“The greatness of a Community is most accurately measured by the compassionate actions of its members”
While one is on the open road for extended periods of time its natural that we find our way into different spaces of rest. Campsites, Caravan Parks, Guesthouses, BnBs, backpackers.
I have spent the vast majority of my time on the road taking refuge along the way residing at the latter. Backpackers come with certain stereotypes attached to them : they’re relaxed, they’re affordable, and they’re full of “hippies”. Therefore a picture is painted of good times, guitar played around the bonfire: love, light, and community.
But how solid is the ground that these notions stand on? Allow me to share something I wrote along my path:
“A strange and disconcerting, yet somewhat predictable hedonism, a wild pleasure seeking – nestled amongst the serene and sacred woods
A juxtaposition that’s hard to ignore.
Seemingly a place of peace and love, but its the same people, same booze, same drugs, same destructive choices – all thrown together in a chaotic heap under the glaring lights of the bar.
People appearing to co-exist constantly under the guise of community and hippie ideals.
But dig a little deeper and see through the carefully placed veil.
What is there to find?
The same stressful complications, same torrid flings, dirty little secrets and rules broken.
The same self-denial and self-pity that goes hand in hand with the capitalist dystopian fever dream we call the average business environment.
Its hard to ignore, its undeniable, how hard we humans try to nurture our PRIMARY modus operandi: profit.”
“There’s not time to be bored in a world as beautiful as this”
The more that I take the time to venture forth onto the Open Road, the more in awe I am of everything that surrounds me. An explosion of colors, sights, sounds. Everything good on this precious earth. This is my ode to her:
Driving along the tucked away roads of the Garden Route, taking it all in. When you are in the thick of it. Enshrouded in various shades of green. Embraced wholly by Gaia, the ever-loving earth mother. When you are nestled in her comforting arms. How is one supposed to describe that feeling? Unexplainable. Indescribable. An ancient and primal ache deep in the core. In the heart. In the eyes. Looking out in awe at this vast and unbelievably wonderful world. Being amongst the forests, the woods, the deserts, the beaches, the mountains. Going out into those immensely powerful places, hiding away from the smoke and the cement of human civilization, something happens to you. Everything significant and meaningful and fantastically familiar within you comes alive. You are feeling, truly feeling. You are coming home.
“The world is big and I want to have a good look at it before it gets dark”
After four years of a subtle but intense bout of writers block, it took a global pandemic to kick me in the proverbial backside and put fingers upon keyboard, and heart back into words
As of late, taking to the open road has started to become second nature to me. It is in those times of solitude amongst scenes of exquisite and surreal beauty that I have started to find a sense of connection that has always been lacking amongst the hedonistic hustle and bustle of the city, amongst instant gratification and empty promises. Towards the sea, towards the mountains, towards the trees, towards new places, new people, new experiences. Towards all the lakes, rivers, puddles I can get my tail in. Towards myself. I venture forward and relate back.
Here is a young mermaid’s Love Affair with the Open Road
I am sitting alone. Drenched in acoustic melody. Why am I feeling discontented?
“Don’t be tempted by the shiny apple. Don’t you eat of a bitter fruit. Hunger only for a taste of justice. Hunger only for a world of truth”
Where is the justice? What is the truth?
We scream until we cannot scream any longer! Looking around. One corner there is corruption, one corner there is thirst, and yet another, abuse. Stay positive they say. Face this ugliness with a giant fake smile plastered above one’s neck. Maybe we will forget. Maybe blissful ignorance will seep once again into our pores.
We cannot idly stand by. We cannot idly stand by and pretend. Close our eyes, sew them shut and broaden the plastic and intoxicated grin… Where are the drums to beat as we stomp? Where is the horn to blow as we march upon the field? Together. March with our hands held up high, declaring: “This is not good enough!”
I believe every single one of us hungers. This is a biological fact. Also metaphysically, allegorically. Truly hungers. Either we hunger for that bittersweet apple or we hunger for truth. We chow down with a great force on that shiny red skin only to be met with a deeper hunger. A deeper greed. There is no greed in truth. Truth constantly fills.
You have the power. The power to to show others their own. Hand in human hand.
Biting into the cake. 3 forks, 3 friends old and new. Where would we be without the comfort of familiar faces in a world too big to comprehend?
“Happiness is only real when shared
– Christopher McCandless
The sweet faces ease the monotony, provide ample distraction, and maybe some love along the way. Regardless, your best friend must still be you. Your real self. No. Your true self! Faces come and go, but the face staring back at you in the mirror stays, ever changing, but still constant there.
Wrinkles, creases, tired wizened eyes. Still alive and still breathing.
The forest with a friend, is not so different as the forest on one’s own. Conversation included within both experiences. The conversation is worries, desires, love gained, love lost. It flows and it pushes. Don’t fight it, don’t force it and with each step you will submit. Feeling each thought. Yes, FEELING. Understanding that thought to the full. The same goes with a more terrestrial companion. Small talk, chatter, but as the path broadens so does the connection. The human connection.
‘The seer, the sight and the seen have no existence from each other. It is like a great musician becoming one with his instrument and the music that comes from it.”
Moments flow, grow, fluctuate. One moment I am in total bliss, and the next in indescribable discomfort. Indescribable because it is significant. Emotionally. Spiritually. This notion and action of doing nothing.
Where on earth does the mind not go? Go to not? Go to not! Go to nothing…
Progress happens outside of one’s comfort zone. The night previous was spent with a fellow Human, preparing food for sustenance. Smoking and discussing to prepare for what was to come. The superb power of successful and selfless touch. The touch skin and also of the eyes. How does one express their love if not through unconditional touch. One discards their vulnerability to address another’s. Gaze. Gaze unto, into. It would be a shame if he understood not.
‘I don’t know how to tell you What I know All I can offer is my fingertips”
“The whole thing becomes like this evil enchantment from a fairy tale, but you’re made to believe the spell can never be broken.”
― Jess C. Scott, Heart’s Blood
What a powerful tool. Speculation and controversy put aside. If it can empower even a handful of indivuals then it has done its job.
The following day comprises of 2 day. 2 days spread about a year apart. 2 days that will alter my perception of a great many things. Incredibly brave individuals have shared their stories. With that inspiration I share mine. Finally.
The first time I experienced sexual abuse was at the oh so tender age of 16. A time of life where one is on the brink of partial innocence and new discovery. I made a friend. He fascinated me, and he was charming, and he was in his 20s. I started seeing him regularly. He would come over to my house when my parents weren’t home and we would kiss and cuddle, and it was sweet. Until he decided his patience was running thin. I had told him I was a virgin and was not ready. He said he understood. He didn’t. He didn’t understand that it would be wrong to climb on top of me and try and steal my power. No ‘actual rape’ occurred but for a solid 20 minutes he rough housed me like a plaything. I didn’t know if he ever intended to commit the act but I do know he meant to frighten me. Frighten me he did. I spent a long time analyzing this event. Wondering if it was even serious enough to be considered sexual abuse. You see – this is what the current paradigm teaches. Uncertainty.
The second and final time I experienced sexual abuse was a year later. I had made another friend. He was sweet and boyish, and seemed innocent enough. I was at a stage of exploration in my life sexually, and otherwise. But still I was not ready for that ‘sexual finale’ as it were. He seemed to think I was ready. He raped me.
The event only lasted briefly but the effect was lasting. When he was done he rolled over and went to sleep. I could not even begin to explain fully the sensations after. I sat at the edge of the bed. I wanted to weep, instead I felt nothing. Absolutely nothing. Empty. A shell. Again someone had taken my power away from me. I don’t know how long I sat like this. But it felt like hours.
Again I questioned the seriousness of the act. I asked myself whether I asked for it. The paradigm rears its ugly head again.
It was not my fault and it was serious. And now my story is told, and my healing continues. Time to regain the power.
“There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are the messengers of overwhelming grief, of deep contrition, and of unspeakable love.”
I am Human. I am a human being on a path. Healing path. A path with streams and puddles, ponds, and lakes. Bodies of water that are going to wash away the dirt on my tired, tired, tired heart. The heart is a metaphor for the centre of deepest emotion. The place where love culminates, and pain pumps hard. Weary heart pumps and pumps. Pain filling up the throbbing veins. Making them heavy, weighing down muscles, pressing painful against bones. Many tears have been shed, as many perhaps as that proverbial liquid. Love is rushing and pumping too.
My heart is exploding . My pain teaches me much. Abandonment teaches us that before seeking love from others, we must do so from ourselves. Friends passed on remind us to cherish the living. Family is a gift, and unconditional love is a rare and priceless blessing. Boiling hot pain in the veins can be transformed into the purest love by power of highest alchemy. Full of pain, full of love. Human.