It was about a month ago. I’d pulled on my ankle-length socks, slipped into my comfortable walking shoes and set out for an energetic workout around the block.
Halfway through my first turn, I felt a nagging annoyance under my heel. At first, I ignored it, assuming it was the balled-up portion of the sock and continued walking. A sharp pain hit me as I walked ten steps further and that’s when I realised that there was a pebble in my shoe.At this point, I was divided. My workout counter on the phone was running and I didn’t want to lose my pace or time. I’d worked hard to bring it up to a respectable number. On the other hand, the irritating pebble wouldn’t quit. Smug and confident, it rolled around inside my sock, forcing me to take a decision.
Sighing, I stopped by the side of the track, pulled off my shoe and sock. Shaking it vigorously, I watched as the pebble popped out and casually landed in a pile of grass. If it could speak, I imagine it would have laughed at me: at my incompetence, my inability to walk despite a niggling pebble and how easily I lost my cool over a tiny fragment of rock.
After watching it lie there for a few seconds, I smiled and drew my footwear back on and continued on my walk. Even as I did, a thought nudged itself into my brain; it was so powerful that I paused yet again and opened up the notepad application on my phone and typed the phrase: ‘Pebble in your shoe’.
A part of my mind listened to the music coursing through my ears via my headphones while the other part pondered the significance of what had just happened.
A pebble in my shoe had stopped me in my tracks. So, what does that mean? Do I curse the pebble for making me pause or do I bless the pebble for slowing me down and savouring the act of walking and giving thanks for having feet that could feel the sting of a pebble?
I then wondered what this means, when extrapolated to my blogging and writing journey. I’ve outgrown the need to blog with stats in mind, honestly. I love stats, don’t get me wrong. But they’re not the end goal.
No, I love writing and the connections that come my way through blogging and writing. I love the way the words emerge from some hidden corner of my brain and find their way on to the keyboard.
So I haven’t been pushing to write/blog with a concrete goal to reach before the end of the year. I blog now to savour the experience of writing, the feeling of blogging and watching the words take shape on paper (figuratively speaking, of course).
Earlier, I wasn’t able to write if I had music pouring into my eardrums. Today, though, I find music calming and creative. I can feel the fingers skim over the keyboard while I listen to Yanni or Shania Twain.
I’ve been reading Murakami’s What I talk about when I talk about running and the book is so fluid. It simultaneously straddles the worlds of running and writing that you find yourself catching your breath with every description he writes.
Such a small, trivial incident, this pebble in the shoe, wouldn’t you say? Yet, it’s the little things that make us aware of and question the bigger things in our lives.
That’s what happened to me. I find myself trying different things as a writer and it hasn’t stopped. Am I successful? Honestly, I can’t tell. But it doesn’t matter.
Each pebble will remind me of something else, a different experience that I will savour and love, for the exquisite beauty it gives me.
When all of that happens, you begin to bless the pebble in your shoe. If a pebble can cause you to reflect on your place on this earth, your role in the cosmic dance and your journey as a writer or blogger or singer or artist or dreamer, then that’s the job of a pebble well executed.
The next time you find a pebble in your shoe, get annoyed. Afterwards, think of the lessons that a humble pebble taught a tiny blogger in the writing universe. Then smile and keep walking.