Friday, May 18, 2012

Om Oy

Every now and then I come across a picture in a book showing a sign that says "Om Oy," and for a moment I gaze at it without comprehension. Sooner or later though, I realize that it is actually "0m 0y" (zero-m zero-y), and the British counterpart to an American "MP 0," or milepost zero.

That American railroads mark their lines in decimal fractions of a mile (eg "MP 8.4") while the Brits used miles and yards (they may still, or may have converted to metric) is interesting enough to let my mind idle on that for a bit, after which I mostly move on to other items of interest in that or subsequent photographs.

Recently though, a friend and I shared a brief discussion on "it's about the journey, not the destination," and my brain has turned that cliché into a journey, rather than a destination, categorizing random appropriate and inappropriate items into one or another or both. 
  • Journey: knowing oneself, loving another, walking on the beach, reading a book
  • Destination: root canal repair, surgery
  • Either or both, depending on your attitude, your mindfulness: eating, driving somewhere,  writing a blog post, most any part of life?
In that context, a "0m 0y" sign in a photograph jumped out at me this morning as signifying not just a starting point, but a destination - after all, most milepost-zero signs are located at the major terminus of the railway line, which is a destination for a large number of travelers on the railway.

So I wondered how often "it's not about the journey, it's about the starting point," and of course, how often is our destination actually our starting point?

We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.

My instinctive reaction to that is "I don't want to go there."

"Vicious circles"

"Viscous circles."

Trapped in an infinite loop, revisiting the same cycles of despair and frustration.

But then again, I am always happy to get back home to our cats, who typically ignore my arrival unless it is near their feeding time (a several hour window that rises steeply in intensity when they fear that I might be late or gone forever).

And often I am pleased to awaken to a new day.

But now the kitties are expressing concern that I might not return from the journey into blog-posting-land until their breakfast is exceedingly overdo, and I have not yet hshowered (journey? destination? both!).

So I shall click "publish" and walk away from the computer.


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