~ Fear of the Future ~
The ice caps melting. Australia on fire. The ocean filling with plastic. The Amazon slowly disappearing off the map. David Attenborough on his last legs. Angry Orangutans smashing rocks against bulldozers. Young girls sailing across the Atlantic to shout at world leaders. The earth’s temperature rising and rising. The rainforest trees falling and falling. The media telling you all of this was less important than the royal family or an episode of Love Island…
The world was seemingly coming to an end and yet we still marched mindlessly through the motions of everyday life, working our meaningless jobs, sinking into our sofas, drawing our curtains and watching television show after television as our minds became as polluted as the very air we breathed. We were a species at war against the very organism we were a part of. Like a virus, we ripped and tore at the flesh of our host. We spoke of our career aspirations for the future while ignoring the fact that we were on the verge of some sort of environmental and social apocalypse. I could feel a looming sense of dread was slowly building, the storm of destruction waiting to rain down upon us. The anxiety was at an all-time high for some people and it wasn’t uncommon to hear someone talking about how bringing kids into the modern world was an act of cruelty.
It was easy to see why some people were choosing to not reproduce. After all, why bring a baby into the blender with the rest of us? We were on track for total destruction and the way I saw it, it was going to go one or two ways. A great awakening would occur and people would realise that they are continuous with the natural universe. They would realise that it’s better to work with nature rather than against it, and thus society would begin to adjust to treat the environment with love rather than hate. Minimalism would arrive. Sustainable technologies would run the world. Meditation would become commonplace and people would put the environment before profit. It was a nice thought to ponder but in all honesty, it was just a dream. When I really thought about it, there was no way things were going to be turned around at this stage. Society had simply gotten too insane. Money and Brexit were more important than the biological health of the organism we were a part of. People cared only for their cars and castles. Angry mothers shouted at supermarket workers when told that shopping bags now cost five pence. In their resentful faces I could see the destruction and hate that our species had buried in our collective consciousness. We were always meant to destroy the world. It was ingrained in our nature from the start. It was our unavoidable destiny to wipe ourselves out.
The next century or two will be the unfolding of our demise. What will happen is the lands will be flooded, food will become scarce and society will gradually collapse under the weight of the environmental crisis. The people will live in squalor and the rich will shield themselves in pleasure-domes of material comfort. Eventually those rich will leave the earth in the last spaceships as humanity descends into desperate, frenzied chaos. All of this apocalypse waits – and sooner than we think. But still, tomorrow I will face the faces of people again asking me my plans for the future and all of that bullshit. My plans for the future? Well if you must know I imagine myself building a rocket and taking off from this sinking ship. I imagine myself sailing through the cosmos for many years in search of a new home – one in which a sane species of intellect populates peacefully. One that is harmonious with the environment rather than at war with it. One that values nature more than a piece of paper with a number on it. But for now I guess I will sit around drinking beer and awaiting our earthly demise. I will try to find what joy I can as our last years on earth are lived out with people like Trump, Putin and Boris Johnson at the helm of the ship of stupidity that sails us into the storm. Make no mistake. The abyss awaits. These men of nothingness. This system of nothingness. I know not that I can save this world, I only hope to save my soul before we all drown in this abyss. May these words been found somewhere beneath the rubble. If any aliens are reading this and are wondering what happened, I don’t know what to say. Humanity happened. And that was enough to destroy us all.
~ Escaping the Grind ~
“All I wanted to do was to live, but there were systems which prevented it from happening. It was the mechanical nature of modern life which forced you into a robotic state of existence. I could see it in the stuttering traffic jams, in the ticking clocks, in the computer loading screens. The repetitive nature of everything going round and round until you became some sort of machine yourself. Eventually your thoughts and your words became as predictable as clockwork itself. Your creativity and imagination was replaced with practicality and pragmaticality. After a while life became some sort of mindless march to an unsure goal. It was like we were all creating something, but the act of finally enjoying what it was we had created never came. It was the perpetual loading screen. The feeling of completeness which never arrived. The relentless push and slog through life to get to a place which was seemingly always out of reach. Consequently we lived in a world of people staring at the red lights waiting for life to finally begin; of people staring at screens trying to find a connection that would not come; of people missing the beauty of life because of the relentless obsession with the future. It was a strange state of existence and often my eyes would look to nature to remind myself of the true rhythm of life in the present moment. Those birds swooping and soaring; those leaves fluttering in the wind; those ripples gliding across the water. As human-beings, we had deviated so far from the natural rhythm of things. We were out of sync with the universe, which was no doubt the reason why we were so destructive toward it. The thought of it all caused a great rebellion to stir in my heart. More than anything I just wanted to escape the grind, to punch the clock – to smash the machine and emerge back to a way of life that was sane. A way of life that was peaceful. A way of life that understood life was a dance to be danced and not a battle to be won.”
~ A Familiar Feeling ~
“I had been back almost a year, living the normal life. At times I thought I had gotten rid of the itch; that my life might finally begin to settle down into some sort of steady routine. Maybe it was tiredness but a part of me even wanted that at times. But no matter what happened, it was always there in my heart, like a ghost that would never grant me peace. The desire for the open road. It called my name back into the unknown. It left me staring up at ceilings in the middle of the night. I knew it would never go away: that need to throw my things into a backpack and go get lost on a new journey. It was a feeling that left me looking out at the world around me: the comfort, the security, the familiarity. It was an easy life and a safe life. It was a life many people around the world would have killed for, but I just couldn’t be happy with it. No matter how much I tried to follow the script and settle in, at all times a great force possessed me to abandon it all for the thrill of adventure. Gradually I realised that there was no way around it. Some of us just can’t be permanently adjusted to systems and societies. We cannot fit into forms or fashions. We are wild at heart, explorative in spirit. We have those eyes that look to the horizon, those feet that itch for adventure, that heart that aches for freedom. And no matter where we go or what we do, there will always be a piece of us longing to go to a place where we do not know what will happen but the rising and setting of the sun. That wilderness is our home, and it is the home that will make us wanderers until the end of our days.”
~ The Greatest Adventure of All ~
“I knew from a young age that I was a born explorer. I wanted to explore everything, but in this life the act of growing up is something that asks you to quell that state of being. You become static in one place, stuck in a routine. You sink into a sofa and close your curtains to the world. I didn’t see how it would be possible for me to adjust to it at all, at least without killing a large part of myself. At all times my heart was longing to run free into an open wilderness; to venture into the unknown and see something new and wonderful. I looked at the script of society and was confused with what was asked of me to fit in. Forty-eight weeks of work a year, jobs that didn’t allow gaps, pieces of paper that cemented you down to one spot. The adult game was a strange one and one that I was not afraid to say I was fearful of. Everything good in my life had come from doing the opposite of what their culture and conventions asked. I had found greater riches within myself than any of their advertised products could offer me. I knew that the existence expected of me would slowly kill whatever was real inside of me. So what was I to do? I thought of how I could make it work on both ends – to adjust myself in some way – but in truth there was always only one thing ever to do for a natural born explorer. It was to reject. To reject their systems and reject their styles. To follow your values. To be brave enough to turn your back on a way of life that does not offer you any fulfilment whatsoever. Yes, there will be prices to pay, but the thrill of living a life full of adventure and exploration will make it seem small in comparison. You may not be considered successful in a traditional sense, but you will have a wealth that so many people will never know: the wealth of waking up every day and knowing that you are living a life that is totally true to yourself. And in a world where so few have dared venture into such territory, perhaps that – in itself – is the greatest adventure of all.”
~ An Emergency Within ~
“Again I returned to the world of normality and every time I came back, it seemed that the place had gotten more insane than before, or maybe I had – often it was hard to tell. It was true that I was a wreck compared to everyone else. Everyone strolled through life living sane and orderly lives, but meanwhile I could feel the madness scratching away at the inside of my skin. I could feel the world attacking me for who I was. I could hear the sirens screaming inside my skull; cries of horror in the dark alleyways of my mind. I knew deep down that something was wrong with me – something was very wrong with me and my life. I guess like everyone else, I felt like I had a right to belong somewhere in this world. Even if it was just for a short while, I felt like I should have had a taste of home – a taste of what it was like to stare into the eyes of someone who understood me for who I really was. But everywhere I went I was left confused and alienated by what I saw around me. The empty conversations. The mindless conventions. The strange mannequin faces. As time went on, the idea of belonging somewhere in my lifetime increasingly became a distant dream. Some people assured me that everyone had their place in society, but for me that place was seemingly in the solitary shadows, in the sewers and gutters – in the dark rooms of isolation where my heart screamed out for a connection that would just not come.
Sometimes when it all became too much, I looked at the phone and thought of calling for help, but realistically there was no one out there to call. The times I had opened up to others and tried to get close, I had been shrugged off and cast out. I understood that I guess. People had their own problems to deal with and they didn’t need a disaster like me to add to their baggage. Over time I came to realise that my fight was to be a solitary one and one that was probably going to last a lifetime. And yes I can’t lie: at times the idea of giving up becomes desirable, but ultimately something inside will not let myself be murdered by this world without a fight. Like others before me, I will keep searching for whatever strength I can find. Fighting my way through the shadows. Dragging my smouldered, blistered dreams through the flames. Breathing life back into my starving soul. Another scratched and scarred being searching for the daylight that will one day make all this darkness disappear.”
~ Being Yourself ~
“I guess when it comes down to it, no one else is going to make you truly happy but yourself. When all is said and done at the end of the day, it’s you and that mirror reflection. It’s you and the solitude and silence. It’s you and that voice inside your head. And if you can’t be happy in those environments, then you are always going to be a slave of another person or system. We think of loneliness as being alone but often the greatest loneliness is felt by those dwelling in crowds to which they do not belong, who depend on others’ validation for their happiness – who speak words that they do not feel and follow paths which are not their own. These are the people who have wandered so far from the essence of themselves that they see only strangers in their reflection. These are the people whose true selves are locked away in forgotten places of spiritual isolation. Each year that neglect slowly tears away pieces of themselves. Learning to be happy on your own is what is necessary to keep your true self intact. Not dependent on the crowd, you will retain your individuality; not defined by the system, you will retain your unique shape. And from there blossoms the beauty of the individual. The strength of a person who is at home in their own inner world, rather than that which is constructed and dictated by others. Self-actualized, empowered – the one who looks into that mirror knowing that their life is their completely their own. The life of personal truth. The life of substance and authenticity. The life of someone who isn’t afraid to be totally and completely:
“You’ve gotta hold on to them. Those dreams and desires that haunt your heart; that stir in the depths of your soul; that scratch and claw at the walls of your skull. It is easy – it is so very easy to listen to those voices of fear and doubt. To keel over under the weight of the system. To abandon your deepest desires for the sake of a comfortable and crowd-pleasing existence. It takes something a bit extra to abandon such notions and walk fearlessly in the direction of your truest life. And yes: the journey won’t be easy or straightforward. Doubt and discomfort will be felt. Isolation will be experienced. The reflection in the mirror will stare back with testing eyes. But the beauty of living a life totally true to yourself will give those eyes a unique shine – a shine that is hard to find in a world where so many let their inner flame die out without a fight. Don’t let that fate be your fate. Don’t let yourself become another wanderer in that wasteland of broken dreams. Be brave enough to follow your heart. Have the courage of a warrior; the mind of a dreamer; the spirit of a hunter. Have the guts of someone who chose not to settle for life, but who instead felt the glory of what it was like to run full-speed in the direction of their deepest dreams and desires.”