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Another Desk

Once again, I find I’m in one of a few guard rooms I’ve become acquainted with. The experience is essentially the same: monotonous, and you hope it stays that way. Experience, however, also allows one to take the time and make it that much better.

In front of me I have my humble green plastic mug. I’ve had it for a while now, and it doesn’t look assuringly clean and new. I probably wouldn’t use it if I wasn’t already using it. Ever since field camp, I’ve had sachets of tea, coffee, cereal and other things to spare, so I’ve been using it a lot. It’s past midnight now, so, naturally, I have coffee.

The two hours before this actually passed quickly. I was catching up on Roots and Wings, and this was the first time in a few weeks I’ve been able to immerse myself in it as thoroughly as I’ve done. There’s little left to worry about on the training and project fronts for this batch, so I’m going to be less exercised in general, at least for a few days. The past five weeks have been incessant, and I’ve often had the sensation of having no option but to keep moving. It’s a feeling that could be a nightmare for many, I think, and if I didn’t quite succumb, well, I’m writing as an admirer of Camus’s Myth of Sisyphus. The past day and the past couple of hours on duty have been a real break, simply in terms of level of activity. (Part of that slump in activity is due to the fact that Sergeant Derek’s lost his voice.) I thank God that it was time spent reflecting on the Word, because I wouldn’t have been able to catch myself otherwise.

Activity is winding down, and it is inevitable that words and thoughts fill the void. A situation where the words, ‘God give me rest,’ came more from exhaustion than hope isn’t a pleasant one, really, and the words and thoughts from that time and place aren’t going to be particularly rosy. I detest whitewashing things and glossing over details, but balanced, critical appraisals can wear and wither as well.

The need for reflection has kept me wide awake, but I am not always the better for my thought.

The feeling of winding down, especially, has proved to be a dangerous one in my experience. Over the course of studying Roots and Wings, I’ve often had the gratification of having already been applying some principle or concept in my life, if only because my job offers a lot of scope for it. Today, though, I realized that self-serving schemes and self-consciousness in service were creeping up on me again. I thought about many other things during today’s rather fruitful session, but this was one simple and clear gain from reflection that I was grateful for.

(Recently, I haven’t got joined-up writing done good.)

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