Gratitude

I am writing today to say thank you for all the feedback. Thank you for the sound advice, thank you for the love expressed, concern and support written to me.
Most of you following this blog I know personally, so I know it’s genuinely meant and given from true heart.
Thank you to the kind man from Kalgoorlie who picked me up and took me back to Albany. I will endeavour to pay that great act on tenfold to any and all I can.
I especially want to thank Jax and Em.
You girls came and brought me home. I sat crying on the bed in the hostel as I couldn’t use my hands to close a bag. You have helped me more than I feel I deserve. It’s so hard to ask.
I always worry that my actions impact on people too hard in the wrong way. I’m keenly aware at the moment that my life is part of others lives as theirs are part of mine. We are interwoven. All of us. My actions and choices affect others and I don’t want to hurt people by making selfish choices. I worry my actions could hurt more.
My headache has reduced to a dull throb (thank God) I’ve felt like I’ve had the worlds worst hangover for two days. My hands have pins and needles in them but I can now touch my fingertips to my thumbs.
A lot of people are asking if I will continue on or stop. I want to continue.
See I’ve been yearning for this: adventure which challenges you, expands you and strips away the “me” that’s socially created at the onset of your life and groomed and conditioned into you. I wish to arrive at the true “I ” nameless, limitless, shapeless.
I want to eschew the “modern world” and live with nature with an abundance of fresh air, clean water, natural food. I want to be part of a community that lives simply, lovingly and caring for each other and the place that nourishes us. I want to find a beautiful souled woman who lives this way and raise our children to live with all in peace at peace.

This is why I want to ride and explore. I’m looking for a better way to live, than what’s been offered to us all. I’m a hard worker, always have been. I won’t trade one more second of my life for a dollar. I’m happy to work on procuring and securing food water housing and other necessities. But how it all is now makes my heart and soul sick. I can’t tolerate it any more.
There has to be a way.
I don’t know if I’m supposed to “Be the change I want to see in the world” by becoming a leader of my own fringe dwelling counter cultural organic farmstead (or joining one). Or an anarchistic blogger who gets up the nose of the establishment to the point they trump something “legal” up to incarcerate me.
Maybe I should just shut up and go “find a job” and make a compromise?
Tour on long weekends and holidays. Work for a cause that resonates with me, keep writing and stay safe….?
I can’t go on living in this crazy world as it is.
I’m worn out by all of us spending our entire lives labouring at whatever we’ve chosen to do for “work” to earn “money” to then “live our lives.”
So far in my travels around Oz on my bike, I see rural Australia is almost bankrupt. So many townships are selling up. Two out of three properties are for sale. Ghost towns aplenty. $8 for a meat pie!!!!
Water is scarce, everything is expensive and people are doing it very very tough.
I believe we are in the grip of the quietest engineered “depression” in history. The whole world is broke…to whom?
Will riding around Australia help me find my answers and a place to live as a free, autonomous, sovereign, natural person?
I thin I’m going to find out once I’m healed.
Smoky Ranger

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A quandry

It’s the 1st of January 2015. I’m sitting on a bed in the Albany backpackers hostel… I had almost made it to Welstead this morning.
I spent New Year’s Eve riding in the rain all day, camped out at the green range rest area. Made a simple meal of spaghetti and baked beans with 2 mugs of Swiss hot chocolate (heavenly bliss). Gorged on a pile of marshmallows, whilst watching Janapur, on my iPod in my tent in the rain.
Pouring rain and a feral cat made for fitfull sleep. I struggle to write this as my hands aren’t working well, my iPod took ten trembling attempts by me to login to the wifi. As it turns out I have a “moderate to strong” concussion, and pulled muscles all over my body. Today has put me at a cross roads.
I just quit my job, sold/gave away most of my possessions, said “see ya round” to people who really mean so very, very much to me, to go on a sojourn that few people do in a way almost everyone wouldn’t.
However…last night I gave thanks, for all that I have/had and sent blessings to some people. I felt moved to ask for a sign of what I’m doing right now was right.
This morning I awoke to black cockatoos and kookaburras singing away at 4:30am so I got up, packed up my tent had breakfast and packed my bike to find the back wheel needed love and care as did the chain and the panniers.
I had a whores bath with baby wipes, cleaned the sores on my crotch and applied more ungent to them. As it’s been 100+km from Kalgan, I needed more water. So unpacked my trailer filled my bottles and repacked it.
All is well, yet feeling very alone as its New Year’s Day and I miss my daughter so much, I cry for a bit hugging my knees in the bush.
By the time I dry out its getting on in the morning so off I go. I’ve noticed the mornings I cover almost 50km as I’m fresh. The next 20-30km drag.

Today is no different, in that respect. I’m pedalling a nice steady rhythm, no headwind, easy pace on the gentle hills. A convoy of 4wds with “P” plates go past at ridiculous speed. Yelling abuse and swearing. Next thing I know I’m airborne off the narrow single lane South Coast “highway” and down into the scrub. How, I don’t quite know.
I don’t remember hitting the ground. By my calculations, as I write this I was out for a good 20 minutes.
A really kind man stopped and helped me. He was headed to Albany so took me to the hospital for a check up an then brought me to the backpackers as everything else is booked out or not open.

I’ve booked in for today and tomorrow…. What should I do?
Smoky Ranger

Upside – downside with Christmas eve in a tent

It’s 1:25am late Christmas eve or very early Christmas morning. The wind has picked up and is blowing almost a gale now and I can hear it wooshing through the trees. I’m very cosy laying prone, typing away on my laptop, the soft light of my Luminaid solar rechargeable and inflatable lamp, snuggled in the overhead sling sown into the tent ceiling.
Kathmandu adventure store has some amazing stuff.
Today was very sunny, warm and very manic, last minute prep for both Christmas day and my “big day” the following morning. I had a slight teary farewell with my dear little sister who although is a mum of two, I still see in my hearts eye as the open hearted, soul faced little girl with her hair in plaits crying because our mother dressed her in clashing colours 🙂
I have as tough a goodbye to come, with my new found young adult daughter…

Everything has an “upside” and a “downside.
No event in my life has been wholly bad or wholly good. There has always been a bad with the good and vice versa. To some I’m a saint, to others a sinner.
So too with this new way of life for me.
My heart leaps with excitement to be on the road exploring new vistas, and it also sinks to be leaving people physically behind.
This is not the first time for goodbyes and I suspect far from the last.
But there will be new hellos also!
The Tao always encourages us to find the “middle path” in life. I believe part of that entails, mindfulness that there will be ups, downs and arounds. Yet if we keep an open mind, a loving heart and a luminous spirit, we see the great cycles play out through little cycles and watch with awe and reverence how life unfolds itself to those with the courage to explore it.

I will be posting again on boxing day, sharing the actual physical start of my journey. I plan on posting once per week, sometimes with photos as I feel appropriate. I aim to be as original as possible in this telling and sharing of experiencing the world through my eyes. So it will be a tad sporadic and sometimes nonsensical, of course as I head further into the wilds Wifi wont be happening.
So gentle reader, I wish you, who reads this and your nearest and dearest, regardless of your race, creed, faith. Merry Christmas in all the altruistic spirit those two words try so hard to convey.
Smoky Ranger

Give so as to receive.

Today is the 20th of December 2014. Seven days till, I embark on my life affirming adventure. Having lots of “catch ups” and farewell drinks, Christmas is next week and everyone is under massive pressure to “get ready for the Christmas break”. Its truly amazing to see what was at one point in the history of the world, a nouveau slant on Ancient northern hemispherical calendar practices, now an excuse for a comingling of consumer and capitalist greed.

All in the spirit of “giving”.

I was at Elite cycles in Beaufort street in Northbridge, Perth, Western Australia, having my bike serviced and tweaked in preparation for next week. (A massive thank to all the staff, you guys are awesome, thank you for helping me make this happen)

I had an hour to kill, so I wandered over to the park and sat under some beautiful old trees and watched the world race by me. The only other person I saw, staying still, was a 60 something homeless man. He was dressed in what looked like his old tradesmans work blues. No shoes and very minimal personal effects. It was lunchtime, many people came out of everywhere to catch a quick bite and some harsh 39 degree summer sun, before heading to work again. No one saw this man, trying to stay cool, except for one woman. She had wandered to the park, strolled around and away again. She strolled back about ten minutes later, with a cooked chicken from Woolworths and a large 2L bottle of water. She strolled over to the elderly man, squatted down, talked with him and gave him the food. Both were smiling as she walked away in the midday heat. He ate the whole chicken, with gusto!

I watched the crows frolic in the shade, pecking around, eating what they found and sharing it with each other.

Think on this, O gentle reader…

We are the only animals on earth that procure food to horde it and then sell it back to each other. WHY?

Paraphrasing Mark Boyle from his TedX seminar:

“Prostitution is to sex, what buying and selling is to the acts of giving and receiving.”

For the second time in two years, I am giving away almost everything I own and now reducing my possessions to what I can carry on a bike. I know as my confidence in my innate abilities as a Natural Person rises to the fore, my reliance on “things” will reduce. I still aim to give as freely as I receive.
Giving and receiving are two points on a spectrum of part of the human experience of social interactions.

What do you receive by giving?

Smoky Ranger

“…Focus on what could go right.”

Finished setting up my new tent from the outdoor store Kathmandu, its past dusk.

I have one of my torches in my mouth and the mosquitoes are buzzing about. The air is warm and slightly balmy, no hint of a breeze.

This gives me a taste of what it will be like on the road in two weeks time. Its nice to have the toilet and electricity close by. The backyard I’m camping in, I have come to know extremely well, yet now, doing something a tad unfamiliar makes it seem totally new. I love that feeling of “newness” when things are viewed again with a gaze cast from a different perspective.

Good metaphor for my life!

I look to the sky as I set my pegs and see a smattering of stars…oh to see the sky unblemished by the glow of street lights and such. To have the canopy of the heavens be my roof as it has been for the people of the Earth for countless millennia.

“Whosoever is delighted in solitude is either a wild beast or a god.” – Aristotle.

I suspect for a time, I will become a little of the former. Can I harness this experience to continue my inner journey of becoming a Natural Person?

Through my Will, I have made this decision to renounce the world and go my own way, yet to a Higher Will, I trust. To lead me, feed me, shelter me and guide me to what is meant for me. Many things could go wrong.

Yet… I choose to focus on what could go right.

I have all the equipment I need, supplies all set. Finished with my clinic work this week (much to many peoples disappointment). My bike is set and ready to go, my rides are getting longer. 200km in 8hrs on good roads is doable, till I loaded the bike with everything and attached the loaded trailer! 60km felt like 200km 🙂 Riding fully loaded plus trailer makes it feel like a giant rocking tandem bicycle with no second rider. Once momentum picks up, the weight propels you forward on flats and declines amazingly. A veritable road train of a bicycle. Uphills, my Wayward brand ” Nullaboor” touring bike, switches gears smoothly and the rest is up to leg/lung and willpower. I know my bike and my body can do this!

Joyously I anticipate the open road, unexplored (by me) vistas, the randomness of events to come.

Oh yes, I choose to focus on what could go right.

Smoky Ranger

“Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose”

Four weeks till I set off to travel a land that’s national highway covers 14,500 km (9,000 mi). Longer than either the Trans-Siberian and Trans-Canadian Highways! I suspect I will cover 30,000km by the time I’m finished. I’m riding up to 200km in a day. Sunday was 36 C degrees, sunny with a 15 knot headwind. I rode all day and felt great!

I’m waiting for the solar charger panel I’ve ordered to power the creature comforts of the laptop (for this Blog and writing novels), the camera (for immortalising my travels) and the new iPod (gifted to me, thanks Em XO).
If I wrote the complete inventory of all I’m equipping, I would hit my word limit before I could have my usual yammer 🙂 I’m kitted out to be able to forage, fish and hunt for food and water as I go.
At this stage I’m feeling like a caged wolf…pacing, disinterested in the usual.

My heart and soul are soaring across this land of my birth, plotting destinations to tour ( necessary to a point), I have many, many places and people to see during this long sojourn of mine.
I’m out there already. I just have to be patient for the physical world to catch up to my Heart, Mind and Soul.

Despite this excitement and hunger for adventure, I fear of losing.
I fear of losing my newly found daughter, the friends I’ve made, the clinic I’ve had quiet success with, money, comfort, flushing toilets with toilet paper 🙂
In the time I’ve been here, closer to my daughter, I have accomplished much. Yet not much on the material side of things. Its internal. Wounds healed, pasts put to rest, new relationships and friendships forged. Rather, inner resilience, knowing, soul truths, selfless love have all flowed to the fore in my existence. I’m truly thankful for each moment.

I will soon be more “alone” than most of us will ever be. For weeks on end I will see no one, totally reliant upon myself with no one there to help if things go wrong. What happens if I die? Or worse, maimed to the point of being trapped in the temple of my body and am cared for by others?

Part of this trip is for me to transition into living as a “Natural Person” (Google that up, how far down the rabbit hole will you go?) I plan on being of no fixed address, no money, no “career”, just a man. A man who writes and shares his tales with no thought of monetary return, just telling good stories for Arts sake. Who sings and plays his instruments for the sheer joy of music and entertaining people. Who heals and teaches people out of compassion and empathy. Who travels for the sheer wonder of the Cathedral that is the natural world we have become so inured to.

Can I live like Koa, Mark Boyle, Rob Greenfield, Mick Dodge? Independent, autonomous, harassment free, outside of the monetised society and yet still be a meaningful contributor and member of human community? Will I thrive? I suspect I will.

What I fear most, is leaving and having the time of my life and never coming back.

Let go and…Be.

Smoky Ranger

“The things you own end up owning you”

In a way, it will seem to the people who truly know me, that I’ve had a downward spiral, culminating in the effective “suicide” of my “life” (meaning my career, steps to owning another home, finding a new partner, marrying and having more children). But like Tyler Durden said in Fight Club:

“You’re not your job. You’re not how much money you have in the bank. You’re not the car you drive. You’re not the contents of your wallet. You’re not your fucking khakis.”

A beautifully illustrative comment. The book Fight Club, was devoured by me when it hit the shelves years ago, being a voracious reader and retired fighter, I thought the story was about a man joining an underground fighting ring…boy was I wrong! The gents from the minimalists blog http://www.theminimalists.com/fc/ had this to say about the book.

“Fight Club” is not a film about fighting. It’s a narrative about life and getting rid of the corporate and cultural influences (or perhaps the confluence of the two) that control our lives.”

I could write for hours laying out the history and pathogenesis of both of those influences. I wont, I’ll save that for campfire discussion with you when I see you. What I will write is a very brief recount of how I came to my Awakening.

Almost eighteen months ago, I lost the love of my life (due in part to my “splinter in my mind” and the increasing dissatisfaction of my feeling of underwhelmed in life). From this loss, the domino’s fell in order, my home, my business, my social circle, even my geography changed. I ended up on the other side of Oz at a siblings house, as I struggled to keep it together, after losing everything my identity was built upon. Being (amongst other things) a Hypnotist/NLP practitioner I went to work on myself. Three months later, I’m working five full days per week at a nice little clinic by the sea. Small circle of family and friends, occasional dates with beautiful women.
Success.
But was it really? working fifty plus hours a week, commuting ten hours a week. Sixty hours a week, to do what? Be busy, help people. Make money. For what? “Rebuild” my life. Move in to my own place, get an investment portfolio going. Why? So I can have all I had before, but better. Why?
Freedom to live a self directed life!
Aha!
But you still have to pay thirty percent in income tax, commercial rent, practitioner insurances, registration fees, ongoing education, stock costs, marketing, advertising, accounting fees. You have residential rent, furniture, whitegoods, clothes, toiletries, telecommunication, food costs keep climbing, water isn’t free. Cars need fuel, registration, insurance, maintenance, you need a license. Entertainment? Don’t have time, busy working to “get ahead”.
Of What?
Ahead of whom?
When did you sign up for any of this in your life?
After all those factors are covered, then you can go and enjoy the fruits of your labours.
I pushed on even so far as having investors offering me millions of dollars for me to rebuild my business bigger and better. I ended up thinking better of that.

For months my yoga and meditation practice increased, I re watched the movie Limitless starring Bradley Cooper. Brilliant film, inspired me to unlock my potential to “Be more”.

So with my encyclopaedic knowledge of the human body and mind I set to work on achieving “Super Conciousness”. I worked on decalcifying my pineal gland, deep meditation, trance work and hypnosis (with and without the gentle aid of anodynes). I shifted my diet (no meat), no sex (not hard as I kept finding loopy women) went really deep with the more esoteric aspects of my nearly thirty years of martial arts training.
Bingo! I got it!
I awoke to something, I struggle to describe.
To know yourself, truly, is awful and wonderful. To know the world on deeper levels, than you have been experiencing it, is horrifying. I truly experienced “The Dark Night of The Soul” didn’t sleep, couldn’t eat, couldn’t work.
I got ill for a while too. At one stage yoghurt was all I could eat. I’ve lost twenty kilograms of muscle. I’m not “Enlightened” in the classical sense, just…Awake.

Awakening implies previously being in a state of sleep. What was I asleep to?
I have successfully De-hypnotised myself of many of the conscious and unconscious programmes we receive from the moment of birth and onward.
Of the many realisations I’ve come to, one is, that all of us are never free, we are effectively free range chickens, being harvested of our singular and collective efforts. The ties that bind us are extensive, subtle and very pervasive. Ironically we all co-create and participate in it.
To what purpose?
Smoky Ranger

The journey of 1 million miles…The First Step

Its funny, the ways and means by which the things that challenge you, change you.
Little did I realise 18 months ago, that the idyllic Adelaide suburban lifestyle, I had worked so hard to achieve for most of my teen to young adult years would turn out to be nothing more than smoke.
I am now 6 weeks away from setting out on a trek by touring bicycle, alone around Australia, unsupported, at the advent of our summer. (Readers in Australia will understand and suitably cringe, shake their head wryly and say, “He’s a bloody idiot”)
I sit here in Perth at the kitchen table of the house I currently room share and wonder how, a soon to be 38 year old man, can go from being a quietly successful Acupuncturist to a handlebar moustache wearing, cross between Bear Grylls, Billy from the 1969 classic Easy Rider and Rob Greenfield.
It simple really.
You get exactly what you focus on.
A little 5 year old girl at church one day was going to a prayer meeting to pray with the congregation for an end to the drought. All the adults chuckled to see this dear child carrying her little plastic umbrella in.
“Tiffany, why do you have your brolly, love?” Asked the Minister
“Well God’s listening, so when the rain comes, I don’t want to get wet!” she replied.
I forgot my existential umbrella two years ago. I’ve fond it now.
Join me gentle reader as I regale you with tales of my past life and my “Lazarus” like newborn one. Complete with metaphor, allegories and irreverent humour.
WHAT GETS YOU OUT OF BED IN THE MORNING?
Smoky Ranger