No matter how good or bad I’m feeling, I can always find a Ralph Waldo Emerson quote to make sense of it all.
“What lies behind you and what lies infront of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”
I have been real sensitive lately (stoating around with the sensation a big black cloud dragging over my head) and I think a lot of my friends have too. Everyone seems to be either not sleeping or sick or tired of life or some other thing that makes them feel rubbish. But let’s be honest this is because of the life we are told and are pressured to have. To work, to be the best to do everything, pay fines, abide the law, don’t question things, to work, work, work. You’re working for pennies for them but they charge you hundreds for the right to be warm. It’s insanity and the sooner we realise it, the better.
I travelled through South America a few years ago and it only cemented even more in my mind how life should be lived. I worked on a farm in Ecuador, we collected corn from the fields for hours in the mornings and the hot heat of the days (hard, hard work) then we played around, taught english, climbed up waterfalls, swung over the river hanging onto long vines, we ran about, we TALKED, we had fun, and we ate some of the food we had gathered that day, cooking it together. No TV, no internet, no shower, no distraction, also, no toilet!
This beautiful unedited image of a horse was taken by my pal Louise Steven Mackie whilst we were lost trekking in the mountains from the jungle to the village we were staying in. We got separated from everyone, and one of my favourite things about Ecuador was the mist and the sensation of walking in the mountains way above the clouds. We saw this horse as we came over the hill. It was the only life we saw in miles, and made us feel less lost. So peaceful, so tranquil. Ecuador is a beautiful, beautiful country. Please visit it if you can. I would give anything to go back.
We travelled with two Canadians we met in a cafe one day, Troy and Tristan (pictured trying to eat a worm) He found this earthworm and goddamn it was the biggest earthworm I have ever seen or thought could exist. Earth snake. Tristan and Troy later came to stay with me and Louise in our apartment in Cusco, Peru. They had really smelly feet and were great banter. We miss them.
You can actually see the sea of clouds below us in the background. Amazing!
It was brilliant!
If there is one thing I could advise you to do it is to go travel. You DO NOT need loads of money. Go volunteer somewhere, do something good, and then expand your travels. And your mind. I ended up spending 9 months in S.A. It was some of the best times of my life. It was scary and unnerving, but there is nothing better than that to make you feel alive.
We did WOOFing on the farm (Working On Organic Farms) but our farm lady was particularly mental, so it made for a very interesting stay! We got held up by gunmen on a bus at 3am driving through Colombia and got mega robbed. The whole next day was awful, we sat trembling in a bus station but we got on with it, and if I’m totally honest, I miss my travelling amigo. Like when you are travelling your partner is always a given, always there for you without question cos you need each other so bad, unlike real everyday life in Paisley, say. But you know what. It’s all a lesson. And I appreciate everyday here now, but I even miss those chaotic trips through South America and I would go back there in a bees wing.
“What lies inside you and what lies infront of you, pales in comparison to what lies inside of you.”
Basically you make everything happen. You choose. Everything that happens you choose believe it or not. You decided to be who you are for whatever reason. You decided to be troubled, you decided to be hurt. But it’s a journey that you decided to take. So roll with it and don’t take it tooo seriously.
Meanwhile, since we’re talking about not being too serious… Me and my pal Louise liked to frequent the taxidermist museums in good ol’ South ‘merica (there’s loads!) and we found we had to keep returning in every town we saw one due to some hilarious finds. Feel free to hate me if you’re vegan, ( I mostly am too) but I wouldn’t ever condone butchering dead animals this way. It’s mentaaaal. But it definitely gave us some laughs when we were lost and lonely. The best one was the guy taking our money at the door who had Alzheimers real bad but it turned out he was the main taxidermist and soon every thing was clear. 100 percent respect to him though!
That really is red emulsion and a yellow bead for an eye.
Possibly the scariest thing is that I could fill a whole blog post on even more horrific taxidermy photos we took on our journeys so this is just a taster!
Hope I didn’t scar you too badly with these images… New blog posts coming soon with more up to date news.
I will do a whole taxidermy post if necessary, and I must give all credit for every photograph in this blog post to my good friend Louise Steven Mackie who I met in the depths of Cusco, Peru, fell in love with and travelled on a whirlwind romance through South America together. We know too much about each other to not stay pals.
I remember the day she told me “I don’t wanna live like you! It’s not bad it’s just different!”
Never a truer word was said. Just live your own life. Do what you want to do and along the way you will meet excellent people and do excellent things. But don’t ever let fear get in the way.