Past Travels and Life’s Tales

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Big cup of steamnig, strong black coffee on the table, blinds still drawn, a cold and wet day outside. It’s still early in the morning. Quiet.I always look forward to these quiet early starts on my days off. This is the moment I sometimes try to write. Lately I have been trying my hand at some fiction. The idea was to try writing some dialogue, and also, importantly, get out of my head a little. Mulling over and milling around ideas and concepts, over and over in your head can be tiresome. Fiction gets me writing, just putting words on the page and running with the story. This is important in developing a habit of writing. I have done this with running and fitness in the past, so I know this is a good approach. Find time and space, and force your self to write, even when you doubt yourself, your skills and … well, generally everything. Just write. After a while it becomes a habit. You no longer have to force yourself, as it is something you need, crave and can not live without – like coffee. So thats habit and routine.

As I have written on this blog a few posts back, routine is good but it does not necessarily help creativity and it can sometimes be a little of a ‘kill joy’. There is little point writing if it does not bring out your creative side, and if it is not enjoyable. So every so often we need to ‘refresh’. Just stop and look at the big picture – what are we trying to do? Where are we going with this? This is vital to stay focused and enjoy what we are doing.

So … Stop. What is the big picture? What is the idea of OnTheBarge? A little while ago I wrote this passage on the About page:

Imagine yourself living on a weathered, worn and humbled barge posing as a hotel, in the backstreets of a restless, hot and dusty city, with an eclectic and colourful group of guests from all walks. Where conversations center around life’s tales, those of glory and defeat, where politics and revolutions are discussed in real and lively words and where the world seems truly a small place and it’s people a large tribe.

Writing the blog would be so much easier if I was constantly travelling. Or if I did actually live on an old barge somewhere with an exotic address, somewhere where it is hot and humid. Well, I have been living in Sydney for the past 9 months, of which the last 3 have been coldish, little wet and dark, if we consider the short days. With the start of spring waiting in the wings, it is time to plan some travels and get exploring. This is something to look forward to, but Onthebarge is also about imagination and reliving something – life’s tales. With that said let’s use the imagination and tell those tales of endless adventure and ‘on the road’ experiences. From the tavernas of Crete and hotels of Istambul, to the road-side motels of Australia.

On the river
Live-on barge, Mekong, Laos

 

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Old Town Square, Wroclaw, Poland
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Road house and Motel, Pimba, South Australia 

Burn, burn, burn and be mad …

 

Burn, burn, burn

“The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a common place thing, but burn, burn, burn like fabulous yellow candles exploding like spiders accross the stars”. Jack Kerouac, On the Road

It has been years since that quote and that book made a huge impression on me. The carefree quest for constant discovery. An endless roadtrip, with a countless array of likeminded, stimulating companions. No plans, no vision, no next steps, resolutions or goals. Nothing holding them back.

I never aspired to be a Beatnik nor a nomad. But there was a big part of me wanting to be, in some way, a person who would recall the above words not with regret, but with a sense of accomplishment, as a recurring signpost during the big gig that is life. To some this may come very naturally, to others it is a more considerable challenge, myself in the latter category. It is a challenge because we all have ambitions, wants, perceptions as to what our life should be like, and what ‘success’ we should achieve. There are also expectations of those around us, and society as a whole. With all that as a heavy load upon your shoulders, it is hard to lift your head, pump out your chest and say “I know what I want, and this is not IT”.

Having a secure job, a furnished and comfortable apartment, maybe a company car are all elements which often create a sense of security and easiness, which is hard to just abandon. And so people spend 15 or 20 years in that same job, wishing a countless number of times they could just get away. Regret and frustration; and that is not the way it was meant to be.

I am happy to say that I have not gotten too far away from the place where I wanted to be. Having achieved the ‘comfortable life’ status, I was burning to leave it behind, and experience something else, be free and creative. And I did it!

Be desirous. Be creative. Just come up with a way to create your own space, give it some time and you will see promising results.

As a former manager, a director even, I am looking forward to pumping out four 12hour shifts this week. Running as many kms as possible. Cooking beans, grains and other healthy stuff. And spending plenty of time with my young family. All stress free.