I sometimes wonder if the hidden purpose of a long journey by plane or by train is not to get you to where you’re going but to give you some solid, unbroken thinking and reading time. Moments before leaving for Mwanza I chose a couple of books at random from the bookshelf and found myself so sucked in to one of them that I forgot to be afraid at take-off. The book was ‘Illusions’ by Richard Bach, author of Jonathan Livingston Seagull, a classic.
So much of the content was reminiscent of the teachings of Buddha, Eckhart Tolle and the kind of stuff you get in The Secret (a sort of self-help, everything you want can be yours if you wish it book/video series, popular in the US). Although, it didn’t reference any of these but instead was about becoming a Messiah, via an imagined set of conversations between two pilots of antique aircraft. It’s certainly a different kind of read, requiring much pausing and re-reading of pages. Even then, some of it sailed neatly over my head with an audible whooshing sound. It has some humorous bits, but scattered throughout about were some great philosophical soundbites worth putting on the fridge. One is the title of this post.
To sum it up, it’s very similar messaging to the law of attraction, about believing in yourself and manifesting what you want from life from your attitude and will. That all makes a lot of sense. One of the first things I was told when I returned to riding a motorbike is to always look where you want to ride to, not at the ground in front of you. Useful tip when going around a roundabout or sharp bend. ‘Where you look, that’s where you’ll go.’ It occurred to me that this can also be applied to your thinking.
I read the last page of Illusions as my flight touched down on Mwanza airport tarmac. From that point on, it was a bit of a frenzy in the arrivals hall. Fortunately, I’d got the Yellow Fever vaccination that you’re not really supposed to need (not arriving from a Yellow Fever country) but was still asked for. All the paperwork was in order and after a bit of hanging around I found myself outside and the warm and friendly smile of Claire was there to greet me. What a delight. Now there’s a woman who is here through a combination of self-belief and thought. What she imagined, has manifested. What will she imagine next? I’d aim for world peace, but settle for a time machine.
So after just 14 hours and three take-offs I'm here. Incredibly easy flights, good company on the first plus Kenya Airways was remarkably efficient and the plane was pretty new. I had a good entry as well, while others were having their bags torn open and being interrogated by rather angry looking customs men, I was waved through with barely a second glance. That was tidy. First impressions? Warm and dusty roads, beeping, swerving boda bodas, (that’s motorcycle taxi in Swahili) often carrying two helmets, not actually wearing one of course) dodging the traffic, colourful women and odd coloured fruit and … what the sneck are those birds overhead? Buzzards and Kites, as common as pigeons, everywhere. But of course this is AFRICA! It feels alive and different entirely. I’m enjoying it, although the ground is still swaying. I catch myself smiling, happy to be here and very grateful that when I argued for my limitations, I didn’t put up a very good fight.