Attached.

Mum! Holding Big Ted, the horse Bridge and I rode.

Mum! Holding Big Ted, the horse Bridge and I rode.

I’m back from Auckland again. Travelling too and from the city turned out to be very difficult physically, but it’s emotionally that I’m feeling very attached and all I want is to go back. Which is not good.

I missed my flight by about 5 minutes, so they stuck me on a later and crappier one through Wellington for free. This, however, turned out to be delayed by around an hour. By the time we were in the air for 45 minutes, they found me and told me that my connecting flight from Wellington had left without me due to the delay….okay, my own fault I guess. Once in Wellington they found me as I came off the plane and gave me a boarding pass to a new plane leaving at 9pm. This was then cancelled and I was issued with a new flight at 9.30. Of course, as I waited this flight was updated as being delayed, and I finally got in the air at 10pm. Bearing in mind, my original flight had been at 5.10, arriving at 6.50. Therefore, I left for Dunedin airport at around 4.30, and got to Auckland at 11pm. Great fun!

In Auckland I caught up with friends; Matt and Eddy who live just round the corner and I’ve known since high school, a few new people, and Bridget, the girl I met on my first trip back a few weeks ago. It was a good time. One thing I noticed is that people seem to be seeking me out for advice and wisdom; I don’t know if I’m qualified but I’ll try my best. Maybe I’m seeming content or self-assured..I don’t know. It is nice to have your friends look at you as somebody to share their fears and secrets and worries with, believing you have been through enough that you can help them.

I also had a nice time with my mother while there. It’s an interesting relationship which really seems to have developed away from mother-son to one of friendship. I went out to the farm with her a couple of times and it was great to talk and have a few laughs. I rode one of her horses too, which was great. It was great to see her totally in her element on the farm. The horse was huuuge, frightening to ride but exciting at the same time. Bridge did very well riding him given that the horse was about 1.5x as tall as her. Also, Bridge and I blatted around on the quad bike for a while which was a lot of fun. It’s so peaceful out there, almost silent but with life happening everywhere. I found it an interesting dynamic; we often block life out (putting headphones in our ears etc) blaring music and spending our day oblivious to the amazing fact we are all living creatures. When you encounter somebody, you are encountering a living, breathing, loving creature, filled with dreams and hopes and desire. It’s too easy to fall into the trap that things are mundane, when they really are not.

So Bridge and I went for a walk down to the water with the dogs (my families German Shepards, Hammer and Tui), where we watched the estuary and the horizon on the far bank, dotted with horses. She studies Drama and Philosophy, so she indulges all my existential habits :p we talked about a lot of interesting things, and she really processes things when she thinks about them; which I imagine is the great thing of learning philosophy; you really learn to be a philosopher in your thought process. She got onto the philosophy of language, and I told her my gripe about the word “Love.” Basically, love is an arbitrary label which consumes us in relationships. People are concerned with whether their care for somebody has attained “Love”, some higher-plane. However, nobody has any idea what the qualities of this higher-plane are, so they are searching blind. It really is the most subjective interpretation of a concept which people seem to agree is objective. The worst part is you can lose a wonderful relationship over love; why did she say she loves me? Why didn’t she say she loves me? Why does it matter to me whether she did or not? Why does she care if I didn’t say it back?

The “saying it back” thing is an interesting concept, because it affirms my idea that when most people say they love you, they are offering you a contract. Now, my study of law has revealed that a contract must have two parties, and unless you say it back to them, you aren’t becoming party to the contract. Nobody is totally sure what the terms of the contract are, but people want to sign into it anyway. Human beings are creatures of corroboration; we are constantly looking for certainty. The word Love (as we know it now) helps us pretend we have certainty. It helps us believe that when we fall asleep with the person we want to be with, they won’t be gone in the morning, because they have said “I love you.”

This is, ultimately, an obvious illusion. I could say to a girl that I love her, and she could say it back, and an hour later she could say she never wants to see me again. There is nothing certain at all, least of all when it comes to other people and their emotions. I know from experience that a relationship in which you frequently say you love each other can end, and end definitively.

I want to say that this creates an  interesting question; in this case, how can you know it was love? But it’s not an interesting question at all, because its irrelevant. The fact of the matter is that it was a relationship in which two people cared about each other a lot. Trying to justify a way in which it was not love is done to try and preserve the power of the word, whereby you can keep on believing that the next time you say it, or have it said to you, the contract will this time be watertight.

Anyway, going thrift shopping now and crossing my fingers to find some jeans I can do something with, since I currently have none. I have dance tonight til around  8pm, and then I think I might be camping at Longbeach with some people I don’t really know which will be fun. The car is full of firewood so at least I might be passably warm. The last and only time I was there was with Sophie, but enough of that.

More later.

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PS. Above is a picture which I just love of a blog somebody recently introduced me to, called thathipsterporn. Most of the content is erotic art but occasionally there is something like this in there. Anyway, check it out, it’s fantastic and thoroughly arousing, sexually and thoughtfully.

Back Home.

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It feels like a long time since I’ve been here; in fact, I almost think I was avoiding Auckland a little bit.

The weather is beautiful and warm, such a welcome change from what’s been happening down south. Really, I’m having a very good time, and am very happy. Maybe it sounds like I’m trying to convince myself I’m happy, but no, I really am. Lots of friends have been calling and wanting to see me, and being very excited which is great; I’ve usually found Auckland pretty lonely since I moved away.

Went to a party last night which was nice, and some of us ended up back at my place for a drink. Met some cool people, but I have to say, I feel a totally different person to who I was when I lived here, and subsequently my old friends are very different to me now. I feel so much more open minded and accepting than I used to be, and also so much more confident in myself. I feel I have nothing to prove and no need to justify myself to anybody. It’s funny, probably every person in the room has their shit together more than me, but I felt like the only one who was truly myself and accepting of everything and everyone around me. I also really feel no fear about the future; I know it’s a mystery and I’m lost but I have no fear of failure because I view my life as something to be lived, not a means to an end.

Murphy’s law, there’s an inundation of girls who want to get together, but I really just don’t feel interested at all. My mind is still with somebody else, and I still feel that I belong to somebody else at the moment; it will fade I’m sure, but that makes me sad, too. Also, I’m just totally not into the girls up here, generally. I feel like I’ve been with somebody so totally different to these people; a girl who never wore make-up, never brushed her hair, scarcely showered, wore whatever she could find on the floor that day, and was unbelievably beautiful to me. We were the same, whether that’s a good thing or a bad thing! Having said that, it’s great to keep in touch as friends.

But anyway, enough about trivial things like that. A couple of friends and I are going to this thing tonight called the Odyssey Maze (http://odysseysensorymaze.co.nz/) which looks like it might be very cool. I love trippy/creepy things.

Walked in the beautiful sunshine for most of the day, found myself dancing in the street a lot which was great. Really….I’ve had a fucking good day. I think I needed one.

Listening to this allllll day, hope you enjoy!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rEYM2iCQ6yA

Going South.

Bluff, NZ.

Bluff, NZ.

Finally I’ve reached the very bottom of New Zealand (I lie, not quite the bottom, but close enough…)

Myself and two friends met in Invercargill at a quirky little backpackers know as Sparky’s. Decorated with the most bizarre asortment of trinkets and knick-knacks, I quickly became suspicious as to where the owner’s nickname as “Sparky” had originated form. Between his love of the notorious weed-hotspot Byron Bay, his vacant expression, collection of exotic paraphernalia, and general paranoia with everything, I formulated some idea. Whilst he seemed mostly kind and harmless, after a few days I decided things were getting weird; his belief that 9-11 was an inside job by the US Government was one thing, but threatening to kick me out for cracking my knuckles was a bit much.

The place itself was very cool and cute, with only a few rooms and a really fun vibe; it even had a spa pool out the back which was heaven in the Invercargill cold. Now that I’m writing about it, we really didn’t get up to much, but it was a good time nonetheless; played cards, drank coffee, baked cakes, got drunk in the spa. All good things.

Sparky's Lounge.

Sparky’s Lounge.

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Bedroom.

The trip to Bluff was…meh. Really, there’s very little there, and it was little more than a novelty. Still, it’s a cool thing to have done and I’m glad I had the opportunity to travel that far south. We found a really cool beach near Invercargill and endured a midwinter swim in the freezing water which was near fatal to my toes, but a welcome shock to the senses.

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A tire puncture cut the Catlins trip pretty short, so I’ll definitely have to go back some time to see more. Still, it seemed sublime, and I’m glad we got there long enough to wet my appetite for more.

So, back in Dunedin, but only temporary, tomorrow I fly home to Auckland for the first time in ages. Recently returned from Wellington with my (then) girlfriend as a goodbye trip before she went home to France, so quite a bit of moving around recently. The Wellington trip was bitter-sweet; I miss her but that’s okay, I’m still happy! We cut a pretty sorry sight crying on each other’s shoulders at the airport.

A bientot.

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Escape.

Start of the Kepler.

With my friend newly returned from his travels to the mysterious Far East, we decided it was well past time to start exploring again. Originally, we’d hoped to get back to Mt Aspiring (a strong contender fro my favourite place on Earth), but ultimately it was too far to drive for just a weekend, and we opted for Te Anau instead (in Fiordland). Also, a couple of my new found French friends were heading in that direction so it was mutually beneficial; they got a ride, I got company.

Once there, Tom and myself did our own thing, whilst Sophie and Claire caught up with a DOC Ranger friend who more or less hooked them up with one of the staff huts on the Milford Track (if only I were a girl and could make such connections so easily).

Anyway, this post is a lot more photographic than literary; mostly since I’m feeling tired and this just isn’t coming out right. Tom is “off the grid,” and has requested that no images be posted of him, so you’ll just have to deal with that; he’s determined to remove his digital footprint entirely. The guy only carries cash. It kills me.

Trippy Mushrooms.

Tree…fallen on top of another tree. You’d be surprised how often this seems to occur.

Good.

After several hours, we decided we were just too hardcore to stay on the track, and headed bush. We found a secluded river valley and set up camp, following which we napped for several hours. Hardcore indeed. Also, nearly burnt the forest down when the towel (I was using to pick up my can of spaghetti) caught fire. I didn’t even get any spaghetti. I cry errytime.

Scene of the crime.

Since there’s just way too many photos to post here, I’ll wind it up; might post some more sporadically. I will say one thing; there really is such thing is a “fresh air high.” Just escaping Dunedin lifted me to another level. I felt liberated. This place just isn’t me as much as I try. It’s difficult.

Thanks for stopping by.

So. So. Cold.

Expiration Dating

Sunset from my trip back home. Worthy. The Earth’s not that big…right?

 

Another relationship-based post, and I’m sorry if they’re becoming a theme. I do know it can get a bit dull, so expect something far more interesting/creative/insertadjectivehere in the near future.

Just a little over a week ago, on my birthday, I met somebody. This was quite an exciting moment for me; it’s not that I’m “shy”, but I tend to not really initiate contact with people if I’m attracted to them. What was great is I saw her arrive at the party, wished badly I could walk up and talk to her, but I didn’t. Fortunately, she came and introduced herself later on and we spent most of the rest of the night talking.

I asked her for her number and she said yes. Score. A couple of days later, we went on a “date,” and it was good. Date is one of those stupid words which have no reason to exist; two people spending time together is exactly what it sounds like; you don’t need to slap it with a label to make the dynamic entirely unnatural. In any case, it’s been such a long time since I did anything like that, a date so to speak, that I was nervous enough as it was.

Overall we seemed to have a good time. Strikingly, she turned out to be an entirely different person to who I imagined she would be; the most notable being that she was really philosophical and thought-provoking. Needless to say, I was pretty amped.

So we’ve hung out a couple more times, totally casually which is perfect. Like I said, I think slapping labels on things completely over complicates the situation. The problem is, she’s going home really soon, and has suggested that she doesn’t really want to get into “this situation.” Oh, at this point I should probably highlight that her home is roughly twelve-thousand miles from mine. We’ve talked, and things have been relatively open and communicative, which is good. The word “dating” has been dropped a few times, to my horror; it simply makes it impossible to get to know people authentically with that hanging over the whole interaction.

So basically, I’m hoping she won’t let worries about leaving get in the way of getting to know each other, but ultimately I can see where such a fear would come from. Knowing that pretty much no matter what happens, she’ll be gone soon…it makes you think differently about things. Recently, I’ve been pretty fatalistic, so I’d still like to give things a go, whatever that “thing” may be. It’s hard though, knowing there is an expiration date on things. My flatmate had a similar experience when he exchanged to Germany, several years ago; his advice has been helpful, but ultimately I’m struggling to get the whole thing off my mind.

I could probably read into every little interaction to ridiculous depth (a bad habit of mine), but I’m trying to break that mould. What it comes down to I think is, ultimately, I’m going to get hurt either way. If she vetoes the whole thing and we don’t hang out anymore, it’s gonna suck a lot, and if we get closer and she then leaves, its going to suck a lot too (more/less depending on one’s point of view). Basically I’m on a hiding to nothing, but I know exactly which path I’d rather take.

Humans are incredibly strange creatures; how so many times we would rather miss an opportunity than take it and end up losing it. Hopefully going hiking/camping this weekend; I could really use it clear my head out.

I’ll finish you off with some music. I think I mentioned the other day, I’m getting into electronic music a lot more at the moment and this is, ironically, a duo she’s introduced me too.

The Week That Was + stream of consciousness.

So it’s been a fair long time since I wrote anything; apologies.

I really needed to go home for a few days; things had gotten very stale, I was agitated and getting volatile. I’m starting to notice a theme in myself in which I start out contented or even extremely positive with things, but after a while the rose-tint fades rapidly. Things were getting pretty washed with black.

I ran into my old girlfriend while I was home; it was extremely awkward. Long story short, her and her sister ignored me totally, then left because they couldn’t handle being in the same venue. We were together for some time, thought we loved each other. Somewhere along the way things got toxic (but subtly so) and, obviously, we called it quits at the start of the year. We haven’t spoken since the breakup, which has been strange. Personally, it’s not that I still harbour feeling at all, I just feel that ignoring even my very civil requests (asking for stuff back/old photographs ect) has really cast a cloud over the entire memory. What was in truth a beautiful and special relationship now feels quite horrid; coming to terms with not being worth a “hi” in the cafe we saw each other….its been strange.

But that’s well in the past now, just thought it was something worth sharing. It’s done away with a lot of my naivety about “certainty”; for example, I was totally convinced that relationship was the real deal. Ultimately, nothing at all is ever certain. There’s a scariness to that, but there’s also a beauty. Your life is yours to do whatever you wish with it.

I hung out with a very good friend in Auckland; the girl who visited me in Dunedin; had a really lovely time. Missing home a bit now and hoping things are going well for her and everybody else. Subsequently, I’ve turned 22 (must remember to update my bio), and my birthday was pretty good. I don’t usually make a big deal out of birthdays, so it was convenient that a friend was having a party on the same night; got to have some fun without it being arbitrarily about me, you know? Also, I met a cool girl that night and we went on a date which was a lot of fun. Pretty sure I managed to get drunk in the evening and screw things up, but we are meeting up tomorrow so we’ll see how things go. She’s teaching me piano and with any luck on Friday taking me Salsa dancing (omfg I will die). It will be a good thing though, for me to take things less seriously.

So yeah, that’s where I’m at right now; need to write frequently to keep the flow going. Might be going camping in the next couple of weeks which will be fun. Also, been watching a lot of George Carlin so expect one million political ideas int he coming blogs.

A feeling of helplessness.

The worst thing about the past five or six years has been watching everybody around me struggle and not being able to do a fucking thing about it.

Up until a couple of months ago, I’d been in a relationship that had lasted about five years. Just how much I had changed and adapted to suit this girl seems scary now, in the cold light of day. But I’m not here to talk about that story, rather about how the most difficult part of our being together was her semi-constant unhappiness and me feeling totally powerless to change it. I blamed myself so much, even when it wasn’t me that was causing it; at points, I was a young, inexperienced teen, and all I could think was, “If I were better she’d be happy, right?”

But I was wrong, and sometimes there just is nothing you can “do” to fix things for people. It’s just the most terrible, hollowing realisation, but it’s true. I’m a person who really champion’s the people I love; i fight for them, defend them, protect them, and to use a beautiful lyric from Trampled by Turtles, “Their enemies are mine.”

However, I’m very much realising that while this sort of love and loyalty is a valuable thing, it also sets you on an emotional hiding to nothing. Right now I have a friend enduring the sort of thing that just makes me wish a flood would wipe humans off the planet; total brutalising injustice. I just want to be able to do something for her to make it better, to somehow fix things, but I can’t, and anything I say or do falls so wildly short of the mark that it verges on insulting the seriousness of what she’s feeling.

I talked to somebody about this feeling of helplessness and got pretty much exactly the advice I expected, “Just be there for them.” How exactly you can “be there” for someone is really a circular idea if you can’t help them when you know they need it. Anything you say is irrelevant and useless and it just fucking tears you up inside that you’re not good enough to make things better.

For self-preservation, I’d like to say to everybody in my life who I love, whether you know I do or not, that I’m thinking about you all the time, and if I could bear it all for you, it would already be done.

Anyway, that’s what’s crept back into my mind in the last couple of days. I wonder if it’s just me.

On a different note, I got my lip pierced. Neat-o.

Before his first step he’s off again.

Long time no blog; that’s how the saying goes, right?

Given the lack of substance you’re about to endure, I’d better offer something tangible. I’ve been formulating an idea for a book (so soon after I started another one….discipline = O). Roughly, it’s about eating each other; a world in which the moral abhorrence of eating people has dissipated, and some humans are actually farmed from birth in order to feed the more fortunate humans. I hope I can pull it off. I imagine it will be shocking, but hopefully good.

For the past few days I’ve had a friend visiting from back home. We’ve known each other a long time now; about 6 years. It’s a cute story, really, but I’ll save it for in person. The short version is we never met, txt’d for about a year, finally met in person, then didn’t meet again for so so long. Anyway, 6 years later we’re finally hanging out regularly and it’s just ridiculously pleasurable.

She came and stayed at our flat down south; Tom’s away so his room was free (who, incidentally, might be stuck in a North Korean labour camp atm). Initially figured we’d camp for 3 or so days but I managed to end that idea by forgetting the tent, discovered at approximately 8pm of our first night camping. The next few days was just so interesting; I can’t really remember a thing we did, but we were doing them, I know.

There are seals not in this photograph. Skilled.

Hanging out was wonderful in the most ridiculous way; I’ve always thought she was incredible but actually spending a significant period of time with her has made me realise how right I was. I feel quite liberated around her, and everything is just…good. Was so sad to see her leave but I’ll be heading back home soon enough for the Tool concert so we can catch up then. She read her way through Catcher during the weekend and we just talked and talked. It killed me, it really did.

This is seeming a sort of pointless blog entry, I know, but I guess the core is that there were moments that weekend where I was just so happy. As Holden says (not verbatim); it was real right then. As it turns out, by some weird twist of fate, she’s one of my oldest friends now. Makes me wish I was home though. I could fly home tomorrow. I wish.

Since this is going nowhere, and I’m totally exhausted, here’s something I wrote the other day for you guys to muse on, if you feel like it. It’s the closest thing to poetry that I’m capable of.

Every man has it within himself
to be born privileged
Perhaps not with a silver spoon
in his mouth, but
with a song and a fire in his heart
that as long as he
wishes it, shall never be extinguished.

Everything and Nothing.

Me running at the beach the other day. Why is this here? Umm....rocks?

Me running at the beach the other day. Why is this here? Umm….rocks?

A strange few days; feels like so much has happened; like so much has changed, but maybe it was just all internal. I have a tendency too over-think, so perhaps it’s just that.

For one, recent discussions with somebody are helping me come to terms with certain aspects of myself; perhaps, certain blockades to true inner peace. Mostly, I feel he spouts a load of bullshit, with the occasional moment of clarity; but even a broken clock is right twice a day, right?

Without revealing too much, I know I could afford to talk less. In some ways, it’s a suit of armour; it lets make take anything poignant which might penetrate and deflect it away with a wall of words which, ultimately, give people little true insight into what’s going on beneath the surface. The recent suicide of a student just a few streets away has made this point weigh on my mind quite heavily; we only see the façade  Really, what we present to the world, and what others present to us, is more often than not an oh-so-carefully constructed mask which gives just enough to let them know we’re human, but conceals everything we don’t want people to see (most of all ourselves). If they don’t see the cracks they can’t ask about them, and if they can’t ask about them then nobody ever has to admit they exist.

Except they do exist, whether we admit it or not, and ultimately, it’s something I feel needs to change fundamentally about the way we interact as humans. I don’t know how we can change it….but I know it needs to change. Which pretty much means you can file this under “rant” in your bullshit box.

Tonight was Earth Night, apparently; what better excuse to break out the candles and another couple of bottles of wine? Myself and a few friends got rugged up and headed out round the peninsula to sit on the beach, watch the lights/stars and contemplate the universe; the fact that it was the world’s stoniest and most uncomfortable beach didn’t deter us. In any case, it was much too dark to be picky.

We talked about love and destiny and relationships and personality. I cornily made us all say things we were thankful to Earth about, heh. Mine was solitude, and the feeling of happy insignificance that the power of nature let’s us come to terms with. The other’s were good too; the power of the ocean, the timelessness of everything on Earth, an appreciation of how, for example, this rock we are sitting on went through a millennia of creation, and by fate found itself on this shore, by this ocean, at this time, so that we might sit on it. Overall, just damn good shit.

Oh, we also started giving everybody (stereotyped) Native American names, based on who they are. Lucy was Laughs with the Light, Jess was Sits like a Star, Gemma was Lover of All, Tengo was Face to the Water, and I don’t think anybody came up with one for me. mostly since when I say ‘we’ I mean ‘me’, and I was talking too much, like usual.

Overall it was quite a lovely experience. I miss it already. having said that, sitting here, it was another occasion where I managed to say everything in the world except exactly what I wanted to say, to who I wanted to say it to. Typical.

So now I sleep, with the neighbours singing ‘Don’t Stop Believing’ in between repeats of ‘Cotton Eyed Joe’, or whatever it’s called. Kill me.