Down and Round the Rabbit-Hole

Corn Field 12k beyond La Tranche-sur-Mer to the Coast around L’Houmeau [Part 4]: Sunday 19 August 2017

Don’t know how long we can keep living like this. “As long as bloody possible!” my heart says. But it doesn’t matter how free you may have broken from certain conventions or expectations, there’s still this voice that occasionally announces itself and starts discussing the long-term- usually when we take our rest-day within the symbols of convenience and conformity that a hotel’s four-walls signify. But too much long-term – in fact, any-term – thinking really distracts you from living now, 

and the future never comes,
but now is always here,

so you may as well fill it with as much of what you want to be doing.

Then whatever future grows out of that will be based upon that, which can’t be a bad thing: built on optimism, hope, and life, as it would be, rather than on a fear of what might happen if we don’t save this or don’t do that.

Out of a fear of losing a future that hasn’t happened yet – and may never happen – you lose the now.

Seems a shame that.

There are things I’d like to do in the future, though, relating to permaculture, eco-communities, sustainable living, and self-sufficiency that may require some funds, but this journey feels so good, so right, why change it or withdraw from it? Withdraw from negative experiences where possible, sure, but positive ones? just in case? to avoid losing something that you don’t even have for the sake of something you do and something you cherish?

Good paths lead to good places. There may be an unwanted surprise waiting along one of them – sooner? later? – but at least the distance you travelled however far you made it will have been filled with you, and full of good hope, optimism and cheer

and these vibes will echo on.

The set of experiences that combine to give us a sense of I don’t disappear when they go their separate ways. They become greater, just keeping going, as part of the whole everything inhabits in their different temporal bundles of energy – so nothing can really be lost

If you sell your present to a future that hasn’t happened, the only sure thing is that you lose the now. And if your hope for that future you’re afraid to lose is based on the-afraid-you now, then who is to say you’ll grasp that hoped-for-future or even recognise it when you get there?

Unless you’re preparing for a rainy-day, which again, if that’s the only thing you see in your future, how will you know it’s the right rainy-day? Won’t they all seem rainy in some way, but never quite as dark as the one you imagine? Even if you do recognise it, won’t that just be a now created out of a present based on fear, which could only ever lead one way – being born as it is: of fear? Even if there’s nothing bad waiting along the path you finally choose, each step will be fear-filled, tentative, unsure – so, really, how much life will be lived? and what reverberates from such a life-path – as that energy’s rebounding, too?

So we’ll continue on as long as we can – as long as circumstances allow. We just have to assist those circumstances – by not blowing money on niceties that aren’t that nice when you see how much of an impact they have on your ability to maintain the real niceness of life.

We’ve begun budgeting properly, which is cool, and as our love and familiarity with this way of life increases, our perceived need for a hotel or Warmshowers may continue to decrease and help our budget stretch a little longer.

It would be nice to do all of this off our own backs and resourcefulness rather than on any inheritance, which being unearned could be used in a quite lackadaisical and disrespectful way, which would also undermine much of the meaning behind what we’re doing: it would become more of a jolly than a way of life we had chosen to lead.

That money will always be there. For what? For when we finish? Finish what? Start what? The ‘what’ that is part of our combined inheritance one day? But when is that ‘one day’? And is that it and when? Do we not live until there?

Of course not.

Are we just waiting for that day? or do we keep living? 

How?

By living right
and this feels so right that where it leads cannot be wrong,
and it’s damned exciting
and damned exhilarating

because it is so bloody fragile.

The whole of life is just more intense, more real, more lived. It just feels full, and if that sounds egocentric, it’s full not really in the sense of ‘I’ – ‘I have this experience’ – but as in I am just one part of experience – and therefore all experience.

Beautiful. Very intense beauty.

For now, we’ll carry this on. We kind of figured we’d have to hole up somewhere over the Winter months – and that looks like Spain – and that looks like teaching.

We’ve got a better idea of how far finances might take us. Amazing how not far given the fact that we only buy food. Even if we get used to not having to hotel and only Warmshower, we still only have enough for the next eight weeks: until the middle of October, so we could be teaching by then…

…but how long will we have to work to be able to have enough to stop teaching and just ride again?

We don’t know.

It’s just: keep going and see.

I’m now being an example of trying to control a future that hasn’t happened.

We can only continue along a strong positive presence that enables us to fill our presents with positivity; and the positive now is to keep doing what we’re doing while it continues to make sense. In order to do that, we need to work out a budget, work to a budget, and work on getting it down: learning to economise wherever we can.

We are, but it is a learning process – quite a harsh one sometimes – and other things will crop up that we need to be ready for, so we do need some rainy-day money, but how do we get that rainy-day money back up to where it was? and have the money to start travelling again in March?

I don’t think we can.

How do we keep this Tracing Horizons’ show rolling without recourse to resources not of our own earning or making?

The way we can.

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23:55. Wow, the stars!

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The Real Scary Creatures that Exist in this World [1]

Le Riot du Plessis (Le Plessis Bergeret) to La Roche-sur-Yon [Part 1]: Wednesday 16 August 2017

4:30am. Fortunately, for many, for most, the worst monsters, the nastiest of villains, the most depraved of beasts, only exist in our minds. Fictions we dream up as the light dims and our imaginations fill the gaps with monsters drawn of senses trying to prevent us from falling into a false sense of security before

KABOOM!

Taken while our defences were down.

It’s a throwback to when we lived in caves and real monsters did dwell in the shadows and you would pay with the means to survive if you weren’t, even in slumber, somehow poised and ready, weapon to hand, should a sabre-toothed hedgehog swoop down at you in the night.

Now, as habitats have been taken and claimed, walls have been built with bricks and cement, and we have the power to make light to allow all our senses to see, and much of the natural world has been feared to the Outer Zones, there is nothing in the darkness except a fruit falling from a tree, an ajar window in a breeze, or a television set to low announcing itself.

But our minds have the power to conjure them at will and, as a kind of defence-mechanism, finds security in doing so, and maybe a little enjoyment, too, which is why horrors can leap onto the page of any person with a pen in their hand. How much these monsters take on a life for others depends on the ability of the writer to create a context, a dark corner, in which this creature might feasibly thrive. When this is done well, these things are packaged and sold to thrill our sense for the scary by allowing our imaginations some credence.

However, sometimes, or often, these creatures are not clearly labelled as coming from the mind. They come in our news feeds or are passed from mouth to mouth. Their passing on may not come of ill-will or a desire to misinform, but from a habit to have faith in the source that told the tale. But they’re mostly monsters made on rumour, once given shape in someone else’s darkest hour, then given life upon re-telling as a shared experience. They are built on some other’s myth-making machines, and really have no place in the World of You, except for the fact that we habitually set places for them and all the other characters we share in the stories that we tell one another to build our pictures of the world.

Most always this is harmless – just embroidery to colour life; but we should all be aware the monsters, especially the people we hold dear. So we warn them and we fear them, just so they may never come to harm, from the mythical beasts given life in darkened minds. When really all there is, when you brace and turn on the light, is a hedgehog rearing its kids away from the glare of public gaze; and not a biblical beast summoned forth to slay humankind.

But when these fears take shape, given life and truth in people’s minds, without them shining their own light in the corner to discover the sweetest truth, we risk modifying our behaviour according to myth, allowing another’s darkness to encroach on ours, and limiting a little more light. Until all we see is darkness, of origins now unknown.

Shine the light for yourself and you’ll usually reveal a sweetest truth, and not some other’s monsters. You may not, but at least it would prevent so many of us living in other people’s fears. And with more light being shone, more lightness would prevail: relegating the real scary creatures that exist in this world to the space beneath the line or on the forum pages.

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A Little Bit Different

Melton Mowbray: Sunday 30 July 2017

13:19. A. week has passed. A life has been honoured.

The bikes remain in the garage.

The funeral was on Thursday. Short, sweet and fitting. Memories were shared. Grief was shared. Love was shared. Bread was broken. Life was celebrated. Laughter was raised.

Life moves on.

Life continues.

The bikes came out again yesterday. Pannierless, we wrestled nothing – wobbling along the first 500 metres like a pair of drunks trying to disguise their tipsiness.

But, as the town became a village, and the village became a country lane, control and familiarity were regained, and it felt great to push the pedals round and round, pump some blood around the body, and clear the cobwebs gathering dust.

It had been less than a week since we arrived, already much hardened by our three weeks on the road, and it’s amazing how quickly you can soften up given a week of relative inactivity.

Can’t be sure when we’ll be back proper Tracing-Horizoning again, but we’re inching along the red-tape maze and it feels like the end is in sight. Don’t count your chickens an’ all that, and I already feel like I’ve cursed it, but, yes, I sense we’ll soon be back on the road and making our way Southward again – approaching from the North rather than the East, as originally thought a little over two weeks ago.

Since we set out on this whatever-it-is-we’re-doing, time has seemed so much bigger: minor moments filled with so much new that 24 hours can feel like a week, a month, a year, which is fantastic, and does make you pause for thought when you consider how repetitive a stationary day-to-day life can be if you allow it.

When travelling, I look at yesterday as if it came from another time. I guess we’re used to looking back at events and assuming there are blocks of mundaneness in between, unworthy of remarking or reflecting on – though maybe we should reflect more on why those unremarkable days exist and whether we want more or fewer of them.

Again, despite being stationary for a week now, last Sunday feels so far away: a week full of things not for the action movie silver screen, but the stuff of poetry and verse. A period full of empty: being touched by things I can’t identify or recognise, but that trigger all kinds of responses and reactions.

It’s grief, it’s love – it’s life, in one of those raw moments when you feel and recognise it for what it is; and that is as valuable as hanging off a suspension bridge by your teeth on a fraying elastic-band, or something.

And now it’s time for the life of those living in the human form to move forward.

But again…
…a little bit different.

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