Day 4, Sat 14 Oct 2006
This is my temporary Yoga room while I'm in the Congo. I started a "yoga challenge" four weeks ago. Basically to do 5 90min sessions a week for 8 weeks and then this job was confirmed and I decided to just continue. This may seem straight forward but I do Bikram Yoga which is usually practiced in a room heated to 40 degrees celsius which does wonders for one's flexibility. The congo get's hot, 33 degrees on average, so I'll have some heat and I've got a CD of Bikram talking through a class and I'm playing it on my laptop (which you can see on the chair). Tomorrow I finish my 5th week.
After my yoga this morning I began to think about what it means to act here. What it means to have an intention and to follow through with it. There is such a powerful pull, undertow, that seduces (not the right word, there’s very little seductive here) that seduces one to just let go, to let things happen exactly as they will. I can feel it now, gently tugging at my consciousness, suggesting that I just let the day turn out the way it will. It even has a logic. I can hear it’s voice if I concentrate. “Don’t get into too much of a plan today because only so much can happen,” and “take it easy, every body else is,” and “why set yourself up for disappointment, just take it as it comes.” Of course, these voices are only the thin edge of the wedge.
I have to shoot three television commercials in four days and deliver quality as well. On the face of it, this seems to be an unrealistic expectation of anybody. Why? Well, for starters, a commercial requires a huge amount of planning and co-ordination of a variety of resources during a specific day plus the good fortune of a whole number of uncontrollable forces like the weather, the moods of all the crew and so on.
My experience so far is that if anybody can get away with not doing what they are supposed to do they won’t do it. Oh, eventually they’ll do it, eventually.
There are no consequences. Nothing happens when you don’t do what you said you would do, apart from a baby dying somewhere of course, or a woman get’s beaten to a pulp, or a whole country is left to scrabble around in the sand while the leaders get fat off the natural resources. And if you think this is judgmental then please write to me and tell me where is the judgment? This is what happens.
I wonder what I’ll do today. Maybe I’ll just take it easy, read a bit, have a swim. Or maybe I’ll be ready for my driver at 8 o’clock as agreed and go into the office and wait for everybody else to eventually arrive and start work. I wonder.
The lift in the Agency's office does not operate on weekends or after 7pm so it's up and down 9 flights of stairs a few times a day!