Out Of The Blue

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I walked home from Darling Harbour yesterday afternoon, dreading the extensive mental to-do list that I needed to attend to later that night. I was drained and overwhelmed, not only by a never-ending array of steep stairs that stood before me, but because with every trouble that I attempted to wrap my head around, another issue flared up. I felt imprisoned within my own Catch-22 rut; cleaning up the clutter and making more mess in the process.

Herein lies the problem: When I feel engulfed by the fiery flames of intense pressure, my mind works like one of those large popcorn machines you find in cinemas. As heat forces popcorn to burst around its display container, somehow extreme stress causes haphazard thoughts to spring up and violently ricochet throughout my mind. And indeed, like popcorn, those thoughts are usually over-salted with pessimism and grief.

POP. Workplace drama…POP. University fees…POP. Health scares……
POP. POP. POP.

I contemplated cabbing the rest of my journey home as I begrudgingly walked over the very last step. I shuffled the song choice on my iPod from a something little less Katy Perry energetic to something a little more Coldplay solemn, turning up the volume when –
“Excuse me”
I turned around to see a casually dressed young man with a camera hanging securely around his neck. His tanned arms were wrapped around the waist of his beautiful partner, who was holding a crumpled up map of Sydney. Their smiles were almost as bright as the sun’s afternoon rays.
“Could you please take a photo of us?” He asked excitedly, handing me his  Nikon, “and can you try to get the harbour in the photo?”

As I captured their Sydney memory with the press of a finger, I was struck with a sudden realisation. Something finally hit me.

I am standing on the Harbour Bridge. 
I am overlooking Sydney Harbour.
People travel from across the globe to stand in this very spot.
And I am here.

This is what I saw:

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Sydney, as captured by my measly iPhone camera.

My popcorn thoughts were interrupted by the extraordinary panorama perspective around me. Like mixing paints, the clear harbour water subtly changed colours as each wave was kissed by the sunlight. I watched in wonder as deep sapphire blues blended with sea green pigments, forming the flawless aquamarine oceans that surrounded the stunningly crafted Opera House. I witnessed an exquisite vignette paint itself before my eyes.

Sometimes the most breathtaking sight is the one that sits right before you, the one you’re overlooking or underestimating. Sometimes your way out, your escape, is the blatant route that you often ignore. My Catch-22 rut of popcorn thoughts ceased with an expected pause…..a pause that appeared out of the blue…. out of the blue ocean of Sydney’s majestic harbour.

 

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21 responses

  1. Coldplay, I imagine, is never the answer to anything! You could say he has it all, but he’s a miserable sod. You do take for granted what’s on your doorstep – I used to live just off Wales’ biggest high-street in-between a Victorian pier and an ancient cathedral whilst having the (less blue) sea within earshot – and looking back I wished I’d been more impressed at the time. I’m sure I was, but it takes these moments to short-circuit your everyday grind to appreciate them from a fresh perspective.
    FM

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah he is a little bit of a misery guts!
      Wow you’re hometown sounds really beautiful! It’s so true, I used to live right by a big lake in the suburbs and now that I’m living the inner-city life, I wish I spent more time there.
      Thanks for all your support, FM :)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Sometimes, All you need is that pause in the fast paced world to take a breath and truly enjoy what’s around you :)

    oh and here’s a bag of popcorn to share with you for the great shot :)

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  3. I absolutely love these moments. I think God or whatever you believe in is stepping in to point out that things aren’t so bad and you are your own worst enemy. The first thing I thought of when I saw your photo: I wonder how many great white sharks are in that harbor? I have a serious fascination with the creatures. Love, love, love them. Of course this is irrelevant to your post, but that’s where my mind is!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hahaha we have a few sharks in Sydney’s beaches actually! I remember once my brother and I were headed to a beach and we found tons of news reporters who informed us that there were a couple of sharks lurking about….it didn’t stop us from swimming though!

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  4. I always did best when under pressure. Except that now AGEING is the relentless pressure. More difficult to handle. Difficult to get out into nature any more. So I look into my cats’ eyes for the realization of what is real. That encounter was an ‘omen’ and a suggestion … take heed as Ray says, he is very wise.

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    • As cliche as it sounds, I think it was a real eye-opener for me. Pressure can be great, but when it turns into sheer worry and anxiety, everything around you feels so glum. I spend far too much time stressing, and sometimes I just think, why worry, when it makes me irritable and angry and just all around annoying to be around?
      Thanks for the read :)

      Like

  5. That is a beautiful way to look at it. But I live in Dallas Texas and the only world famous building we have around here is the Dallas Cowboy Football Stadium. LOL…and that’s not quite on the same level as your beautiful Opera House.

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  6. I used to feel the same way when I’d walk from my health club down Michigan Ave. in Chicago after I moved there. It would be 7:30 p.m., bustling Mag Mile and I would wonder at the river, the city lights, the energy. There were moments of loneliness in being far from my family but I felt lucky to be there. As you are in Sydney:).

    Like

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