I’m still slightly filled with a pessimism and cynicism I can’t bite back, but I’ve been glad to read about so many off-the-gridders out there who have opted out of the system for many reasons. My problem, I think, is that I’m a child of the 80s.
You grow up with Thatcherism, with yuppies and Wall St types making cash, watching Greenpeace and falling in with Animal Rights’ campaigners, and something gives. I think I was very anti-establishment as a teenager, joining the humanist society (yeah, not quite sure why… some of it sits well with me, especially the teenage me, where I was more agnostic than believer, but not so much with me now, where I’ve found something vaguely akin to spiritualism) and how I got quite involved in Marxism. I liked seeing parts of Cuba at work. I like the idea that everyone is valuable and that society should reward us as such, that we should have enough to eat and not surplus, that we should have enough to live and enjoy life. I like the ideas. Practically, we know it doesn’t work. Bureaucracy is endemic, as is time-wasting and often fear. The State has become more important than the individual, and no ‘body’ is more important than its constituents, in my belief. Maybe it’s that my beliefs are more Confucius than Spiritual!
Anyway, I’d kind of fallen into the work-money-eat-sleep routine, and I’d forgotten what it was to enjoy life, to enjoy nature, to fight against my own cynicism with a healthy dose of respect for nature. Funny that I’ve been to some pretty spiritual places throughout my trips. I AM militant. I AM a champion of lost causes. I LIKE to argue and fight and make a small stand in my own small way, and I think I’d forgotten what I was fighting for. I think this cynicism with society, banks, politics, it’s all sent to remind me that there’s another path for me to take, one I might enjoy walking a little more than I did. Kind of like when I quit St Mary’s. It was tough, to leave employment, to find my own space, but whilst my life is poorer, I think it’s better. I sleep. I have time to be me. I can write. I have the happiness I sought and never found in work.
Coming back to the Humanist thing, though, I think now I’m more inclined to believe that there’s something greater at work, something that powers us all, something that moves us on, that connects us. I don’t know what that is. It’s a bit like the wind to me, a wind of change that steers people in certain directions if they heed the universe. I’m more of a Paulo Coelho convert these days, and I want to see that magic back in the world.