Whether literally or metaphorically, I am and always have been a seeker. I fidgeted. I was restless. I am claustrophobic. I am viscerally conscious of limits and restrictions. I was aware of circumstance; unaware of choice. I wasn’t unhappy. This wasn’t my life. I pushed back at limits perceived – just because. I got hurt and I lived, and through accident I thrived. I pushed back some more, and experimented some more – and found that I live in a world of my choices. And I was still here – mentally and physically. What would remain if the physical took itself out of its circumstance?
I’m still here: a result of choices beyond my own scope. Always here – there’s nothing to fear: free and anchored all at the same time. I’m part of the whole and the whole’s part of me. I am nothing without it. I am always here. We are always here. Always here. Moving. Evolving. Growing. Travelling. Learning. Listening. Life. Living. To be part of the world is life. To take part in this world is living. This is what is – up to this point. Beyond that, who knows? But, outside of limits perceived or imposed, we lose and find ourselves anew. This is living. This is our life.
On a colder, easier to nail-down note. I was born and raised near Nottingham, England, the land of Robin Hood: the outlaw; the rebel. Steal from the rich and give to the poor. A mythological figure with real-world significance for a young mind. School was OK but, apart from Mrs Kotarba, did little to fire the imagination, so my imagination was sparked by things which fell outside the curriculum. We read and rode bikes, built dens and made mischief. Always going further than our parents permitted. And always just outside and never quite belonging. Music gave voice and definition to passions simmering away. Fiction allowed escape into a world I was unlikely to know. These worlds were dreams, fantasies to take me away. School did nothing to fire the spirit. Work offered an escape from all that – confirming what’s real and what’s fantasy. This is your life for the next 50 years! Accept. That’s how it is.
Then you discover a fundamental fact that bears no relation to truth. Friends and music and … choice and serendipity. What else haven’t we been told? The Second Summer of Love. Kindred spirits. Like-minded souls. Life and lives are being redefined on their own terms. So much love … and music … and creativity … and writing … and creation … and music … and an ever-growing sense of purpose and power to be what and who we want to be. And I will not accept; I will choose. That’s how it is.
College and University to learn what I wanted to develop my path. Writing and music, and friends and creation. A job? No, a life, but what’s my vocation? Language and words, and creation and meaning – and what more falls outside the field of my vision? So much, so far, on this wee dot on the map: these lines that define the place I’ve called home. Teaching? Abroad? Poland? Why not? That’s how it was.
My soulmate, my partner – we found each other. We travelled and lived, and learnt and explored – Turkey, Germany, Italy – and Kraków. A home. Friends and arts, and creativity and music, and activism (of sorts) and involvement, and philosophy – and a sense that life was steadily becoming more theory than living. A comfort-zone was demarcated. Though through choice, informed and happily made, limits were perceived. That’s how it was.
My partner, my soulmate – and Goulash, that embodiment of living – floated an idea one-day: a seed that instantaneously took root: “Let’s give it all up and wander the world.”
And that’s how it is.
And here we are: riding and gardening; teaching and learning; moving and growing.
(work in progress 🙂 )