2015/06/25

IN A DEAD END, THE ROAD AHEAD

Here is the final article in my series for NBHAP

Fore the full article please read here: NBHAP

I’m lying down on a train speeding through Southern China. In fact I’m curled up in a ball. My lungs are infected, cramping and wheezing, and coughing up green space matter. I’m exhausted. I try to put a positive spin on things, but you have those days when life feels like its not working. It’s not fitting. It’s not going according to plan. There are days when you feel caught up in a web of your own design.

I’ve been throwing my spirit into China, but today it feels cold and isolating. Any musician will tell you that it sucks being sick on the road. I arrive at the station in Changsha and load myself up with my gear. I have 40 kilos. What the hell was I thinking? Well I guess I can tell you. The idea with Journeys was to explore the nature of independence. It wasn’t a choice – it was a necessity.

“To own Journeys #“1:https://itun.es/gb/8MH-5

You have two choices when you hit a dead end. You can stay put or you can do what is necessary. That means scaling that wall, digging a tunnel, or just dam well taking a pick axe to it. But if I’m honest, right now, weighed down with my guitar, merchandise, camera bag – that is full documentary shooting kit – and personal belongings, I’m wishing I’d stayed put!

But that’s really just the point. Dreams are easy to dream. Their goals are easy to visualise. They are easy to rattle off into a strangers ear after a few drinks. But the reality is that they are made in the ugliest moments.

When your lungs are bursting from the weight of too much gear. When you are at your farthest from home, and there is no returning. When you’re sick and delirious and full of fever, and the world has no sense or point to it, and the language around you has no shape to your ear, and no possibility of guiding you.

Dreams are the stuff of doing. Not great action, but little actions, hundreds, thousands, millions. No dream was ever realised that truly fathomed all the blood and sweat and tears in front of it.

For a dream you will curse your choices. For a dream you will linger long into the endless night with rotating thoughts that have no answer. For a dream you will have to place your life on the highest stakes and if you think that there is a guarantee or that it will work out in the end, then you have placed your bet on the wrong table. There is no guarantee. There is no security. There is no probability.

But for a dream you will learn to live with yourself. It may make you richer, it may most likely make you poorer. But you will experience the most profound growth of all – the realisation of your potential. On your own terms. In your own way. In a life you have created and that is your own.

Hell for some people they probably do come easy. But not for most. This platform is called nothing but hope and passion. I tell you what that means for me. It means burning with a fire to create something. More so – to create something from limited tools when the world tells you you are a fool. I am a fool. A joyous fool. A fool to create. A fool to laugh. A fool – oh a terrible fool – to dance.

You are at your most alive when you are playing Russian Roulette and the silver bullet is zeroing down on you. You have nothing but your heart beat. Nothing but your breath. Nothing but your will to live, to emerge, to survive. Nothing but hope and passion.

I arrive at the hotel, it’s been a 12 hour trip, and I have a show to get to. I’ve never cancelled a show since i started out. But I just don’t have it in me to play. I put down my guitar, put my head in my hands. I cough. I utter out a single curse. I stand up, I pick up my guitar, and I head to the show.

It’s virtually deserted save for a few smoking chinese men sinking a drink or two after work. As I plug in for the show, I think back on how I felt this morning on the long train ride. I think of the up’s downs one experiences along the way. And in this moment, before this empty room somewhere in Changsha, I feel glad. Glad for all of it. For the blockades we face. For the way they educate us about our capacity for courage. For the sense of liberation of not over coming them – but of trying to. That if you can preserve your capacity to hope, and your ability to live with passion – then ultimately it doesn’t really matter where you are.

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