Monday, 19 July 2010

Belfast crossing 2008 (We are closed in we are trapped.)

Found this filed away from 2008 and felt it was worthy of a blog:

We are closed in we are trapped.

I’m sat at Liverpool docklands in front of me are rows of cars and to the right rows of lorries. I’m one of a dozen foot passengers all waiting to board the ship for an 8 hour crossing over to Belfast. I’ve decided to travel by ferry rather than plane to try and cut down on my carbon footprint.

I'm starting to wonder if I've made the right decision as I wait to board, I've paid almost double what I would have to fly and my back is now killing from carrying my rucksack across Liverpool as the train station is on the opposite side of the river.


But this isn’t just a matter of it being less convenient or more expensive for me to travel by ferry, unlike most people I love flying it is the one time when I am allowed to experience life from an entirely different perspective to see us in relation to the world we live and most importantly to be truly amazed by that world in which we live. I’m glued to the window from take off to landing. But it’s time to make a stand and as I get older I realise it is often in the smallest of deeds that we can make a change. So here I am wishing I was looking out of one of those little windows staring down at the clouds and the sea and the citys and lakes and boats and all those little things we call life but I’m also thinking that I’m proud of myself for trying.


As I bored the boat with this thought still heavily pressed upon my mind I take comfort in the fact that I will soon be able to stand at the front of the boat as we head out to sea. We enter at the very back of the boat so I begin to head through the many flights of stairs corridors, caf├ęs, bars, and restaurants until I come to an area crossed of with a rope. There is no obvious sign post directing me outside. So I stand confused in the strangely artificial surroundings in which music no lets just call it noise fills the space. I decide to ask the man behind the bar . 'hello could you tell me how to get outside?' 'yeah just go through those doors.' I see them they look like the sort of doors that might set off a fire alarm if you open them, black with fire exit stickers on. I exit outside, seeing a set of stairs to my right I head over to them . Two men are coming down they tell me briefly ‘nothing up there mate’ hmm I’m confused. As I’m sure it should lead to the front of the ship . I follow the same men to the back of the ship only to find the same. So I head across to the other side of the ship only to find the same there. Someone in uniform is walking past I ask ‘how do I get to the front of the ship’ and he informs me that there used to be access to the front so passengers could walk about but it was decided that the space would be best used as a restaurant. So I’m left with a bench made of two metal strips I sit and look out over Liverpool. I quickly become the only person sat out side and as the boat leaves the dock and heads out into the ocean I’m the only one watching as the skyline of Liverpool disappears and the wide blue ocean opens up in front of us.





After spending so long working away in my little room at home it is a complete rush to be looking out at such an expanse of blue. But I’m angered at the layout of the ship preventing us from getting to the front, and disappointed that I am the only one sat outside. Whilst the rest of the passengers try desperately to ignore that they are sat on this tiny ship bobbing up and down on the vast ocean, just as passengers on a plane try to ignore the fact that they are moving at hundreds of miles an hour, thousands of feet in the sky.

It seems to say so much about how we are going wrong hiding in our own little worlds. I want to drag all the passengers out and make them look at the view. We must have a relationship with nature to understand our place in it. But it seems to me that everything is set against this. We need to to be shaken to be amazed! But how does one 'shake' what is required to create that change.....