The Fly

This morning I walked up Mt. Misery again – this time with a backpack.

It was tough going. Much tougher than the weekend. Carrying that damn pack was the thing. It seemed to make the climb disproportionally harder.

But I need to train with a pack, because I want to carry a backpack on the tour.

I know we’ll have a van which can transport packs – and a lot of people will be availing themselves of that and walking just with daypacks, which makes a lot of sense! – but personally, I want to carry my stuff. But that’s just me.

Now I want to talk about the fly.

What made today’s walk particularly irksome was the fly.

I became aware of the fly about 3kms into the walk. It had settled on my face and seemed to be trying to burrow under my sunglasses, to get to my eye.

I shooed it away, and it came back almost immediately and tried to do the same thing – get under my sunglasses to my eye.

The damn fly followed me for about 4kms – halfway up Mt. Misery – and no matter how hard I tried to swat it away, it kept honing back in on me like a heat seeking missile.

So I started to consider this fly.

Didn’t it have anything better to do? There were a lot of kangaroos around this morning, and they were pooping everywhere. Surely kangaroo poop was more inviting than my eye?

What was so special about my eye? What did my eye have that kangaroo poop didn’t have? I would have thought kangaroo poop, with it’s exquisite smell, would be far more appealing to a fly.

But then again, what would I know about what appeals to a fly?

I couldn’t outrun the fly. Not with my backpack. And not with my knee. That wasn’t an option. And swatting it away didn’t work. Yes I should have put on repellant before I left home, but there’s been no flies around lately.

Then I started to think about the fly. See things from its point of view.

It followed me about 4kms. That must have taken it a long way from home. But do flies have homes? And if so, would it be able to find its way back home after it had stopped pestering me? Or would it get lost?

For a moment there I felt sorry for the fly. Lost and homeless.

And what if it didn’t have a home, then was it bored? Was that why it wanted to get under my sunglasses? Or was it seeking greater challenges than stationary kangaroo poop could offer? Was I dealing with an Alpha Male fly?

Was my moving form, with the occasional clumsy swat, the equivalent in fly-world to climbing Mt. Everest? Or walking on Mars?

Then my thoughts went to my eye. Why did it want to get at my eye? Why not up my nose, which I would have thought was a much more attractive proposition than my eye, particularly as I’d recently plucked my nasal hair.

This started to worry me. The eye. Why the eye?

Then it hit me!

It wanted to lay eggs in the corner of my eye! That’s why it was so determined. This had come down to something very primitive. Life and death. Survival of the species. It saw the corner of my eye as being the perfect incubator for all it’s eggs.

If I let that fly get in under my sunglasses, I would have maggots crawling out of my eyes.

Yes, it all made perfect sense now. This was why the fly was pursuing me so relentlessly. It wanted to propagate its species – it wanted to hatch little white wriggly maggots and the warm moist space in the corner of my eye was just perfect.

This was not just a random bored fly – this was a fly with a mission. A mission from God. To ensure that its youngsters – the little white wriggly maggots – got the best possible start in life. And what better start than out of the corner of a pilgrim’s eye?

I waited my moment.

I waited until the fly had settled on my face, had sneakily crept up to the bottom rim of the sunglasses, (as if I hadn’t felt it there!) until it had started to weasel it’s way underneath, and then –


I killed the little bastard.

It was messy. But not as messy as three hundred maggots crawling out of my eye.

Why am I telling you this story?

Because of walking meditation. Walking meditation would have you focusing on your breath, focusing on your footfalls, excluding all extraneous thoughts from your mind and finding calm in the gentle rhythmic cycle of footfall and breath, footfall and breath.

Walking meditation would have you examining your thoughts as they arose – considering them, pondering their relevance, and then discarding them so that your mind could become an empty vessel into which the Universe could pour Universal thoughts and insights.

Unfortunately I never got beyond the fly.

But maybe next time up Mt. Misery, I’ill get closer to a pure walking meditation experience. As long as I wear RID.

Fly 3

23 thoughts on “The Fly

  1. You, Bill, are a sick man, but luckily for us all you are also very funny, so thanks again!! 🙂


      • As I was reading it I was also musing over the comments and reactions from people who may not know flies like we have them here in Aussieland – those disgustingly shiny, fat little numbers which obviously have just wandered through the most smelly, nauseating garbage, that you definitely do not want anywhere near you or any of your open orifices. I’m pretty sure I did not see any of these plane-sized, poo-seeking missiles growing up in Denmark!!


      • … and so they die!! Am off to listen to Fred Watson and friends talking about volcanoes. Will check in later to see what everyone else has to say about this subject 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Great post Bill!
    Flies can be pesky little bastards!

    As for why the fly was so focused (no pun intended) on your eye ………. perhaps the following quote could sum it up ……….

    “Well, Jack from Ireland, sometimes a dogfight near a cheese factory is just a dogfight near a cheese factory.”

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Hoolie Doolie! You are sooo funny Bill! I know there are kangaroos in Australia, but you can see them just out while you are walking around? And how about koalas? Do you get to see them too? They are so cute but have heard they aren’t nice nor cuddily.


    • Hi Lynda, nope, we don’t have kangaroos jumping down the main streets of Sydney! 🙂 but there are parts of Mudgee where they’re very abundant. And there happen to be a lot around the base of Mt. Misery – and in fact quite a few up the mountain too. Here they are regarded as pests – they eat the feed for stock, and damage fences. But they are majestic beautiful creatures.


  4. LOL! Shin splints or blisters would have given you something else to ponder while walking. Happier it was a fly – took you mind off your pack?


    • It did take my mind off my pack Kathy! It’s one of the thing I find fascinating about long walks is watching the way your mind wanders – and the weird directions it goes off on! (at least MINE does!!) 🙂


  5. Bill, you make me laugh. That pesky little fly was a freeloader. He was also very smart. He didn’t want to use his energy and fly any where. He didn’t want to rely on his own skills and strength. He wanted to rely on you. He knew you would provide sweat to quench his thirst. He knew the conversation would be fascinating. He knew the scenery would be fantastic. He probably also knew his life would be very short if he hung around for too long. Maybe he was so intrigued by his game with you that he did hang around for just that second too long.
    Oh, how the mind wanders….

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    • haha – yes Anne, how the mind wanders! That’s the fascinating thing about walking, I believe. These kind of conversations, which are total nonsense, and yet it shows what lengths the mind will go to avoid focus!! Bill


  6. Hey Bill – I hope it wasn’t ‘Louie The Fly’ !
    Even if he WAS ‘bad and mean and mighty unclean’, he was one of our Aussie Icons !


    • I’d forgotten that ad Jenny – wasn’t it a great ad? I think there were a lot of flies around because of the recent rain. Out here in Mudgee there’s been no rain for such a long time. But in the last week it’s been solid, which is great for the farmers! Bill


  7. Bill,

    You make me laugh and you are so right! Meditation is hard! Compared to some of the things that come out of your head….my stuff is pretty tame! That being said…I am so glad you are back! After my walk in September and if I survive, I will be looking for a quiet, peaceful walk with you!


    • Haha Steve, believe me, on that walk yesterday I was only wanting it to end too!

      But thank you for the comp re storytelling – I was wondering whether I should have posted something more practical – I am soon going to be doing a post on how to use walking poles – or something more historical – Jennifer has discovered all this interesting historical stuff about the Portuguese Camino.

      Instead I write about a pesky fly and maggots crawling out of my eye…


      Liked by 1 person

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