I always love colliding phrases like chaos and calm. It’s that sort of juxtaposition that I really feel provides a certain set of balance to everything around us, especially in the places around me. I’ve had such a whirlwind week. From sleeping in (numerous) airports, to meeting people who are the reason for me wanting to pursue writing in the first place and seeing bands whom I’ve seen grow and change over the course of their career. It’s a truly wonderful experience, and championing these hard working individuals is really what I'm all about.
But what happens when it’s all said and done? When you finally have the opportunity to sleep in a real bed (as opposed to a cold hard tiled floor with flight announcements), unwind your mind and really just take a breath. When I arrived back to Newcastle train station on Sunday morning at around 2:30am, the air was cool and perfect. The abandoned train tracks hauntingly watching over me as I made the walk home. Getting off the train (well… bus) and being hit with a wave of sea air and stillness made me smile. People have been asking me recently, due to spending a lot of time in Melbourne, when I will make the move. To this I always say, why would I want to. I can travel far and wide, get lost in major cities or discover a new town, but having a base is so important to me. And I mean a proper base, somewhere and sometimes even someone that feels like home. This is what is important to me, and probably a lot of other Novocastrians as well.
So what did I do when I was unable to quiet my mind for even the smallest of moments? I was meeting my sister at Good Brother for breakfast, if you haven't been, definitely make the trip. It’s on King Street for those playing at home. They do an incredible home loan on toast special, their coffee is great, and most importantly, lots of people bring their dogs as they go past on their morning walk. But before heading in for food, I found myself drawn once again to the water, it was a magnificent morning after all. I even took my shoes off, feeling the cracked pavement beneath my feet. But I stopped short when I arrived at Customs House, as a familiar voice rang through my ears. Some wonderful individual who was in the middle of opening up, was blaring Bruce Springsteen’s greatest hits for the entire foreshore to hear. So I found a shady spot, and lay down, his words washing over me filling me with a wonderful sense of connection, and finally, a quiet mind.
But now I was chasing that euphoria, when would the next little pocket of stillness surface in amongst the chaos of the day? In the most unlikely of places it seemed. Spending time with someone who I had shamelessly been missing whilst I was away, we both found, at the end of a rickety boardwalk, stillness. If you’ve never been to Carrington, you need to. Immediately. I have such a soft spot for this place because it seems to be trapped in time. With it’s wide roads and tree lined streets it always says home to me. But like a ‘locals only’ type scenario, there are places that many forget about, or perhaps don’t even know existed. But suddenly, there we were, surrounded by mangroves taking in all that the best time of day had to offer. Sneakily sharing wine and chatting about stuff and things and everything that made us both happy and sad, I found time to be still, with someone else.
This sense of stillness is so incredibly important. Whether you find it in your morning coffee, an abandoned park, or acting like teenagers sneaking alcohol into public places, or even in the palm of someone else’s hand. Never ever underestimate the importance of slowing down. Because as important as chaos is, there is no chaos, without a little calm.