced, standing in my new bright blue trainers that I have bought to support my feet better so I can walk for miles and miles. I hate trainers and hate bright colours but the florid sports shops, which declare your health just by your purchase of some garish item, will not let you have the un-glowing. Or not for the high-arched shoes I needed.
Feet and thinking are very important to me; and very related. If ever I got myself into a tizz or a flap I would set off for mile after mile of walking. Once, aged 18, when I found out I had been betrayed in love I went for a marathon walk from Battersea to Gants Hill, a large chunk of London there, to ease my feeling of ‘dumpedness’. And it worked, arriving at the home of a girl who earlier when I was 14 and she was 14 had also dumped me. But that was because I tried to beat up her teacher, who unfortunately was also the PE teacher, so the ‘beating up’ went the wrong way for me. He had spoken cruelly to her the day before and I and her brother decided to ‘sort the bugger out’, but he ‘sorted’ us out.
— John Bird (@johnbirdswords) June 22, 2018
After the Battersea-Gants Hill trek I realised I didn’t really love her, and there were plenty more fish in the sea. I exorcised my love and moved on to the next obsession.
There is a conspiracy against thinking differently in the world because the world is obsessed with doing things in the time-honoured way. But nature and science and life teach us all the time that you can’t just keep doing the same.