With added blurriness for added authenticity.
Plans are not impeachable dictates from the future – they are guidelines for how we might like to choose our actions now, and they must be flexible if we want to avoid being disappointed.
Ya know when you wake up and you can’t remember what month it is? You have to go to someone and say, “Excuse me, do you know what month it is?” They look at you funny, like they’re envious in a way but like they’re not able to believe the feeling is envy, so they just kind of squint.
I think it’s a good thing. You know you’re moving further and further away from the dominant paradigm when you can’t remember what month it is.
I haven’t had a phone for what feels like ages now, maybe two months, and i haven’t had a laptop for maybe four months. I haven’t been able to (or wanted to) know the time whenever i wanted. I haven’t been able to call people or get online or publish anything or check the weather. Instead, i’ve been floating and allowing, drifting and meandering. I wound up in a place called Bellingen, on the mid-north coast of New South Wales, which is vaguely where i was sort of heading when i left Castlemaine.
This is where this journey has taken me, and for the last month or so, maybe a month and a half, i’ve been wondering why, and what i’m here for. I feel i know why i’m here, but i couldn’t easily express it right now, not in anything vaguely approaching a comprehensive way.
I’m here for healing, is one thing. And i’m here for evolution of the spirit. There is much opportunity here for growth/transformation, for the observation of patterns and the dissolution of automated behaviour. I’ve bumped into a little soul family and we’re living in a yurt inside a community garden and i’m going to stay awhile, plant some vegetables and try to see out a season, harvest a yield. I really want to grow a pumpkin.
I was on this trip to escape from depression in Castlemaine, and to justify the seemingly selfish intention to just ride the fuck around for ages and reconnect with Beauty, i came up with this idea i would ride around Australia to raise awareness of depression, anxiety and addiction. I’ve been reluctant to get back to this blog because i feel like i’m not doing that anymore, or maybe because i haven’t been able to fully comprehend what stopping in Bellingen means. It doesn’t mean anything, necessarily, except that here is a place where i can dedicate myself to the practice of healing myself from within, and that is why i’ve chosen to stop here, and even before i had stopped here anyway, i was beginning to feel that,
yes: the idea to ride around Australia to raise awareness was something for me to cling to when i hadn’t felt meaning or purpose in my life for so long, but i needn’t cling to that quest if i’m feeling the need to stay here.
I had begun already to change the sub-titles/blurbs/whatnot on here and on Facebook … “cycle-tripping Australia to escape from etc.” instead of “cycling around Australia”, and reminding myself that the first priority in this endeavour is the first one mentioned in the blurb: to treat my own depression.
Before i thought i would ride around Australia, my intention/plan was to ride for three months to Byron or somewhere near the north coast of New South Wales, work there in a cafe until i could get to Thailand and join a monastery i’ve been looking into in the northeast there. Now i’m here on the mid-north coast and i’ve fallen in with a soul-family, so instead of “doing a lap” i’m going to stay here, because i can – i can change my mind and plans.
I was talking with Bella about this, about how we don’t much like plans because we’re “free-spirited”, but how we need to have plans to navigate the future while we yet remain ensconced in the human experience: we need to have plans and the way to maintain a freedom of spirit among plans is to see them as … well, as plans.
Plans are not impeachable dictates from the future – they are guidelines for how we might like to choose our actions now, and they must be flexible if we want to avoid being disappointed. Believing too fervently in a plan leads to an expectation of that plan working out in the future – if we accept that no expectation for the future can ever be met exactly as we imagined it in our mind, we can begin to let go of our aversion to making plans, we can begin to feel less trapped by ideas of the future that we had in the past, and start to live into our future from Now, the present.
Stopping in Bello doesn’t mean i haven’t lived up to the circumnavigation plan, and i accept that i needed that goal as a kind of framework, from which i could hang my withered sense of worth, meaning and purpose until it caught the breeze and sun, like some wilted epiphyte on a ramshackle old fence. Stopping in Bello gives me a chance to process and integrate what i’ve experienced on this four-month leap of faith, and what i’m beginning to understand is: more than riding around Australia to raise awareness of mental illness, i want to dedicate my life to understanding and treating mental illness by exploring our unmet need for spiritual succour in the modern world, a world where consumerism/materialism has replaced spiritualism as our primary source of meaning.
That’s where i’m at now. I’m in Bello to see what i can do with this understanding of the meaning and purpose of my human existence, how i can put it into action. It starts with meditation and grows from there – that’s all i know, and all i feel i need to know.
It feels good to put this out there, off my chest. It starts with expression as well, because without expression everything just builds up inside us and mutates and makes us crook. I’m tired of being crook – it’s time to rest here into health for a while. It means i might be posting more regularly here, and i’m looking forward to reconnecting with you all.
It was a month ago today that i announced on Facebook about my intention to ride around Australia. I only realised it was a month when last night i looked up at the moon, saw it was full, and remembered that somehow i had managed to leave Castlemaine on an earlier full moon – by the time i got to the Snowy River i had decided that i wouldn’t stop at Byron Bay, as originally planned, and that instead i would ride around Australia to escape from and raise awareness of depression, anxiety and addiction.
I’m still here doing it, and it feels like i’ve been out on the road for three months at least, which is a common experience for me when i do this sort of intensive travel – days feel like weeks, weeks like months, and when i spent a year and a half in south-east asia i came back feeling i had aged (in terms of wisdom) many many years.
So today i’m at the Sapphire Club in Merimbula, New South Wales, transferring my early posts from my old Flux Comb blog, to this one, in dated order – because i like to have things linear, complete, content sometimes. I haven’t felt like i could start blogging here until i got those earlier posts transferred, because they were fundamental experiences for me, and therefore fundamental posts for understanding what i’m doing on this journey.
So here we go – a new blogging adventure! And here’s a snappy of the trees i feared, looking harmless before the sun went down and the 60–70km/hr wind gusts came in tearing up the skies louder than trucks passing on the nearby Princes Highway:
I hope you’ll follow along here at Black Dog Barking – it’s the place where i have most fun publishing, and is certainly my focus over Facebook and Twitter … those are just outposts of this evil media empire.
Mwah ha ha!
I am back on the shores of civilisation after a few days riding through Nadgee Nature Reserve, followed by a few days squatting in a Wonboyn shack to avoid half of another east-coast low (which i just learned are a type of “extra-tropical cyclone”!) I got hammered by the other half at Scrubby Creek on the way out of Wonboyn (mostly wind blowing branches out of trees again!), and hustled up here on the Princes Highway … Eden was a fizzer: i arrived at 4am on last night’s blue-moon winter solstice, and all i found was advertising, a shopping mall and a church with all the lights blazing, but nobody home. So i did some graffiti, poked around a few dumpsters, and fucked off. (God is dead, long live economic self-interest and Church-sanctioned energy waste!) Now i am here, and the time is now. Merimbula is a quaint little seaside/lakeside town that reminds me very much a Turkish town i can’t remember the name of, where i bought tobacco out of an old bloke’s boot – car boot, that is. Woot woot! May the bathing begin! Oh yeah, and i have been reminded by my brief experience here already, that if you rock out with your heart out, you attract all the people you need, whether good or bad, but so far good! Yes yes yes!