Submitting To That Spark Of Spontaneity

1:15 pm

Something is starting to take shape.  It’s a breeze that wafts through your mind. It’s cold and then it’s hot. It rises and then it falls. It rises, then it dies, then it lives again. 

Perhaps you are on the sofa, nursing a cup of coffee, or lying in bed, reading. The clock ticks behind you. The sound of a second as it leaves to join your past, becomes more apparent. You remind yourself that time is a concept defined by humans for the most part. You recall something you heard in a documentary about how we can never experience the ‘absolute present’ - even the sun’s rays are eight minutes old by the time they reach us.

Right now, however, you are enjoying a moment of inertia and nothing can disturb you from this state of oblivion.

Or so you thought. You feel something moving in your mind. The nudge or breeze or whatever it was, is back. You give in and listen to what it has to say.

It is a spark. This spark has brought with it an outline, a sketch of some plan. As the outline begins to fade, you recognize it. It’s not the spark that demands that you change your life. The one that visits with perseverance wherever you are, asking you to change your career or your hobbies or your lifestyle or the people you spend your time with. That spark takes time to ignite and you interpret it with deliberation.

This one, has a shorter lifespan. It makes its entry with an energy that is unrivalled. Its demands are simple. Get out, and do something new. Or something old. Experience the freedom of spontaneity. It feels familiar and yet unknown.

Despite being precious about your inertia, this spark is managing to convince you to go outside. It’s also telling you to try and convince those around you. You begin to pass on that energy to the others in the room who may have been nursing a coffee in the past.

It’s not always a success, but this time, your spark has the power to influence, and you manage to articulate it in a way that is tangible.

When you are all outside, exploring some expanse of nature or urban life, the expectations are low, for your spark was a draft, ready to be edited and molded by the artists who perceived it.

So it doesn’t matter that it’s raining, or that it’s windy, or that you are talking about trivialities. The sea, the river, the little museum, a narrow road in the middle of a village, a crumbling temple, a tree from centuries ago, the street food in a crowded city square, conversation with a stranger, a water tower in the suburbs, ice cream at the stroke of midnight, looking for seals, secret gardens, climbing a stone pillar in a farm, last minute strolls before your train - pleasures abound. You are surprised by everything because you set out with no such expectation. 

This draft-spark overpowers the most elaborate of travel plans. It forces you to be agile. And when you have made of it what you wished to, it manages to stick in your memory with a sort of vividness that is unobtainable from organized planning. This memory is so strong that it can be channeled at any time, into a normal day.

For on that odd day that you feel a lack of spirit, and you can’t see that other more persistent spark that initiates bigger changes in your life, you think about this smaller one instead. The one that spoke to you in the past and made you see things anew without any reason. From this, you gain the strength and the courage to craft an adventure from nothing. You walk or run instead of taking the bus or you look outside the window instead of reading that book that you always read or you get lost on purpose. It is but an acquaintance of that spark from your memories, and yet somehow, it contributes in replenishing your spirit.  


These trips came out of submitting to that spark of spontaneity - Bangalore, √Čtretat, Bandipur, Yercaud, Isle of Arran, Denkanikottai, Brockley, Devon (India, France, England, Scotland)

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