Funny how man revolves around time.
Headphones on. Beautiful music playing (Ryan Adams – Nobody Girl). Slackline up. Short session just over. Postcard written. Night falling. Stone bench overlooking a green expanse of volcano mountainside. Almost perfect I’d say.
All this down to time. Time is the fleeting element we vainly keep trying to grasp in our hands. It dictates most of our moves in the long run. And it definitely has a say in all of our decisions during this trip. The four of us on this trip each have personal objectives on this lengthy voyage. I don’t presume to know theirs but I definitely can’t help but keep thinking of my own. What may these be?
You know all those things you think about before falling asleep? All those goals, ambitions, ideas, resolutions that seem so reachable in the darkness of your room and the softness of your pillow? Those thoughts you either completely forget the next day or push out of your mind because the new GoT episode is ripe for downloading? Well they’re (just about) a lot more achievable when you’ve got the utmost freedom at your feet and nothing but time to laze around in.
The key words here are “when you’ve got nothing but time”. Our 12 hour days of driving, or entire days dedicated to important van/trip-related tasks to complete in chaotic cities are testament to that. But when that ‘time’ does poke its head around the corner, there’s no better place to focus on what matters than when in the peace and middle of nowhere.
One of the fundamental reasons for being able to fully concentrate of these is the lack of Internet. It’s quite astounding the amount of time one has on his or her hands when unable to connect to this world wide web. I demean not its useful, far from it, but this disconnectedness I am privy to grants me the necessary ‘step back’ that allows me to realise how connected we really are. This is not “new” information, merely realisation of something we all know.
However, disconnectedness does seem to have its downsides of course: as the word itself suggests, I struggle to not only follow worldwide news for example (although I have to admit it is something I’ve never really cared much for) but more importantly, I’ve struggled to follow and keep in close contact with close contacts of mine. The fact that I am away on a year-long sort of trip helps in their understanding and little will probably change in their attitudes towards me, but, it doesn’t help my stupid paranoiac fears of being left out and shunted away. I miss those creeps.
Nonetheless, free from the distractions of society and everyday life (many more than the Internet can be listed: daily episodes of favourite series, hangovers lengthening your available production time, etc…), one is able to pursue the deepest of one’s personal desires in relative tranquility (until locals come and ask for your picture or want to try your slackline out).
And then you kind of settle into a certain mindframe or mindset: as I start writing lyrics for a song, new lines come to me more easily in different ways, for different types of songs. It’s basically becoming a habit: allowing ease of flow to permeate my mind. The same can be said of almost anything and it is rarely more true than when reading a book and picking it up every 5 minutes of free time, picking another one up as soon as the former is finished. The same might well be true of arguing…!
After all, man is a creature of habit (cf. Beckett yo). And so begins a most productive of personal periods.