Updated: Apr 11
City life takes its toll. On the soul, body and mind. The endless absence of anything wild and free. These places are dungeons; the only people who hold the key are the people on top. The body. Weak, ready to be pushed aside by everyone above you. The soul. Beaten to a bloody pulp by forever scrolling. Forever comparing. Forever hating. That endless Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook swipe. But swiping in search of what? Sometimes I think our generation will never be able to find out. The mind. Brainwashed by everything placed in front of our eyes. Phones, computers, adverts, social media, news, every fucking thing. All are designed and moulded to keep you glued to the screen. That 'Screen'. The black mirror of organised chaos. Purley to keep you locked in the system, to keep you a slave turning the wheel of capitalism. Taking a step back allows you to see the bigger picture. The picture you allow yourself to create about the world around you. Not what they want you to see but what you do. What you want to achieve. What you want to get out of the world and the lessons you take away from it. Away from it…. But where too?
The lake district. The only place I felt I could go to escape that realisation. That feeling washed over me. Flooded me with the idea of getting away. The lifestyle of the party takes a slow toll but catches up when taken too far. The thing that gives you the most pleasure turns sour and stale. But the lake district felt sweet and beautiful. I've been there a handful of times, and every time I would always think of it fondly. My legs and all other appendages do everything in their power to get there. Moving without direction or cognitive thought, they just go. Pack bag. Get in the car. Drive.
It's later than I had hoped to set off. Driving in the dark is a lot more nerve-racking after the crash. Thoughts of that whole mess still run thick. That overwhelming panic almost sticks to you like grease you can't wash off. Headlights flew at me from every direction. But driving comes easy. The freedom it gives you, that ability to 'fuck off' has always drawn me. Choose your own lane instead of driving in the one assigned to you at birth. Freeing. One of the most overlooked aspects of day-to-day life. Every morning when the average person goes to work, they get in their car and drive, almost unknowingly having the ability to go anywhere they want.
Around 12:15 am, we get there. It's cold out, but the log burner is on—the only thing keeping any shred of warmth in. Everything outside your immediate surroundings is some shade of black or grey. The Black silhouettes of the mountains surrounded where we were. No service and no Wi-Fi. That is exactly what I was in search of—that freedom you can never achieve when in the vicinity of your phone. Unconscious addiction affects everyone. Spending most of the day scrolling. However, I suppose if it's not that, it's some dopamine hit your brain can't get enough of. Whatever your opinion on drugs, we all ingest, digest and absorb something that changes the brain's chemical balance to make you feel a certain way. We're all running away from that sobriety to some degree.
Abi rolls up the joints to celebrate the arrival, and the cans are opened. I was sitting back and looking up at the stars without a sound for miles. It's a peaceful yet small feeling. The mind tries to fill that expanse of the universe with its own thoughts and sense of one's 'self'. The ideas and fears of the outside world start to fade. Everything outside of my visual area becomes unimportant and null.
If the world around you start to become dull, change your point of view. Both literally and metaphorically.
9:30 am. The air is clean, cleaner than before. The sun is shining down through the valley. What were black silhouettes are now huge green mountains entrapping us within the valley. That small feeling has grown overnight. Especially with the knowledge I was going to climb one of them today. The usual morning routine is thrown out the window. No showers, No inside toilets, no central heating. All these things were taken for granted in modern-day life. Even the sausages I bought the previous day had to be cooked over a fire. Tastes better.
We set off, bags packed and boots on. But our destination was unknown. Our naivety or maybe ignorance led us to forget a map. And in this area, service was scarce. Never mind a charger. Follow the road, I guess. See where it takes us.
The buildings were replaced with mountains; roads were replaced with rivers; people were replaced with cattle. Although, the people within the cities may not be so different to cattle than first through. All misdirected followers of men getting them ready for slaughter. Raised to provide them with monetary gain. Bled and bled again till there is nothing left but raw meat. No identity, no individual thought, just flesh. The higher and higher we got, the more engulfed within the clouds until everything was a sort of grey. Almost like the black-and-white roll of my film became a reality, the photos' nuance was slipping into real life.
Life creates all these exciting colours and shades, all overwhelmingly exciting and can separate us from our native beings. Disconnect us from our spiritual, native side. This becomes clear when these same colours become so dense under the pressure of your psyche. Striping back the paint allows you to see the simpler side of life. Without the stains blinding you from where we come from and our roots.
These thoughts have always been inside my head but were unlocked when speaking to the landowner we talked to the night before. A crazy mountain man named Bev. The man owned and lived off 23 acres of land in the surrounding area. Creating what he called 'Paradise'. I would agree. This place was so far away from everything. It felt like a country of its own. Neverland, and we were Peter and Wendy going to explore it.
We talked in depth about the tensions related to modern life and the way of the world for the greedy. It felt eye-opening to realise that this way of living is possible even in a country like England. Living off the land and not taking from it more than you can replenish and thrive because of it. Stoned and wide-eyed, I looked at him like a god. Lingering on every word. How have I not thought like this before? He explained how he'd fallen upon the land and his life leading up to it. An old club owner in London. Cocaine, women and far too much drink. London chewed him up and spat him out. Which left him with the realisation that city life was a toxic thing. His story felt oddly like my own. We talked on the subject for hours until it climaxed with an offer of returning to the plot for free on the condition to work and learn the ways of the land. Learn the ways of the 'mountain man'. I'd always thought about what being a part of some 'cult' would be like. Who knows, I might take him up on the offer one day.
The weekend passed quickly, and I was sad to leave, but it felt like id taken something away from it. Life is about finding that balance. Not enough work and you can't afford to live. Too much work and your life's not worth living. I suppose I'm still learning.
Signing off, Justified Passion.