Monday, August 09, 2010

All' Aeroporto di Ciampino, Roma

As I have already written a short post from a train station, I may as well write one also from an airport.  Once again, it's all hussle and bustle as is normal for any airport, and especially in August when seemingly the whole Italian population is on the move.  I do not like airports in general because of all the consequent hassle after 9/11.  My God, it was so easy to travel prior to that fatal and fateful day.

The bookshop is always my first port of call in an airport to equip myself with a book, or more likely than not several magazines in Italian, so that I can at least both keep my Italian from going rusty and keep up with the current news.  I bought copies of La Gente,and an interesting one called Focus Storia which has a subtitle: "Scoprire il Passato e Capire il Presente," which translates as Focus on History: Discover the past, Understand the Present."  There is a lot of truth in that maxim, as I have expressed many times in these posts.

Isca at night.  Sundown on the Mountains of Sila
I sit here on a less than comfortable seat at Ciampino Airport with queues everywhere, with the delightful babble of Italiano and some English around me.  Once again, I search inside for the silence and the solitude that I have been discussing with respect to the book Solitude by the late great psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Dr Anthony Storr, a character whom I would have loved to have met.  From reading a good number of his books, a captivating and stimulating as well as a very erudite and wise man comes across.  From reading such books in general psychiatry and psychoanalysis one learns that to be able to go on the inward journey one simply does not have to be alone, that is, without people around one; one can dip into the wells of stillness and silence anywhere, even among the crowds.  You see, solitude or real inner silence is a work of the mind and/or heart, and one does not have to journey to the farther reaches of the deserts or of the mountains or of the icy wastes to enjoy it.

As I was coming through Rome earlier this morning on the 7.30 A.M. bus I let my eyes scan the balconies of the various apartamenti.  Many of the Romani were obviously already up and "at it" as it were even at this early hour.  Many of them had there own little gardens on their balconies many storeys up.  I espied one man cleaning his, another man just looking out over his morning kingdom and a woman tending to her plants.  Even in the noise of modern Rome (and ancient Rome, I'd say was noisy too, but with less pollution) oases of peace are possible.  All it needs is a willing heart to find it.

Cultivating silence (like cultivating a garden, even if it is on a balkcony ten storeys up) is essentially all about healing.  In a world of competition, stress and the clamour for ever more success, compassion for others and indeed compassion for the self is very hard to manage.  By cultivating moments of silence and quiet in your life no matter where you are or no matter with how many people you are is a necessity today because it allows our soul to heal and it allows us to have compassion on our very own inner being, call it heart or soul or spirit or mind or psyche, and indeed is quite easy to do with a little practice.  If you begin to try it, you will find that on every next trial it gets easier and easier.

This is my short meditation here amongst all these people, and also a trial of my mobile internet device Tim Alice.  Alla prossima volta amici a Dublino, Irlanda, Ciao, Ciao!!

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