I licked my thumb to turn the page of my book, glancing up for the first time in a while to enjoy my surroundings. Mount Kilimanjaro sat proudly in the backdrop of my hotel, dragonflies hovered over the swimming pool and periodically nosedived for a drink. The sun was moving in the sky, stealthily stealing the shadow over my lounger and getting alarmingly close to my chilled beer.
I coaxed my focus away from an empty daydream and turned my desk clock to face me, 03.43am. I sighed. Fourteen hours until my thesis deadline. I’d been awake for 2 days straight, finishing the references and drafting a conclusion, finding myself more frequently than not, held hostage by micro sleeps. My thoughts falling adrift for a moment, seemingly, only to discover that I had been staring into space, my mind lost in a vacant vacuum, no recorded thoughts, for nearly half an hour at a time. I wondered to myself if this is what it feels like for Buddhist monks when they achieve a deep meditative state. Have I accidentally mastered the art of meditation through my catatonic fatigue?
The change of scenery was very welcome I thought to myself, as I sat down to breakfast. A two day residential course at a beautiful and quintessentially English training site, with 30 foot ceilings, red velvet curtains and paintings of 18th century admirals and merchants framing the walls. I’d gone for the full English and midway through a Cumberland sausage I caught eyes with the most beautiful human I had ever seen.