thoughts

~Staring at the Red Light ~

~ Staring at the Red Light ~

“You’re looking for something. You’ve been looking for it your whole life. You know there is something missing, and you struggle to understand how so many people passively drift through the years following the herd, settling for the mundane, never daring to be different and follow the things they feel deepest. You don’t want to be like them: that static existence that slowly steals the light from the eye and the joy from the heart. So you keep looking for something, but as time passes by you find you’re still waiting: sitting in that traffic jam, staring at the red light, scrolling on that phone. It’s a hard reality to escape and a relentless obsession with safety and security has presented us with a strange new equilibrium of being. We now live in a system where we don’t have to worry about dying from a cold at thirty-five, but we are stuck in mundane realities that do not allow us to experience the adventure of life. We work jobs we hate to spend the money on therapy and drowning our sorrows on the weekend. We sell off our dreams and desires in exchange for materialistic things. We close our curtains on the world to sink into comfortable sofas of submission. The staleness of the system is all around us and maybe the only way out is to take a leap of faith. To have the courage to break free and try something a little different. To start writing your own script. To stop waiting at that red light and to stop staring at that screen. To have the guts to put your foot down. 

To have the guts to go green.”

red light

 

articles · short stories

~ The Comfortable Life ~

the comfortable life

~ The Comfortable Life ~

I stood at the top of the hill above the city, looking out at the sprawling concrete jungle before me. It was a world our hunter-gatherer ancestors could not have imagined in their wildest dreams. A whole society living indoors, buying processed and packaged meat from supermarkets, getting everything delivered to their front door and communicating with each other via satellite signals. Lives lived behind desks staring at screens rather than sunsets, chasing promotions rather than prey, climbing career ladders rather than mountains. Lives of sedentary comfort but existential pain; lives of technological development but spiritual emptiness. A life – ultimately – not for me.

It had been just two weeks working an office job and sitting behind a desk all day only to come home to my apartment and sit and stare at another screen. Already I was beginning to see how I was slowly being moulded and melded down into a life of systematic routine. Each morning I awoke at the same time to the alarm clock. I then walked to work and watched the same cars stutter through the traffic jams. The day, on the whole, played out exactly the same as the last one without any real surprise or novelty. This is how it was for masses of people out there: each day sitting behind a desk and staring at a screen before you came home and sank into a sofa to watch yet another screen. Gradually you sank so far into that sofa that your dreams and desires disappeared down the sides. The curtains were drawn along with your creativity and curiosity. From society’s point of view, you were an accepted member of civilisation who had found your groove in the grand scheme of things. You fitted neatly into the system and your life became some sort of well-polished pair of shoes, shiny car or well-groomed lawn outside a suburban home. Things were pretty on the face of things, yet beneath that superficial surface, the spirit began to wane. Too much comfort killed a person. Murdered them. Left them with a tamed spirit and an idle mind. Left them unable to think for themselves.

It was the way of modern society that was now accepted as ‘the real world’. Personally I felt it was a hollow existence but what was the alternative? Running off into the wilderness often seemed like a good option. Sure, I knew that the wilderness was full of things that wanted to kill you. Storms could drown you. Mountains could freeze your toes. Rocks could break your bones. Animals could poison you and tear your flesh apart. It wasn’t quite the easy everyday existence of modern life no doubt, but it seemed a sacrifice that was worth making sometimes. I thought back to my hiking trips in the Himalayas. There were times where my adventures had led me to the precipice of death and destruction; there were times where the feet blistered and my brain ached with apprehension and doubt. But, in those times, there was something that stirred my soul and made the blood flow through full-speed through my veins. That something was a something that was extremely difficult to find in the everyday life of the citizen in modern Western society – a something that just didn’t seem compatible with the life expected of you by your peers and parents.

Of course, the consumer capitalists argue that anyone who thinks differently should go back to the prehistoric ages and live in a cave and hunt boar with a spear or something. They’d argue you’d live twice as long now as you did back then when we didn’t have our comfortable lives, cubicles, smartphones and our takeaway delivery systems. It was a reasonable argument I guess, but I could see people who have made it to eighty yet not lived at all. People stuck in lives that led to obesity, heart disease and vitamin depletion from being stuck inside all day. Then came the mental health problems that this society caused. The anxiety, stress, depression and quiet desperation that haunted the hearts of so many people out there. Seemingly there is a price to pay for all our industrial development; there is something that is twisting and tearing us up because deep down we know that we were not meant to live this way. Our evolution has taken us to a weird place where we now don’t have to worry about dying of disease at thirty-five, but instead we work jobs we don’t like and use that money to pay for therapy and drown our sorrows at the weekend.

As always, I kept my eyes open and looked to find a way to liberate myself from the entrapments of the system. I was from the U.K and there wasn’t much wilderness around apart from the odd country park. So my plan was just to keep saving up some money to afford myself some far-off adventure every now and again to remind myself that it was to be truly alive. That was the trick I had been doing so far, and it seemed to work, always reinvigorating my soul with a sense of life that was sorely missed in the monotony of the work routine. That spell of chaotic adventure every year was truly valuable, and I knew it would be the thing to reach for whenever I felt my spirit slowly being sucked and swallowed up by that sofa of submission.

That sofa of submission was always waiting for you and the thought of it made me recall an elderly guy I used to serve in the supermarket I used to work at. Like me, his life and happiness were dependent on a bit of adventure. He had kept himself in great shape all his life due to regularly going mountaineering, running and on long cross-country bike rides. One day he was up in Scotland when he had a bike accident which permanently damaged his right hip and leg. Consequently, at the age of seventy, his days of venturing out into the wilderness had come to an abrupt end. He was now left to embrace the comfortable life. We spoke often about life in the store while I told him about the latest adventure I had planned and he told me about his new state of being. He wasn’t suicidal or something, but I could sense a sadness in his voice. Confined to his small bungalow, his life was now dependent on television, reading and the same old walk around the neighbourhood. Consequently, I could see that once blazing light in his eyes slowly begin to fade. He was now one of the many comfortable souls out there and the special energy he had had before the accident quickly began to fade. 

Still, at least he had tasted the thrill of an adventure for the majority of his life, which was not something said for many people out there. So many will never know the beauty of jumping the fence of security and allowing themselves to become a little scratched and scarred by the rugged wilderness. So many will never taste the joy of not knowing what is around the next corner or where you will sleep that night. Such a way of life is becoming increasingly alien and the comfortable, sedentary life will only get worse from here. Soon the sex robotos will be here and people will no longer even leave their houses. Soon the food will come through pipes in the ground like water and gas. Soon the Amazon drones will deliver your latest gadgets and gizmos through your window and we will all lie on sofas working from our computers. The wilderness will disappear from the earth’s surface as well as in the majority of people’s hearts. Our souls will be paved and tarmacked over. Our minds will be connected to the internet and there will be no unique or original thought anywhere. Life will become easy and safe and predictable and boring beyond words.

It’s a way of life increasingly hard to avoid but I guess I’ll just keep resisting the system and letting myself get lost in the wild every now and again. I know, I know. Those rocks can break your bones, storms can drown you, mountains freeze your toes and animals poison you and tear your flesh apart. If I die early on some mountain-path, please know I died content with the thought I at least knew what it was to taste the thrill of adventure. That I had explored the unknown and not let myself be spiritually murdered by the mundane. This is the way life that will keep me alive to the end; a way of life that will see me happy to bid it farewell when my time is done. Not a slow and safe march to the grave down a grey highway of routine, television and weekend drinking, but a thrilling run through the wilderness that leaves you screaming for more.

“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine – it’s lethal.” – Paulo Coehlo

thoughts

~ The Sadness of the Streets ~

~ The Sadness of the Streets ~

“Some days the sadness of the streets was too much. You could see it in the passing faces. The struggle of everyday life. The dreams and desires that had been suppressed. The people mindlessly drifting down those sidewalks, following someone else’s path and not their own. It was a striking sight and I could feel this society tearing everyone apart from the inside out. Our modern civilisation had left so many of us gutted and debauched; starved and suffocated. It seemed that very few people were doing well to me. Most were ‘getting by’ or ‘making ends meet’. Some were pretending that everything was great with fake smiles and social media posts, but in reality they were living lives of quiet desperation and spiritual emptiness. This was it: the slow suffocation of the human soul. As the traffic jams stutter along, as the fingers scroll the phones, as the bills arrive through the post and the prayers are not answered, most people empty out through a life of incessant and trivial routine. It was a frightening reality and I knew it was about finding that one thing that spared you from the same fate. The one thing that kept the adventure in your heart; that kept the wonder in your eyes. The one thing that made sure your life was a thrilling run through the wilderness, and not another murdered by the senselessness of the mundane.”

the streets

articles

~ How to Raise a 21st-Century Pet Human-Being ~

~ How to Raise a 21st-century Pet Human-Being ~

“It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society” – Jiddu Krishnamurti

pet 1

Congratulations! You are here because you have purchased your very first pet human and are looking for the best insight and advice into looking after and nurturing your animal toward a happy, healthy and productive life! What separates the 21st-century human from many of its fellow animals is the high level of cognitive intelligence that it yields in its abstract DNA. Such development and qualities can often mean having a human as a pet can be a far more encumbering experience than that of other pets (this is because the typical human demands more to look after and regiment into a routine lifestyle). Fortunately, years of social conditioning, engineering and homogenization by veterinary experts has led to the development of an array of cages, products and advice at hand that can now allow owners to have the beautiful experience of owning a pet human, stress-free! Here are some of the essential tips and advice on how to go about looking after your animal and setting up its cage as it goes through its life happily with no alarms and no surprises for you, the owner.

The Wheel 

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Like most animals of cognitive intelligence, your pet human will need some sense of routine in its life to help it lead a happy and fulfilling life – not to mention a mechanism for which this wondrous creature can focus all of its energy upon. Such needs can be nurtured with the addition of a spinning plastic wheel to its cage in which for the animal to instinctively run endlessly around all day. Once this item is purchased and fitted, a happy and healthy human will typically spend at least 8 hours a day, 5 days a week exercising on its wheel, repeating its conditioned habits again and again as the weeks, months and years fly by. The sheer routine of this will provide the animal with a sense of purpose and belonging; furthermore it will also act as a vent in which the human can tire itself out during the day, allowing it to sleep and rest thoroughly during the night. As we all know, there is nothing more annoying than a noisy pet banging against the cage and keeping you awake during the night – not to mention the troublesome thought of it escaping! End that worry now by purchasing a pet wheel from the range of hundreds of thousands currently on the market!

Vitamins and Treats

pet 3

To keep your humans happy, healthy and productive in their cage, it is acceptable to provide them with certain vitamins on a moderate basis. A good owner will purchase the three essential treats of Caffeine, Tobacco and Alcohol – these three tasty items can be found at any local store and will help supplement your pet’s living habits and keep them healthily running on the cage wheel efficiently and routinely. For example: caffeine provided to them Monday to Friday will maintain their alertness and concentration, keeping them efficiently running on their wheel in the week; a healthy dose of tobacco will further supplement this behaviour by acting as an aid to vent any stress that may come with such hectic employment endeavours; and finally filling their water bottles with a filling of alcohol at the weekend will drown get any remaining problems out of their system whilst also resetting their batteries before they begin to return back to the routine the following week. It’s all a part of the animals’ natural living habits so it would be cruel not to provide them with these healthy treats!

Important note: please remember not to feed your animals any of the ‘other’ substances on the pet market; such treats ARE NOT natural to their being, may damage their living habits and won’t be beneficial to you, the owner.

Media

pet 4

Living life in a cage may often cause your pet to dream of escape (yes, your pet human dreams too). It is only natural for such an intelligent creature to want to discover what’s beyond its confines. However, as good owners, we know that the outside world is a dangerous and perilous place for the domesticated human, and thus it would be irresponsible to let it out into the scary and risky domain beyond those bars. Fortunately, such behaviour can be fairly controlled by providing your pet human with a constant daily stream of media for which to meet its dreams and needs of escapism. For example: fitting a television in its cage will keep it hypnotically entertained with shows of their fellow species competing in singing competitions and reality dating shows; tabloid newspapers will furthermore help them realise the true nature of their dangerous and perilous world beyond those bars, meaning they will slowly lose their mischievous thoughts of trying to escape their cage! With a never-ending stream of shows, celebrity magazines and sensationalist tabloid news, your pet will be spoilt for choice and will become slowly homogenized and relaxed to the condition it lives in – thus allowing you and your pet to both lead calmer lives as it becomes happy with the cage it occupies. Smart stuff, right?

Play Toys

pet 5

Finally, just as a dog needs a bone and a cat needs a piece of string, a human also needs playful items to help keep it preoccupied when going about its daily routine. If your pet human is consistently keeping itself busy on its wheel, you may wish to reward it by providing it with a few key play items to maintain its happiness and well-being. Such items over the years have become popular with their species and treating them regularly to the latest smartphones, designer clothes, apps, automobiles and furniture will ultimately keep your much-loved pets happy and productive in their cages – allowing you the owner to sit back and relax whilst your animals lovingly adorn their shiny and pretty possessions. Such items are accessible in shops and stores nationwide, so please don’t be hesitant in treating your humans to the fun little balls of joy they truly deserve!

As you can no doubt see, the sheer array of needs to fulfil for your new pet may seem daunting at first, but after providing them with the things listed above and getting to know your human’s habits and personality, you will soon to be on your way to a loving relationship as you nurse over your animal from day-to-day! Just remember that although the pet-human may be more of a challenge to look after than your typical fish in a bowl, the sense of ownership, power and fulfilment you gain from raising such a magnificent being will ultimately be worth the cost of your care and attention. At the end of the day, humans just want to be kept from harm and looked after without the worries of the fearsome natural world. With the right amount of domestication, regimentation and engineering, not only will your pet human be happy and safe, but it will also be your best friend. Good luck!

pet 6

thoughts

~ Escaping the Grind ~

pexels-photo-2403248

~ 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.”

thoughts

~ Entrapment ~

~ Entrapment ~

“It makes your heart ache. It’s a way of life that makes your heart ache. The grey concrete reality. The monotonous routine. The insidious stripping of the spirit. The inability to express how you feel. The fact you know something just isn’t right about the life that those around you drift through so passively and easily. It makes your heart ache. The familiar commute to work. The empty-eyed bosses. The staring into skies out of windows knowing that something inside of you is being neglected and slowly rotting away, caged and raging against the walls of your heart. And ever more gradually you feel its desperate and sinister presence – the pain scratching and clawing away from within. With every empty conversation, with every forced smile, with every repetitive and predictable week – it makes your heart ache and ache and ache.

In this world there are endless souls out there dwelling in lives of quiet desperation and spiritual emptiness. The clothes may be well-ironed, but within cracks cover the soul. Their lives may seem stable, but inside the last parts of their spirit are being eroded away. There is only so much the essence of an individual can endure of such a reality before that person themselves is broken down and adjusted to a life of spiritual suffocation and starvation – before they become comfortably numb to an unfulfilling existence. If you feel this happening know that it won’t be easy to free yourself, but also know that the way out into your wild is always there waiting for you if you’re willing to take the leap. Isolation will be experienced. Sacrifices will be made. Doubt and discomfort will be felt. But sometimes such things are the price you pay to keep your soul free. Sometimes that is the price to pay to keep your spirit alive. Sometimes destroying your carefully constructed safe cage and beginning again out in the wild is what is needed to know you went out there and lived a life, and didn’t just exist in one.”

entrapment.png

thoughts

~ Finding the Others ~

~ Finding the Others ~

“When you had been out on the road for a year and a half, the alienation of coming home was weird. While trying to adjust to normal life, you felt disconnected from everyone around you; you felt like you were an undercover creature from another planet. Walking down the street, you’d desperately look for another one of your kind – some boy or girl walking with a relaxed pace, looking at the sky instead of the floor. But they were never anywhere to be seen. Every now and again you’d see a crazy person screaming on the sidewalk as some sort of warning about how far you could drift from normality without going insane. You wanted to keep it together, but at the same time you were in constant conflict with everything around you. The billboards, the traffic jams, the hustle, the bustle – everything was an assault on the senses that left you wandering those busy streets on your own. All that was left to do was try to find the others, and that’s when the realisation hit: the only way to do that was to book a ticket, grab your stuff and head back out onto the road.”

finding the others

thoughts

~ Branded ~

~ Branded ~

“All I ever wanted to be was myself, but whenever I seemed to walk out the door, everyone was trying to turn me into something else. The advertisers were trying to turn me into a consumer, the politicians were trying to turn me into a voter, the priests were trying to turn me into a believer, the men in suits wanted to turn me into some sort of executive. No matter what road or street I walked down, there was always someone there trying to shape and define me within their own little box of limitation. The world confused me. Being yourself should have been the easiest thing in the world, but often what should have been a simple act turned out to be an act of defiance and rebellion. Everybody and everything wanted to warp and convert you – wanted to brand you with their specific iron prod of identity. And more or less they were all successful. Upon those streets I watched powerful human-beings converted into rigid-minded citizens. I saw them reduced to fervent consumers, to celebrity followers, to proudly overworked employees. I saw human-beings no longer defined by their heart and soul and spirit, but by their social status and economic value. No matter how I tried to look at it, culture was the perpetrator of this crime against the individual. It herded all of us, took away our uniqueness and trapped us within boundary-defining pens of identity. The ones who fiercely followed their own inner voice were usually cast out from the herd and left roaming the wilderness alone. Naturally the question to me was whether or not to follow the herd or walk alone. It was a difficult one. To avoid the searing heat of being branded by culture meant you had some element of integrity and individualism, but the cost of this was often isolation, alienation and – quite often – insanity.”

the-asylum

poetry

~ In Too Deep ~

~ In Too Deep ~

I walk this urban jungle
and I see people so lost
wandering through life
desperate and depraved
clinging onto lottery tickets
and shopping bags
and briefcases
and beer bottles
looking for the way out

I see people so lost
stuck in a movie they never asked to star in
working for causes they don’t believe in
trapped in lives they never imagined
a life where the tramp and the lawyer
wear the same frown

I see souls starving and dying
behind counters
behind desks
behind smartphones
behind steering wheels
mothers, fathers,
teachers
bus drivers

people so lost
in too deep 
drowning in traffic jams
while turning the radio louder
and louder
to escape the reality

that kills us all

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thoughts

~ In The Madhouse ~

~ In The Madhouse ~

“There I stood on that city sidewalk once again: haunted and disturbed, my mind stained with Monday morning madness as the weight of this concrete world pressed down upon me. All around me the human race persevered on like normal. The traffic jams slowly stuttered by; the shoppers trudged on with their plastic bags; the cranes of doom loomed over me constructing our grey future. The insanity was relentless. We were a species stumbling recklessly toward the future. The rainforests fell as the skyscrapers rose; the rich bought $5000 suits as the homeless begged for money; the sociopaths flourished while the most intelligent sat in therapist offices paying for the right not to go insane. When you opened your eyes and really looked at it you could see something wasn’t quite right; something had gone wrong. In our undying quest for the good life we had become confused, deranged – dangerous. We had lost ourselves to illusions of success and future and wealth. But what good were those things when the air was poisoned? When the streets were littered with the homeless? When the buildings burnt down violently because the development agency skipped on fireproof materials to save money? The chaos of it all tormented me. It left me isolated on streets of thousands. Often I worried about ending up in the madhouse – but then I looked around and realised I was already in it.”

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