My aim versus life’s aim 16/6/2015

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50lb takedown recurve bow practice

I haven’t written much of a blog really, seems like I’ve been doing everything and nothing. Writing is one of my keen passions and sadly haven’t had as much time to do all that I have wanted.
Winter solstice is fast approaching and I have just left my hometown.
A dear friend of mine lightheartedly pointed out to me in conversation, that its difficult to write about people and events when you are around those people.
Oh too true!

“What have you been up to, O Smoky?” I have been asked.

Trying to emancipate “Framily” (friends, family and friends who’ve become family), from being wage and debt slaves.

Actively cajoling to outright pushing people to join the “green rebellion” and grow their own food.
Making peace with the death of my former life and my former self.

And finally, saying goodbye to the people and places  I’m leaving behind, as I grow and evolve whilst exploring and travelling and green rebelling.

Its been a lot of fun sojourning in my hometown, staying with people, living with them for a time, getting to know them in less verbal ways and far more experiential ways.
At times its been downright frustrating as well.
I daresay for the circle of people I call framily as well.

I’ve explored places I never had time to see as previously working or distracted. I’ve picked fruits and vegetables from around the region. “Gone Bush” on day trips. Had intense discussions with everyone about everything. Dumpster diving for food. BBQ’s, dinners, lunches galore. Administered treatments, counselled those who’ve needed it.
Offers of romance from near and far have amazingly  presented as well.
I’ve not slept much, eating is getting less (frequency and volume), yoga and meditation dropped away as I moved around.
Riding my bike has been sporadic. Some days 150 km plus and others none at all.
I was slowly being pulled into other peoples life choices and found myself losing aim on what’s truly important to me.

I’ve had a lot of people offer to “help me out” by offering me a place to stay and food to eat. Its so greatly appreciated but it kept me longer than I planned.
Its been comfortable, cosy, as I have been “home”
But it was wracking my soul.

What have I learnt from this?
Be very clear on what I want and what I don’t want and what’s an agreeable arrangement.
After all I have the 4 agreement’s tattooed on my right forearm and as I slowly “fell asleep” in suburban living again, I forget to follow my guiding light.

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Wild celery growing by a creek

So in future I won’t be engaging in anything with anyone unless first and foremost it sits right with my heart and souls values.

Aside from that, I’ve met a lot of really top people, shared some great moments, hung out with kindred spirits, whom are on the cusp of becoming more of their true selves and less of a societal clone.
I’ve managed to drop 12kg of weight off my touring gear. 10kg off me (under 110kg, so much muscle lost:'(). I sold some stuff and traded other bits.
And received some really helpful kit and advice.

I’ve learnt to “say yes” to opportunities that present, to continually live an experiential, aware and focused life. (Thank you DJ McTastic!)
For ending up at an Anzac day street party with a gang of hard drinking filth talking diggers in the cold and rain was a memorable experience I wouldn’t have had, if I had said “hmmmm, no thanks”.
Living each day as if it is the day you’re going to lay down at the end of it and never wake up, is a heady and at times fearful prospect.
After all we all like to know where we are going in life!

Further to this, I’ve come across a technique to help navigate my uncertainty in being completely free.
A silver coin.
I have a coin with a hole drilled through it, its now a paracord pendant, hanging around my neck, next to my new tattoo.
If I’m not sure where I’m going or what to do I take it out and flip it. Heads or tails, yay or nay, left or right, north or east etc.
(Thank you Grizz!)
This is what I’m now referring to as my “experience multiplier”
I have no idea what tomorrow will bring.
I have no idea how all this will end up.

But isn’t that a truth for us all?

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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

“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