Okay here we go, another attempt at writing some organic, free-range, hand fed thoughts, ideas and experiences. I made it from Newcastle, to Durham, back to Whitby, through Robin Hoods Bay and now down to Scarborough. I’ve been writing a lot, talking a lot less and realising ‘Obviously Invisible’ things about myself and the world around me.
We start with a couple of quick things I’ve noticed about my walking, they go as follows:
– Whitby was the first place I could smell easily. The dried out seaweed and the salty air.
– I like leading with my left foot even though I’m right footed.
– Going East seems more downhill (A bit like Treebeard, who likes going South)
– I prefer going up, it’s more interesting, like when I used to run cross country.
– I found out on the train, writing isn’t easy, unless I have something to say, unless I am ready to empty my brain.
There you go easy. Obviously Invisible.
Next, after I made it to Durham, I checked out the place, unbelievable river, incredible castle, church and surrounding courtyards and quite a beautiful story on how and why it was all built on top of that hill. Saint Cuthbert and his story, if you have a chance check it out. So the day was still young and I had seen everything and was happy at that, it was a gorgeous day, so I decided to walk and find my spot to sleep. Eventually I found a nice place, over a ridge, down a steep hill to land on a flat and comfortable piece of ground in the middle of some forest. I was in between three main paths used by runners, bike riders and families, however, I seemed ‘Obviously Invisible’. For seven hours, I lay in the same position, listening, watching, senses hightened, napped two times and only at one point did someone notice I was where I was. A little fact I only said seventeen words this day…
Anyway, a little boy, curious as ever ventured off the track from above and peered over the edge of the ridge, I could hear the questioning to his mum “who is that?”, “what’s he doing?” Anyway she took no notice and they were never seen or heard from again.
Children have this strange ability to stare, stare at everything, because everything they are seeing, is for the first time. I want to live like that. I mean I have seen trees before, but after this kid came along, it made me want to look again at the bark, scratches, new leaves and old ones too. It made me think though and write, in amongst my sketches and pages, I put this down,
No matter how unhappy, how disappointed, how busy, how angry you get, the clock keeps ticking… I realised today in this forest how fast it can actually tick. Seven hours went by as I watched the trees change in the light and go through here daily routine, sitting there, invisible to everyone apart from one child who wanted to see over the edge of that steep drop. So if you begin to feel down or everything becomes too much, spare a thought for yourself and remember you were that adventurous once. Maybe you just need to take a look again and peek over that ridge, ‘or you’ll never know or even worse never remember what it’s like to be curious.’
This day of complete silence, I didn’t learn anything really, but to be that close to reality, someone’s reality, but be in my own bubble of stillness watching and listening the world go by was nice. It made me realise, I can’t really be bored even in the quiet moments.
Okay third story this one was from this morning…
Today I woke up, not to nothing as I have become accustomed with when I wild camp, but to Jack.
Jack was an old man unzipping my tent (creepy I know)… but hold on it gets much better. It was wet outside raining and it obviously had been for a while because I was sleeping in a puddle and everything in and around my tent was soaking. See last night I set up my tent in between two trees, just off the path in the darkness because I thought it looked ‘Obviously Invisible’. It wasn’t and the little crack of Earth I slid my body inside of wasn’t anything less than a stream by his stage. See Jack was on his morning walk and he wanted to make sure I was okay in my Obviously Visible tent location… he invited me back to his to get dry and have some tea. 6am in the rain, what a guy, so I packed up and away we went.
Jack was a retired farmer who now lives in Robin Hoods Bay alone and likes to sail. He told me amongst our exciting conversations, he once got to go down to London when he was my age to see a show, it must of be grand I thought. He was a warm, kind and weathered man, when I asked about why he was walking this morning in the rain his reply was “the rain doesn’t bother me, I actually prefer it to the sun” I agreed and sipped my tea, hands finally alive again after the mornings chill.
I wrote this for him – Jack and Me
It was love at first sight, his warm, brown eyes open and alive. 77, alone in the rain, there is no time to waste. Tea and toast he tried my Vegemite, I still can’t believe this wise, friendly delight. Thanks Jack.
Form – perfect can’t exist without something equal to compare it to – Socrates/Plato
I like to think Jack was a perfect form.
Now even though I wasn’t ‘Obviously Invisible’ today was the first day I woke up drenched and there was a feeling of infinity, never ending wetness. I was soaked the whole day through, 14 miles of *SQUELCH*
It wasn’t a hard walk, I don’t want to pretend like it was, it was cold though, the cliff walk, freezing me down to the core as I placed each foot in front of the last. Strangely I welcomed the rain, it felt different, raw, real, whatever you or I would like to call it, it was happening.
Up and down through fields, up and down over horribly positioned stone steps, up and down, up and down, until my pace became a pattern, natural. Like the bag after two days of walking I wasn’t effected by the dampness, my feet made strange sounds but at least it was uncomfortably comfortable!
There was a strange eerieness when the rain broke, as a mist would find its way around me, confine me, to a space no more than five metres in each direction. I met no one, I saw almost nothing and today, I have never been so close to buying a croissant with my hand crafted coffee in Scarborough. I didn’t.
Today made it all worthwhile again, Scarborough, is a strange place, beautiful and I feel calm in the weather, moist… but calm. I seriously can’t get over my mind, it has been brought back since I started writing things down, clear, and with this comes a real sense of happiness and clarity wherever I am. Two weeks down, one to go and in all honesty I am almost ready to see my mates again.
That is me being ‘Obviously Visible’ I’m going to write down some poems and assortment of things that have happened so I jotted them down, so you can run away to your life if you want. Love you.
1 – The first one is a cheeky one for JM who I had a brief message with the other day. Look after yourself!
The excitement in life is because you’re struggling up that hill, one day you’ll reach the top. Here at the crest where all that nervousness, anguish and pain has led, you will be able to enjoy the view. Just keep climbing, endure the struggle and always remain hopeful the crest might just be worth it.
2 – Why do cars pass on the right in England, but people pass on the left when on an elevator?
3 – Why is it always the old ones?
Three people, all older than me, A priest, a philosopher and a woman, gives me some cake for free. Reciting his lines like a kid in a play, Dylan Thomas for me, and something for the birds to make them all a little more happy. Three people, all grey no doubt, but three people by the lake, all wandering about.
Time flies when you don’t stop and take a look around.
4 – What is the physics of a pigeons jump? I just watched one jump onto a rock higher than it’s head…
5 – 21st Century Man:
I’m sitting up on the cliff eyes towards the sea. When I notice a little speck, a man, standing at the edge of the rocks during low tide. Gazing out into the ocean just like me, he holds his staff. A wizard to some, maybe even Moses to others, he looks dominate, like he is controlling the water, the tides and the crashing of the waves where he stands.
Look a little longer and realise maybe it’s just a tripod and he wants to take an amazing picture of the shipwreck, pressed up against the cliff like everyone else. One snap and bang! He’s a 21st Century Man.
6 – Take a page from her little red book, walking through a town named after Robin Hood. Little lanes, quirky shops with even quirkier doors, ‘but have you seen the crab poo and shit?’
Punching darts and breaking hearts, three women enjoy their phones and stairs made of glass. Canvas shoes on steady cement slabs, I wonder where all those crabs are at?
“Im telling ya you’re an alcoholic!” One of then shouts, “taxpayers paying for your smoking and cancer after that.” “Sssshhhh, that’s enough, the biggest lady says as she needs to sit”, ‘have you even seen the crab poo and shit?’ – Seaside Chats.
7 – Gravity of Life
One young man, wellies up to his knees.
Trying to jump, but can’t as he’d please.
Red jacket, brown pants, he could be in strife.
As he fools around with the gravity of life.
*He may be one of the lucky ones, but doesn’t mean his legs will let him jump*
8 – I just watched a bird balance when it landed using its wings like someone’s flailing arms!
9 – ‘Probably the best pizza in Dublin, we haven’t tried them all’ (that is my favourite pizza sign I’ve ever seen, 11/10)
10 – Myst.
Mum used to play a game called Myst, I found it hard, but she stuck it out, she couldn’t resist.
Can’t remember if she ever finished it even though I’ve asked, but that’s a bit of a sad thought like a person hiding behind a mask.
I’m on top of a cliff as I write, still nowhere to sleep tonight, but I’m watching the ocean, unlocking its doors, Consumed by the horizon full of ‘myst’, the distance paints a history of wars.
Can’t take a picture, so I have to sit and scribble, a picture wouldn’t work anyway, lacking emotion, feeling and the airs chilly nibble.
English Seagulls are bloody giants…
11 – 165.
There once lived a woman up a very steep hill. 165 she was said to be.
Every evening, whether you believe me or not, this woman would peg up her socks in her white dressing gown, pink flowers and all, can you see?
Old you might think, but the truth is, 165 stairs was the only link…
*How much for the house ma’am? £165, Please*
12 – There has been heaps of times on my trip, little moments where I notice something, A hole in a hedge, a door down some steps or a patch, dark and trees covering.
Somewhere where the fairies might roam, the gnomes may trick, or perhaps where the story could unfold and build me a homemade of red brick.
I just techs Scarborough, a police I always heard crackle on record, so Simon and Garfunkle, the fair is waiting and I am walking into another dream, abroad.
[What a time to be alive…]