online: 31 may 2005
modified: 31 may, 16, 17 june 2005

30 may 2005 what shall I do?

19:52 People walk past... not so much going somewhere as for the pleasure of walking - yet few appear to look about as they walk... most seem to pay attention only to each other, to what others are saying, or what they are saying themselves... or else, walking or running alone, each seems attentive to thoughts - which may well be to do with other times, moments, places, or concerns.

A half-naked man runs by and stops to look back to shout someone's name and then to wave when whoever it was following comes into his sight - and then he runs on. About twenty seconds later a dog runs past and follows the man and i see no more of either.

What we do or say or think when with each other, or alone, or with a dog, or a cat, or a tv, or a phone, or with a book, or in what we call work, or a game, or with a bike, or a car, or a gun, or a needle, or any thing, or in any circumstance at all?... there is some mystery to me in how we choose it ('it' being what we say and do and think) - for most of it seems unchosen, or mistaken, or not much to our liking, or without purpose, or of no real value (though value is a word and a concept i dislike and seldom use). What is happening in all our doings? Is it all a mistake? (what am i saying?)

And now a slightly limping man walks by - he has a big pack on his back and is carrying a big bag in his right hand - he seems driven by some circumstance or purpose, perhaps unhappy, or perhaps striving with burdens, like Christian in The Pilgrim's Progress*.

But now, attending to my own circumstance and intentions, i decide to get up and walk on, or else walk home, while it's light, and the sky's so clear, the wind feels so cool and pure as i breathe (it's from the north) - i go so as to enjoy this moment in the company 'of everything' - even if out of my depth in these thoughts.

John Bunyan, The Pilgrim's Progress, 1677.
As I walked through the wilderness of this world ... I dreamed, and, behold, I saw a man clothed with rags, standing in a certain place, with his face from his own house, a book in his hand, and a great burden upon his back ... he brake out with a lamentable cry, saying, What shall I do?

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