Oh hey there! Haven’t seen you in a little bit… amongst all the chaos of the last 10 days, accompanied by my LAD I have managed to finish my walk of Yorkshire, do plenty of writing, doodle down some things, have some quiet and loud times back in Leeds and have made it back to Switzerland for three, sunny and warm days late in their Spring.
It’s a funny thing actually, I always thought I would struggle to push myself and meet new people, making real friends. It almost like felt like a dream or a story, hearing about others tales of the friends and adventures they have had while walking their paths. At the back of my mind I always wondered with some anxiety, how would I meet people? How do I start conversations? What if no one connects with me? Because let’s be honest, I can be ‘weird’ or strange to others, I mean have you seen me dressed up as a fairy?!!
The people I have met, have connected with, have become real friends with, whether it be in Malaysia, England, Ireland, Wales or Switzerland, whether they are young, retired, a bird watcher, director or studying languages, people have shown me nothing but kindness, love, respect and friendship. It hurts my little heart, but also makes me think I must be doing something right, that fills my stomach with butterflies of all sorts of colours and sizes, to have been surrounded by so many unbelievable people along my path so far. So first of all;
Thank you if you have even popped up out of a rabbit hole on the side of the path I have been walking and said hello, if I have had the chance to look into the swirly blackness of your eyes or even if you just swung by and made me smile.
As for afterwards, he slept as easily has he had on the previous night. Perhaps even better: in the first place because he was really tired, and secondly because the step he had taken had filled him with the quiet satisfaction which comes with completing one leg of the journey… Another reason for sleeping soundly could have been the carrying out of his conjugal duties, but why fulfill them according to the standards and expectations of others?
As for Courrier, he had his whole life ahead of him, and slept the more soundly for it.
Much like the translated text ‘The Alphonse Courrier Affair’ I feel like I can sleep better now… As I can sit in the airport, playing a game following the story of an old man who goes on an adventure much like mine, in a state of finishing one leg of the race, being myself and understanding my life has only just begun…
You know I never really thought there were this many good people in the world, then again maybe yet again I am just one of the lucky, white, middle class men who seem to always seem to fall into perfect situations… I don’t know…
Now I’m at a point where I am writing the things that pop up in my mind, I’m writing a book chapter by chapter, I’m creating poems and I am using these pages as a way to clear my brain. The way I can describe it is like an adventurous night of dungeons and dragons;
Writing is everything, like D’n’D, no boundaries apart from the dice, symbols, gear and the way your body gains enough courage to write it all down on your little piece of paper, even though it’s all happening in your head.
Actually while I’m talking about fantasy and things happening in your head, I did write this when I was walking, and boy oh boy is it true. I called it For Too Long.
• For too long had I played computer games.
Far too long had I used my imagination, to live the life I had always dreamed through Elvish and Breton names.
Walking the mountains slowly, through snow, sun, rain and stars. Watching the wildlife without harming it and picking up flowers just to look at and store in my characters house, built with his own unconscious hands.
Living simply, hoarding antiques, reading non-fiction books in a fictitious world and discovering far off lands, cultures and people.
In Skyrim I always felt alive until…
I’d take the surrounded sound headphones off, adapt my eyes to the sunlight once the blinds were pulled up and I’d sit there and cry, because, it all meant nothing…
Little did I know, still twenty three, just over the pond, around the corner, over the hill, I would be living my life I had already lived in a realistic, 3-D, fantasy world.
Living it, discovering it, smelling the rotting books in that abbey, touching the stone filled with life and finding my ownn slice of ‘Sovngarde’, this time though, not as a lizard, cat, elf or orc but myself!
Now walking, talking and being something more than nothing, well being nothing, which is technically something, *that hurt* I met a guy called Kevin, What a legend! Anyway talking with him I actually only realised when I started my trip I wasn’t going to be walking and it just came about from a simple two hour walk from Manchester to Middleton in a pair of brand spanking new Doc Martens. Nothing really important but, instead of being a big planned event it’s cool to think things change!
Okay back to it. When I was walking I realised I’d become so happy I was almost expecting myself to be happy all the time, or expecting myself to not be able to feel anything but. I realised that this is a really dangerous thing. I mean I am human, I will feel sad sometimes, I will feel happy sometimes, I will want to throw my hands in the air and do something illegal… to expect yourself not to feel a certain way is more detrimental to me than actually having that feeling I feel like I shouldn’t! It was like a weight rose off my shoulders when I actually consciously decided this. I don’t need to feel a certain way at any time, I don’t need to feel the way I expect people to want me to feel, hmmm! This alone made me feel a billion times happier because it freed me from my own rules! I am really happy don’t get me wrong, but I had a strange feeling one night on my walk. I hadn’t felt it for a long time, it’s another feeling I can’t describe with English words. Instead I have to explain the image I see when I feel it though and when I actually sat down and wrote this feeling or picture I realised how fantastic pencil to paper is to me!
Sometimes when I’ve felt sad, yes sad, not depressed, but really, really ducking sad, I feel hollow when I shut my eyes. All I can see is a little person, curled up in a ball in the corner of a corner less room. Pitch black the room expands inside of me, a bit like when you look up after staring at the road for a while and it seems like everything is trying to get as far away as possible from you. Yeah…
I felt something similar to that, but like I said not from sadness, to be honest I’m not sure why I felt it… but I did, and I’m fine with it now I’ve said to myself I know I’m happy but I know I can feel other things!
When I made it to Switzerland I met some pretty incredible people, I’d categorise them as superstars, 11/10! But what I wanted to say is like that feeling I can’t always describe words with the language I know. Anja, Ella and Ha-Babe all had a really cool discussion with me about different words in different languages and cultures! Things we don’t have in English for instance;
Waldeinskameit (German) – the feeling of being alone in the woods.
[one for Pete] Jayus (Indonesian) – a joke told so poorly and so unfunny that one cannot help but laugh.
Words I can’t actually say! Coooooool! But imagine how many words there are that mean important things or have such a meaning we can’t even explain them or understand how to explain them in English. Like the unconditional love you feel for your family, or like me those times you feel really, really sad or on the contrary indescribley happy!
Alright that enough, now I’m back in Leeds and I get to hang out with some pretty special people, you know those people I was taking about before, the ones that make me feel happy, smile and like a big kid again.
Here’s some photos of a range of these perfect specimens!
Hope you’re doing well whoever is reading this! In these times of uncertainty and amongst all the chaos make sure you sit back listen to some funky music, have a dance, listen, help, challenge, smile, feel, in the words of Kate Tempest:
Hold your own!