I found myself in Brisbane. I hadn't planned to be in Brisbane. Eight hours after I should have arrived home, I received a call from a mother, who lives nowhere near me, to say she had my son (my sun!). He'd missed his bus stop. But I was 1000km away in Brisbane. This tipped me over the edge and tears flowed down my cheeks (may I point out that I'd missed two nights sleep by now).
I'm in awe at the protection that corporate attire offers its wearer. I observe over and over again the wearer of a corporate suit walking amidst chaos, collected and uneffected by the surrounding environment except for a slight huff and puff if their way is obstructed. They (those in suits) remind me of science-fiction non-humans in metallic bodies. They could so easily add a flurry of humanness - a coloured silk scarf, a peeking hankerchief perhaps. But that might create a weak spot in their armour. Then it wouldn't be so easy to ignore the man in the wheelchair, or the mother with the baby vomit on her shoulder, or the woman who's crying because her sun missed his bus stop while she was 1000km away in the wrong city.
I snorted up my tears (having run out of tissues) and spent the second half of my flight (where the airline had made the mistake of plonking me in the 'business' section. Sorry for your inconvenience, fellow passengers who are so important you can't see sideways) looking for signs of humanity in the two suits on either side of me. There was a woman to my left and a man to my right. The woman was reading "Soul Hackers". She had a strong Australian accent when she spoke to her driver on her mobile phone. She said "it's all good" and smiled a couple of times as she read her text messages. I dare say she would be more comfortable in her suit if she hadn't polished off a can of lemonade and a block of lindt chocolate. But we all need our vices. Mine are Band of Horses in my ear phones, writing notes and silently chanting Om tryambakam yahamahe 28 times.
The man to my right... well, he was good. Obviously had years of practice at (corporate armour) suit wearing. He couldn't have been more focused if he'd been in a vacuum. He read the John Holland management report from cover to cover, ate his meal efficiently and neatly, and drank black tea. The only chink in his armour was the photo on his mobile phone of him smiling with a smiley woman. A ha! Human found.
Surrender to the Sydney fog. Inhale and surrender.
Eventually, 14 hours later than scheduled, I arrived back at the point, my island calmly sitting just there across the water. A friend was spotted in the car park. He smiled warmly and gave me a lift home in his blue boat, under the stars, surrounded by dark lulling water and crisp winter sky, back home... where my boys and little dog and fire were all glowing with open hearts.