Several decades ago, snow-fresh sober, I heard a chattering telling me that I needed to fix things — break through the ice and trudge off.
Perhaps it was the voice of Buddha-like Marlow, Joseph Conrad’s narrator, drawing me into the Heart of Darkness, plying me with fantasies of the Congo; or the voice of Inspector Wilson, the gin-soaked ex-patriot from Graham Greene’s The Heart of the Matter, whispering tales of West Africa. That voice beguiled me with the exotica of distant lands and warned me not to die decades later, cold, having wasted my life chained to a desk, a wife and a mortgage; having wasted my life wayfaring vicariously around the world in the company of fictitious heroes; without having had my own drinks in Raffles at sunset, my own bivouacs on the banks of the Nile and the Ganges, or my own whores in Bangkok.
So I did depart on my own odyssey, not with a head full of literary adventurers (I left them on the shelf at home) but with a sense of true freedom. Freedom from everything.
Several decades later, warmed and satisfied, the chattering had stopped. Destinations, however, had proved elusive. Habituated to wandering, I enjoyed departures but never seemed to arrive anywhere, and after a time I began to regard destinations as illusory. I was free at the outset of my journey not at its end. There is nowhere to go.
Is my journey through life creative, a form of freedom? You decide. But I do know that if you move too quickly, you’ll pass life by, stay too long and life will pass you by. Either mistake is deadly. Just try to reach a balance, moving and stopping, maximizing the pleasure and minimizing the pain. I write about such things, sometimes, but I never stop for too long.
It all began in …
Well, don’t worry, it not that kind of blog. I won’t bore you with the trivia of my life. I’m still here and that’s really all that matters. I’m trying to keep my mind open and ready to learn from what I find. If you look around this site you’ll find some of the things I’ve noticed along the way.
© Paul S Davey 2013