So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more dangerous to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endless changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. – from Into the Wild, by John Krakauer
In the words of Helen Keller, “Life is either a daring adventure or it is nothing at all.” It is easy to get stuck in the daily grind of our ordinary world. We let one day blend into the next without much variation. Until one day, we wake up, look around and wonder, “How did I end up here?”
Photo Journal Update for 26.03.2006
I walk among the rocks
And broken glass in bare feet
A rat scuttles across the street.
I thought love was to blame
For all the things said and done;
I hid myself I shame.
Through the window pane
Of the Watchmaker’s shop;
I see my reflection;
I have not slept for days.
Eyes that were once bright
And full of promise;
Stare back in defeat
Selfishness and pride did this;
But love got the blame.
I walk through a doorway which
Has no door any more;
On the inside hangs a mirror
And I see my reflection clearly
I see eyes; they are not my eyes,
But there’s no one else here
I see beauty and truth reflected in them;
And the eyes burn bright with intensity
I hear a faint whisper
In my ear; a light touch
On my face.
I am true love
Generosity and forgiveness
are my gifts and I give them
to you freely.
Sorrow does not last forever,
If you surrender yourself to love.
– Clay Lowe
love has no beauty
I still believe in beauty
But I lost my faith in love
I wanted the world to love me
But all I got was spit in my face
I did think love would rescue me
Show me a better world; a better place
Love didn’t live up to its promise
Left me standing here in the rain
With nowhere to go and nothing to show
But a broken heart and lots of pain
– clay lowe
love is pain
love is suffering
that is all i’ve seen of love
all you need is love, or so the beatles sang
love broke my heart
love stole my flame
that is the way of love
love will save the day, or so des’ree sang
love is a fool’s game
love is lame
that is the darkside of love
love rescued me, or so U2 sang
i wanted love to save the day
and rescue me
but love just laughed and buried me
– Clay lowe
Yesterday, there was a period in the day when my life felt completely right.
What do I see when I look back over the day?
Let’s see…I didn’t go in to do corporate coaching. So straight away, I had more time. I was able to stay in bed a little longer. I did my emails and researched my route for my upcoming adventure in the Pyrenees. I called Ed and did some wheeling and dealing. And then I went for a 3.5 mile run. My plan for the day was to head down to London; first to do some research on Peru in the Royal Geographical Soceity (RGS) reading room, and then afterwards attend the Michael Palin talk. Though I had things to do, I didn’t feel any real time pressure.
I Love travelling even if its down on the train to a city I have been to many times before. There is just something about embarking on a journey that excites me. And taking the train gives me time to read the paper, think, and write of which I did all three on the ride down to London.
On the train, I mind mapped out the future of my company. It’s a good plan and I feel energised to make it happen.
Once in London, I met with Christine and we had a great chat that I turned into a mini interview including a photo shoot. Christine outlined her plans post her employment at the RGS. She is heading over to Mozambique to set-up stage one of a conversation of natural resources project that will help the people of Mozambique build alternative sources of income while conserving the environment.
Then I went to the Folye Reading Room which is the RGS massive library of all things related to expeditions. I was in heaven.
My Pyrenees adventure is in the diary, and the others Mount Blanc and Kilimanjaro are within grasp. I called Neil W. to engage him in the idea of climbing Mt. Blanc and Kili with me as well as getting together to discuss some business opportunities and expeditions together. He seemed excited about the prospects. And me, well I was thinking if I can get Pete, Ed, and Neil onboard with my idea then some great stuff can happen.
I’m a mean mother fucker
Always kicking off the covers
I’m a back street bitch
Always trying to make a pitch
My mind was clear
I really did care
I didn’t give a damn
I’m a fake mother fucker
Always sniffing up her skirt
I’m a slick boy punk
Always trying to sell some junk
I used to have it all
I fucked up; lost it all
I opened up my heart
I closed it off again
I’m a sad mother fucker
Always saying that I love her
I’m a dumb-ass shit
Always trying to sow my bit
I used to play to win
I gave up on myself
I thought I could be saved
I knew I wasn’t worth saving
It is the first day of spring. Well you wouldn’t know it living in this god forsaken place. Still as Ranaulph Fiennes is reported to have said, “There is no bad weather, only bad clothing.”
April further unfolds itself. It looks like now I will be spending about 10 days in Northern Spain hiking the El Camino de Santiago. I want to hike the whole 800km, but time and a packed schedule isn’t in favour of that at the moment.
I had that quiet before the storm period yesterday which had me feeling slightly out of place. But a little sweat and heavy metal helped cure that.
I remember reading this poem as a teenager as a part of my independent study in poetry. I was a serious poet back then filled with the normal teenaged angst and trying to figure out my place in the world. Eliot was my favourite poet in those days because I felt a sort gloominess in his words that described how our felt – a man out of place. A lot of Eliot’s characters are men who feel out of place and powerless to do anything about it except accept their fate.
I am wondering if I am feeling a bit like that now. But even as I write that, I know that is not true for me. I am an incorrigible rascal. And it is only when I feel repentant that I feel powerless.
Why should I repent for being me? I was born into a world I did not ask for. I was given a set of rules which nobody asked me if I want to play by. And they told me to go. But they didn’t tell me which way to go? So I had to make that up for myself. And that is what I have done. Why should I apologise?
Ash Wednesday – a Poem by T.S. Eliot
Because I do not hope to turn again
Because I do not hope
Because I do not hope to turn
Desiring this man’s gift and that man’s scope
I no longer strive to strive towards such things
(Why should the agèd eagle stretch its wings?)
Why should I mourn
The vanished power of the usual reign?
Because I do not hope to know
The infirm glory of the positive hour
Because I do not think
Because I know I shall not know
The one veritable transitory power
Because I cannot drink
There, where trees flower, and springs flow, for there is nothing again
Because I know that time is always time
And place is always and only place
And what is actual is actual only for one time
And only for one place
I rejoice that things are as they are and
I renounce the blessèd face
And renounce the voice
Because I cannot hope to turn again
Consequently I rejoice, having to construct something
Upon which to rejoice
And pray to God to have mercy upon us
And pray that I may forget
These matters that with myself I too much discuss
Too much explain
Because I do not hope to turn again
Let these words answer
For what is done, not to be done again
May the judgement not be too heavy upon us
Because these wings are no longer wings to fly
But merely vans to beat the air
The air which is now thoroughly small and dry
Smaller and dryer than the will
Teach us to care and not to care Teach us to sit still.
Pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death
Pray for us now and at the hour of our death.
Hey there baby
Your love is legendary
Love is four letters
Ain’t in the dictionary
Excuse my position
But it ain’t missionary – Aerosmith
I feel like being present in my own skin today and not only being present, but liking my own company.
It’s time to switch into action mode…