Every month I do this one peculiar ritual, sub-consciously, I think.
I would take a walk around the city, stroll through the streets and lanes. Most of the time I walk with no idea of a route to take, aimless. I pass by boutiques, bakeries, cafes, fast food outlets and Asian restaurants. I stop only to let the tram pass. Occasionally I would take a tram if my feet needed rest.
I would stop at one of my favorite coffee shops for my usual cappuccino with no sugar. It’s been two years since I’ve had sugar with my coffee. That change opened up the richness of the drink, the flavours that blend harmoniously and this has been what makes coffee drinking such a joyful experience. It made me realise that all this while, sugar clotted together the flavours and presented me with a monotonous taste of sweetness. Sweet but boring.
I resume my walk. I see people rush by, they walk hastily as if they know that final farewells will be bid soon enough. Women puffing out smoke; tobacco with traces of mint. Teenagers hanging around in their school uniforms. Then, I walk pass a group of Australian migrants, new Australians from Africa, still trying to make sense of both worlds. Confused.
As my feet begin to feel the toll from my exertions, I end up in a local bookstore. The smell of paperbacks I would deeply inhale, with excitement and relief. I would take my time browsing through the shelves, picking up titles that intrigued me. In this bookstore I could be anyone.
A poet reading Coleman Bark’s Rumi. A philosopher deciphering a Penguin Aristotle. A scholar picking at Tariq Ramadan’s Radical Reform. A traveller. An artist. A designer. A story teller. Anything I want to be, through the books in the bookstore.
I resist from buying the books since I haven’t even finished what I bought two months ago let alone start reading books I purchased last month. But it’s a hopeless resistance, I fall again to this unexplainable habit that’s been stuck to me for almost two years now. Strangely I never feel guilt, I only ever feel joy.
Life is always full of twists and turns. Sometimes you take a detour, stop at places, tire yourself that you decide to rest but nevertheless you keep moving on.
There’s always that one thing that will keep you going on. Something that you want to ultimately achieve, a purpose.
Everything you encounter during your long life is collected, and those experiences and memories constitute your self and refine it as you walk towards your ultimate purpose.
As for me, I just need that joyful feeling that gives me the emotional warmth that becomes comfort in the cold gloomy days. And I will keep on walking through life to hopefully realise my purpose for existence. That will keep me moving.