~ An Inner Belonging ~
“And you didn’t see the world like the rest did, that much was clear. You didn’t belong in those crowds or sat on sofas in those suburbs of sanity. You didn’t see no victory in comfort and security, nor find salvation in the acceptance of others. You knew somewhere inside of you that you were a foreign thing; a wayward wanderer of the cosmos incompatible with the world that was presented to you. The situation seemed hopeless, but with a heart full of fire and a mind full of madness you began your solitary journey through the wilderness, following that ineffable pull of the heart, rising up against the storms, trudging through the swamps – moving fearlessly towards some sort of place you could call home. And as your journey went on, you gradually began to realise that the destination never mattered, for it was out there in that untamed wilderness where your stray-dog soul truly belonged. Out on those rugged plains was the place your spirit could run free – a place you could be yourself in your gritty messiness and madness. Out there you travelled so far until you eventually ventured inward and found the place you finally belonged.
You finally found the home that was the kingdom of yourself.”
~ Lost in the Wild ~
“But I don’t understand how you can live a life without some security or a steady job” she said to me. “To me you just seem a bit lost in life.”
Yes it’s true. I am lost out in a great wilderness, but please: don’t send out a search party for me. I have found a great home in this unknown and I do not wish to return to a life which never suited me. I do not wish to be lured back into those slaughterhouses of the soul which have claimed too many of my kind. My greatest fear is not death to be left hollow-hearted and empty-eyed in a passive existence which slowly suffocates me from within. In this society often I find myself standing on its sidewalks and staring out at my surroundings. What I see is a rigid reality with little room for exploration and adventure; what I see is a world where you are ushered from the maternity ward to the crematorium on a cultural conveyor-belt of expectation and tradition. For the adventurous soul there is no simply no middle way to remain in such an existence. It’s not an easy choice to walk your own path away from it all but one some of us must make to keep ourselves alive. I am one such person and in this life I choose adventure over security, authenticity over acceptance – exploration over comfort and convenience. In this life I choose the grand mystery over the formulaic routine. Such a decision means my life is mess and madness to the settled soul, but that’s okay. Just know I am living a life that leaves me deeply fulfilled. Just know that I am living a life which fiercely serves my soul and spirit. Just know that you ever need me then you can find me out beyond the fences of normality, running with the wild horses – getting happily lost in the wild until the setting of the sun.”
~ 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.”
~ Sanity Slipping ~
“I guess it was true that I wasn’t the complete package any more – that I was genuinely crazy, and not really in the good way. The more I stared into those morning mirrors of realisation, the more I saw the sanity slowly fading from my eyes. The effects of the last years of bohemian adventure had left me permanently scratched and scarred. I had madness stained into my brain and chaos seared into my soul. I was increasingly hard to relate to. Simple tasks of convention and expectation made me spirit shudder. At any point I assumed I could just stop to reduce the damage, but I started to realise that the return to the farm of sanity was becoming an impossible task. I had wandered too far and lost sight of it. I walked the streets like an alien on interstellar safari. I had shifted my life to live in a world that wasn’t accessible to anyone else. I couldn’t quite explain it to myself or others, but for some reason I had to keep moving forward into the mess and madness. I was enticed, entranced – bewitched by something bigger than myself. There was something out there that called me forward. And though sometimes it was painful, I felt alive – more alive than any life of comfort and ease could ever offer.
So please, know that I live in my own world now. I roam the wild woods in my mind and feast off the carcass of my own madness. My feet move fearlessly along the mountain paths in my heart. My soul sets sail outward on storm-pounded oceans. I am driven to this; it is the only thing I know. I am heading further and further into the wilderness of life, following the ineffable pull of the heart, trudging through the swamps, rising up against the storms, staring out into the skies with a mind of blazing fire. Yes, it’s true: I am lost out in a great wilderness. But please, don’t send out a search party for me.”
~Alien Nation ~
“Sometimes I just wanted to spill the contents of my soul to another. I wanted to talk about life, philosophy, adventure, the stars, the universe, the shadows of trees, and the dancing birds at sunset, but everywhere I went I found it hard to break on through past the barrier of trivial small-talk. Instead of discussing the cosmos, we discussed work colleagues; instead of talking philosophy, we talked television; instead of sharing ideas, we shared gossip and rumours. The times when I thought fuck it and decided to speak about these things, the conversation usually stalled as I was met with piercing glares. It seemed like there was some sort of cultural script we all followed, and anyone reciting lines not on the script was seen as an intruder who must be silenced. This was a travesty; I wanted to talk about something real but I was surrounded by a population of mannequins, of stage characters – of toy dolls where you knew what was going to be said once their string was pulled yet again. Silently in the crowd, I yearned for something more. I began to look for others wishing to break free from the script of society. I looked for a particular look in an eye – a wistful look that was often confused with somebody daydreaming. I searched for that look in bars, in supermarket queues, in the crowds that momentarily formed at the traffic lights. Sometimes I think I spotted it – the living creature in a crowd of mannequins – but I never did anything about it. I kept quiet as the robotic small-talk filled the air and a collective, cultural insanity left me alone in my mind once again.”
~ 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.”
~ 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.”