What is freedom? What is choice? What is the point of all these questions?
It’s just a start jump back on-board a train of thought. A train of thought that nearly escaped me as other needs and tasks interfered with free flowing consciousness. The ‘ooh shiney’ nature of the mind, its need to find, sort, arrange and deal with reality is a distraction from the true reality all around all of us.
It’s only when I’ve been surprised, I’ve been truly aware. I’ve achieved, what recovering drug addicts refer to as, that ‘moment of clarity’ many, many times now. Some days it flows easier than others. Sometimes I just need to eat or breathe.
I would argue however, that I have to be able to allow myself to be surprised. My awareness of my environment and those around me is naturally clouded by the distractions of the day. Every day, and in many little ways.
I’ve been pleasantly surprised around 1am this morning. And now over an hour later my mind, my thoughts, my processes, are still burning like the hot dessert sun. I make no apologies.
But I have stepped outside my bounds. I’ve said yes to my own self awareness. I’m somehow temporarily managed to avoid the societal norms I was indoctrinated with. The same norms we are all socialised to work towards. The better teacher would have just admitted that we were being taught the best they knew at the time, and that there was only one freedom we could all truly possess in our lives, and that it was up to us to test, reform, and create new standards.
But no-one of us is perfect. It is only by working together with our talents and gifts that the failings and weaknesses cease to matter.
The freedom to choose the world we create through our conceptions, and not our pre-conceptions. Oh how hard that is to hang on to.
On a daily basis I keep being told “Calm down” or “You’re doing too much” or “That isn’t good for you” and I have to wonder, why am I being told this?
I don’t fear doing too much anymore. I fear not living enough. I’ve joked I’ve probably used half my allotted loops round our closest, energy giving, solar star, and that most men in my family don’t live much past 70. What goes unstated, but I feel in every utterance, is that so many people grow old, and never live at all.
I had a random discussion the other day about retirement. I don’t get the escape from life, to move into an isolated bubble, to passively exist in a world teeming with energy – and potential new interactions and creations.
I wish I could explain how I got onto this spiral of positivity. But there was no single step.
Yes, everything happens for a reason, but as an individual navigating a species wide delta of information, I will share one key component that keeps me grounded. That keeps my megalomania in some kind of check.
I am not a digital life-form, and I am always reminded of the warning symbol of technological progress that was the penny-farthing.
I am tactile. I am emotional. I am a bio-collective organism which needs sensorial feedback. I perform daily, and often hourly, mind dumps of information and ideas I generate. And it leaves my awareness free to see the now-time around me.
The native Australians hadn’t forgotten something many have missed. I don’t need to know how the universe started; I don’t need to know the answer to every question.
All I need to know is my place in the universe. To ask better questions, and to ask for help.
Over the years I have attempted to be many, many things.
Over the years I have been accused of being many things.
I’ve been a paperboy. I’ve been a football event promotional items salesman. I’ve been an accountant. I’ve sold T-shirts at festivals and gigs. I’ve been a banking process worker. I’ve been a babysitter. I’ve been an IT technician. I’ve been a war-gamer. I’ve been a peace seeker. I’ve been a counsellor. I’ve been a brother. A friend.And a palette truck driver. I’ve been a dancer. I’ve been a fighter. I’ve been a problem solver.
I’ve been a problem maker. I’ve been the guy that friends went to when they needed something. I’ve been a reader. I’ve been a thinker. I’m becoming a writer. I have always been a lover. I’ve been a teacher. I’ve been a student. I’ve been a landlord. I’ve been a drinker. I’ve been a traveller. I have been a hermit. I have slept. And I have awoke.
I’ve been accused of being insane. I’ve been questioned on my autistic traits. Quizzed over my manic and depressive moments. I’ve been loud. I’ve been quiet. I’ve been lost. I’ve been found.
I’ve been known. I’ve been unknown. I’ve shown amazing physical control, with the aid of an 82 year old tai-chi instructor from Standish. I’ve shown a total lack of physical control and defiance of gravity by falling up stairs and breaking my toes. I’ve felt pleasure. I’ve felt pain.
I’ll have to stop there.
I could go on. But the rhythm, and pace, the posting of words, seems sufficient to at least open the door in your head, dear reader, to that fact that I have always been a man of swings. I can use one thousand words when one would suffice. Or I can use my body and expressions alone to get food and shelter lost in Marrakesh. I’ve worked side by side with people for years with people who never knew me. I’ve been apart from people for years yet was never separated.
I am all of these things and I am none of them. Just like scientists chasing their electrons, by trying to define myself by my own, or other people’s standards, something went missing. Thankfully for all that is good in beer, I learned to let go of ego. And embrace now. What will come from within must be allowed to grow.
The constant pull of the yin-yang within me, has spiraled to a new level. And I chose the word spiral very specifically. It’s taken me 38 years to realise that the miasma of my ‘self’ is an illusion. I am not divisible from the entire universe. I am a reflection, and a cog, within it.
But just maybe we can all be something else as well?
I have struck fear in those who have no questions about their universe.
I have seen inspiration in those around me, who are curious about their universe, and oft I am accused of being inspirational.
This is simply an illusion of chronology. Just because you said something after me, or did something after meeting me, does not mean you wouldn’t have done it anyway.
It was already within you.
Together we managed to escape the bounds of capitalist time and focus on something far deeper within all of us.
Our shared humanity.
Our capacity to dream.
Our capacity to love.
Thank you to all my ‘families’ for giving birth to this Star Child. On the next slump this time-and-space monkey will be able to look back at moments like this and know, all is well.
Like good music, the high notes are not the point. It’s the journey, the flow, or our collective spiritual lives which will always outlive our frail mortal forms.
Love and Muchness M’Lazy
Ming PS Leonard definitely is a good name. If that river ever opens up to us. And yes I knew you’d always pick Elizabeth, the first.