The Man

THE MAN

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~ About the Author ~

“I came into this life with humble beginnings – and I seek a humble ending.
But what I look for along the way is to acquire a life worth living, a day worth getting out of bed for,
a smile worth sharing, a hand worth holding. A place worth finding.
I just want to look back at my time and regret only things I did do
never something I didn’t.”

– James Dee Clayton.

I am He Who Walks, through city, jungle and desert – a Nature Boy –
Born Free, wild and untameable – a Wood King, a Gypsy Prince, a Wanderer…

An Aesthete.
Searching for the wilderness.

This site is my only permanent address. I am on a Global Pilgrimage, a journey through spirit, fire and water. A mission to find Truth left untouched in this world, Truth of existence, Faith, our Earth, this Humanity. I am searching for the Sun God of my dreams, the falcon of freedom, the very edge of the known world… I am seeking a resurrection from a corrupt, poisoned and dying planet. From the great lies and fears engineered to keep us from the true beauty of Life and our Creator. I have music in my blood, a steel will, a fire in my heart. In this life I have been given the Gift – the gift of a Journey. A journey back to my Creator. A journey into my wildest dreams; a vision of the secret past, a flame for the glorious future. This is my Gypsy Living. My Hijra. My Odyssey. I move solo, but I’m never alone.

Welcome to my diary… the Diary of an Aesthete.
A path of Discovery. An Enlightenment. An Awakening.

Along the way my skin has continually morphed and changed, experienced, and aged. A soul in the wind must learn how to bend. Yet it cannot be held down or repressed. It must be full, flowing, omnipresent, and endless… When I started this journey, back then just a poet in Rome, a self-proclaimed Aesthete, never did I imagine such colour and spirit was awaiting me…

Ever looked at the night sky and seen the milky way with your bare eyes, heard the sounds of the deep jungle with your own ears, or left your shoes far behind as you ran through the hot desert barefoot? If you have, then you know that there is more to this life than we are lead to believe from birth… that there is more to this human race and the forces of Our Nature than the forces of man will ever want you to realise. Some of us realise this. Some of us take this gift of life and run with it. Some of us were Born Free.

“Know the world in yourself. Never look for yourself in the world,
for this would be to project your illusion.” – Ancient Egyptian Proverb.

I am not afraid of what I am, I do not curb myself to other people’s ideals, beliefs or expectations. I fit into no box, no category or fashion. I am merely a man of faith, who believes and sees the goodness in all he can, who is grateful for this gift of life granted by the Father, the Great Spirit, the Universe, someone who believes there is another way, a different sort of life, a better kind of world. Someone with an intense passion for Humanity, and Creation…

On this Journey I have danced with Druids, sung solos in Gospel choirs, dined with modern-day prophets and Fetish Priests alike, played drums at a Voodoo ritual, walked the desert and shared food with Muslim friends, celebrated the blessing of marriage with Hindu friends, one time woke-up in middle of a pagan ritual. I identify as Christian – a follower and believer in the Love, Openness, Peace and true Passion of Christ, yet I am not fooled by the many falsehoods of Man’s modern world, of our spiritual separation, disparity, abuse of each other, our histories, and the Mother Planet Earth.

I hold hands with my Brothers across the globe, and respect the ways he chooses to worship this crazy, Illuminated existence. I have embraced everything imperfect about myself, challenged every fear and denial and ran into this life with arms open wide. I have been rewarded time and time again, with every kind of beauty, emotion, colour and song.

I have bathed with wild elephants and swam alone in the middle of the jungle, fed sacred monkeys by hand in Ghana with the help of Tafi tribesman, kissed an adult crocodile in the Gambia, caught a wild cobra in India, walked with adult lions through the African Bush, free and equal. I took off my clothes and danced in Rome’s oldest fountain, swam naked in West Africa’s highest waterfall, was granted access to explore a ruined Hindu temple, got an invitation to an ancient Roman ampitheatre, and once had the Sistine Chapel all to myself…

All true stories. No lies.

Having faith has brought me everything I have, given me strength to do everything I have done.

“You must give everything to make your life as beautiful as the dreams that dance in your imagination.”
Roman Payne

It’s funny how in life you start out on a journey with an idea, a goal, a visionof what you should be, and what you want to become… and then life takes over. And like life itself, travel is never what you expect it to be. It will surprise you. It will change you. Once you finally let go – strip yourself of all the baggage you’ve acquired throughout your life as a comfortably uncomfortable person, step up to your fear, your demons, and let them not block your freedom, your path or destiny, but provoke the lion in you to stand up and roar, to strike, to take life by the throat and throttle every fear out of it until you get what you want… then you’ll be ready. Then you’ll be prepared to live a life you’ve always dreamed of living. Then you’ll be free to hit the road, and leave everything you don’t need behind.

Learning how to be myself has brought me true and utter freedom. I am unstoppable in my Will and Vision. I am living my life completely arbitrarily, according to the whims of my soul, not logic or mind. I do not play by other people’s rules. I am a servant of Life, goodness and hope, and will devote my life to Creation, Art and Compassion.

Join me.

It is time to come together. The planet is re-awakening. If you cannot feel it you are asleep. Old ways will fall away and perish. No more pride, stubbornness, fear or snobbery. It is time for Our change. Acceptance, equality, gratitude and Love. It is time to re-find the Light of the ancient world. This is just the beginning for me, perhaps for you too…

Go blindly into the dark. Take a leap of faith.


James Dee Clayton.
Travelling Writer, Singer, Photographer, and Believer.

“Ad astra”
To The Stars…


all business enquiries: diary.aesthete@yahoo.co.uk

411 Comments

  1. Oh my God, I haven’t smiled this much and this broadly in years!! Your About is breathtaking and so wonderful!! I am so happy to have met you, I too feel a great positive awakening in our world, it is all around and building… so much to look forward too and you express it so beautifully, especially your last paragraph… wow, you are amazing. I look forward to reading so much more of your blog, thank you for the follow. i feel we are kindred spirits eventhough we have never met. I am old now, just getting ready to retire so am in a different place in my life than you but I am so looking forward to living an authentic life more than I have been able too now that I am leaving the world of lawyers and surface people behind. i plan on living in my little cottage in the woods and being a friend to man and nature… again, wow, you and your blog are amazing! much peace and light to you. Michelle

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    1. Michelle, thank you so much for your incredible words! You have made me smile in return and smiling is a beauty of life I cherish so much. I am so glad that my expression has inspired you in some way, this amazing miracle Life has inspired me so much and I just adore any chance to share what I have seen. You new life in the woods sounds very desirable and I wish you all the best on this new journey and venture. Maybe one day our paths may cross and we shall share tea in the woods and celebrate the Creation around us. Wishing you every blessing, today and the next. Jxx

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  2. You have a stunning and beautiful blog! What wonders your journey of faith have shown you. I simply cannot begin to imagine how truly ALIVE you must feel every day!! May God continue to bless you, and all who meet you!

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    1. My friend, YOU are an inspiration. I am so glad we have crossed paths. Thank you for posting Joni Mitchell as that caught my eye and now we have found each other’s blogs. I have just been reading some of yours. You my friend have a strong soul and your time is not yet over. You still have some work to do on our earth. Thank you for coming my way and shining your light. I wish you all the very best. I will be following. God bless you.

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    2. A elderly man approached me on the streets of Madrid recently and handed me his self-written book. There was a quote on the back from Jesus Christ, which now makes me think of you – “This life is given to every body by God and every thing God gives us no body can take” … I’ve been re-reading this over and over since…

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  3. Thank you so much for following my blog! I stopped by yours and am absolutely amazed by the faith that you have. Thank you so much for sharing your incredible insights and journeys with the world, you are definitely making it a better place. I can’t wait to see what more you have to share! Never stop acknowledging and exploring the wondrous world we live in!

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  4. Hi James, thank you for visiting my blog and I am grateful you did as it brought me to your life journey here. I have only ready your soul felt words on this page but looking forward to reading more of your journey and your unfolding.

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  5. Hi James,
    I was surprised to see you pop up in my followers, but I hope to one day have a similar free outlook on life, myself and the world around me. Appreciating beauty wherever it exists, even (or especially) if it is within myself. Thanks again. It means a lot to me.

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  6. I am in awe of your courage and spirit! It’s true, every day is a search for meaning and a path to continue on. I envy your travels. Your images are lovely. I too journey, but in small doses. Best wishes in your journey.

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    1. Thank you, Joan, for your admiration. The journey is indeed inspiring, I however am not. Just very fortunate. My only real talent is determination, which could be called spirit, or soul. Something in me has a great love for this earth. I believe we all deserve greatness, and I am prepared to fight for it… Jx

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  7. Well, curious traveller, i’ve been on a ride about right in the midnight city of Vancouver British Columbia, Canada,
    the place of my birth…

    i’m always find something wondrous!

    i also see that you stopped by for a read!

    Thank you,

    chris

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  8. I’m reading and smiling. More like intrigued by who you are and not! Mysterious and that leaves me wanting to know more, as for the pictures and blending art on paper called writing, you have a fan.

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    1. Are you kidding? Those photos of birds you use are utterly gorgeous, brilliant, and no less. I am enamored. Are they yours? Beauty is in the eye and heart not the place, but I truly and utterly appreciate your comments and praise. Thank you. It means a lot.

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      1. Yes, the bird photos are mine. They are challenging, in that they obviously refuse to sit, pose, and smile for the camera. That makes getting a good shot and capturing their beauty all the more satisfying.

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  9. Oops! Here’s the rest! John 14:6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
    Joh 10:10 I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

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  10. Well, you’ve taken me “out of my box” for just a few moments! At first glance, it’s easy to become anamored, even envious of your “life.” But the key is to find “life” in or out of the box. I am a wife, mother, grandmother, pastor’s wife and teacher. Sometimes the responsibilites weigh me down. But then, I remember why I’m here: Jesus, only Jesus. To share His truth, to teach His truth, to show His peace and joy and salvation in my life–that makes it a truly wonderful life, even in the box.🙂 Bless you, and thank you for your transparency. John 14:

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    1. You’re right. We must seek and SEE what blessings we have around us. We make choices, commitments, we have freedom to choose what and where we are. I have made a commitment to stay single, free from usual boundaries for now, whilst I seek the Light on my pilgrimage. Who knows where this path will lead me but I will always share my findings in some way, and hope they inspire people to grasp the reality of our freedom, the true meaning of love, faith and trust in this life. I try everyday to get closer to the mark, His mark. Jx

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  11. I really enjoy watching those pictures. They are all so wonderful and professional. I am so passionate about photography and you are welcome to check my works on my blog)

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  12. What a life worth living!!! I believe this life is an experiential one of self-discovery and you have taken that belief and run with it!!! I honor you for your courage, your sensitivity and your true spirit of adventure. Happy travels along this road of life. Perhaps one day our paths will cross on your journey across this world and beyond.

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  13. James, what an amazing journey you are on! To know the peace of God and the joy of Him Who lives within us. Thank you for sharing yourself with all of us.

    Thank you, also, for stopping by to read and follow Hope For Today. I look forward to reading your blog. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Matthew 5:6.

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  14. Thank you for stopping by my small corner of the world captured within the screen of wordpress. By doing so it brought me here to your place and a beautiful read it has been so far. I look forward to reading more. Abundant blessings to you friend and loves light always to guide you.

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  15. Hello Mr.James like many other lovely people said…thank you for following my posts. It’s delighting to know that on the other side another humble & modest being appreciates others’ thoughts. Wish you all the best in your quest and may you continue to reflect genuineness; which many shy to express. A refreshing site…cheers!

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    1. Thank you, for endorsing my site in return. I get a lot of people thanking me when I decide to read or follow their sites, and it’s very humbling. I just like to connect as much as I can, when I have time (not always so much). It’s something I’ve really learnt to love about the cyber realms. I think it’s so important to focus on similarity, not always differences, and I love that my site is quickly becoming a sort of forum for creative, grounded, earthy and spiritually-minded people. A humanitarian race. Passionate and artist people. It’s much improved my opinion of the world. Keep up your work; helping people is the greatest gift life can bring. Thank you xx

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  16. I see someone started following me. 🙂 I came to check out your site and sure glad I have. I have been very isolated and flat out exhausted from the energetic service work I’ve been doing so I haven’t even been able to get out to take a walk let alone see the greater world… the world that I’ve gotten my butt kicked assisting. How sad is that?! I miss her. lol Thanks for bringing the world to me. Much appreciated.

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    1. Go and breathe some clean air my friend, if you can, and just remember – the light of the earth is waiting patiently for your return. Keep strong your work, it is for the greater good and the good energy you put out will revolve back to you. I’m glad my space on the net has shed some light for you, reminded you of the beauty that awaits, when you are ready again, to breathe… Thank you. J.

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      1. Oh yes. All is well and will be much better, more than likely sooner than later. Thank God. Keep sharing yourself with others – lending an ear, giving some time, a hug, a touch… it makes a world of difference. Thank you for what you do and be in and for this world.

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  17. It is indeed, a pleasure and an brotherly honor to make your acquaintance James. You have painted such a magnificent reflection of yourself. I felt as though I was being spiritually pulled along on this journey with you as I read this page. I must say I am excited to see the places you will go! Many blessings James and GoodGod Speed my friend!
    —♥Egypt

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    1. Thank you so much, Egypt. I just adore your name (beautiful!) and your site just bursts off the page with a very warm soul. I feel blessed by your visit. Looking forward to sharing the many journeys ahead. Peace, love and light. JamesX

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  18. I,as a 3rd rate photographer, and painter, enjoyed your eye for a picture. Write from the heart. Be sincere. And, yes, matters are always catered for, somehow! Thank you for the follow. My thoughts are with you. I shall follow you with interest. God bless

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    1. Avtar, you seem a fascinating man and I am honoured you have enjoyed my art. I doubt very much you are a third rate anything. Truth is the sign of a good artist, and I see much truth in your words. May God bless you.

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    1. Hi Rebecca, you’re welcome. I am spiritually very wealthy indeed and yet materialistically probably just about as poor as it is possible to be. I have hardly any possessions, no permanent home or job, no spouse or children or educational commitments. All my spare money and time goes into my artistic life and philanthropy. I care to enrich my soul not my pockets. This, for me, is the true meaning of faith. I make a decision/put the relevant energy into my need for almost-constant travel, and God provides my means. It’s as simple as that. I give up control (never been in control anyway, really) and let the pieces fall where they may. Light always finds a way to shine through the darkness, and that is the art of going. Peace. Jx

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  19. Dear James,
    I am so happy to have found your blog. Actually ’twas first you found me (I humbly thank you for the follow). I like to meet those souls cross my path and so it is my practice to pay a visit to each new friend. How blessed and inspired I am by your journey. Peace and love to you! -Kat

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  20. Thank you for the follow! So very grateful and honored you would choose my blog to follow. Thanking my Lord for such a privilege. You’re blog is very interesting, artistic, and raw: I LOVE IT! If you ever have a need for prayer get in contact with me, I would be happy to commit to praying through those things for you.

    I hope you’ll continue to enjoy your journey of life!!!

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    1. I’m honoured that you feel honoured (hope that makes sense to you) – I really am! I love all that you stand for, Ruth, and your passion for your faith is so inspiring. Thank you for sharing, and thank you for following my blog and writing such a beautiful testimony. I always need prayers and good will on my journey, which can sometimes be very difficult and heart-breaking. But if you want to pray for someone can you please pray for a boy called Desmond – pray that he is happy, and that he knows how much he is loved. That would mean more to mean that I can possibly say… God bless you. Thank you for sharing the light. James x

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    1. I often get congratulated for my photos which I’m so grateful for, but to be congratulated on my writing style and the ‘rendering’ of my stories means even more, so thank you. I indeed put a lot of thought into bringing the reader into the dialogue of my journey, so to speak. It was one of my main ambitions when starting out. I’m so very glad it’s working for some people. Thank you again.

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  21. Marvelous introduction, my friend. I see you as one who lives immersed in that wonderful sense of ‘being blessed…to be a blessing’ in the wide world. What a grand gift! May your journeys continue to enrich your heart and broaden the circle of friends who live in it.
    Kathryn

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  22. It’s amazing how God will bring you something that will confirm all that’s in your heart. I was just getting ready to do a blog post about how on this current journey in my life, I will most likely have to travel alone. After reading just this introduction on your blog, I know that it will be okay. I’m ready… Thanks for following me! I’m looking foward to reading more of your adventurous and spiritual blog posts!

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    1. What a privilege to be used as a vessel of God’s message. Thank you for sharing that! I pray you continue to find hope and strength for your journey ahead. I’m sure it will be positive and life-changing. You, in return, have given me hope and strength. Thank you for the exchange. Jx

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  23. Amen. Simply yet precious words. A beacon of beauty, love and humanity. Thank you for spilling out, onto the page, in writing and images, gems from your travels and life lessons. Gratitude for dropping by and joining my little blog-tribe – thereby introducing me to yours. Keep on shedding your light. Namaste.

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  24. A very fascinating blog you got here! Happy to have connected… The second best thing to travelling yourself and experiencing things is often hearing passionate recounts of others own journeys and stories. Just so you know, you have the kind of life, everyone secretly yearns to have and you’re living it right now in this moment! Thanks for visiting my blog and the follow!🙂

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  25. i just read this and your journey sounds amazing i seek a simple life like you, exploring, doing everything i want, never have regret of what i didnt do.

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  26. Just one quick glance and I already know that your blog is a blast! What an amazing life you seem to have! It’s like you’re pursuing your dreams, which is something that many people cannot do because they’re not capable of overcoming their fear. I think I’ll spend a lot of time on your blog.

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  27. I am in love with this blog. Amazing pictures and wonderful lines. I like when people try to discover life. India is one such place where you can get lost in the beauty of the nature , open up your mind, express yourself to the nature and to live the life to the fullest.

    You are always welcome.

    Thanks,
    Vandana

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  28. I am pleased to see you following Jamoroki. Welcome to my world. Id love to know what attracted you. Can I join you on your journey (blogwise)? You will have the best life experience imaginable. I was 50 before I realised it and went. Now at 73 the desire is still there but the body is not quite strong enough. Go well James.

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    1. Why, because your blog is beautiful of course! I love your interpretation of the world, James, and look forward to reading more when I get time. And thus welcome to MY world. It’s always such a pleasure to connect with like-minded and soulful people. To the journey on… JX

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  29. Dear James…. My Christopher Columbus ! The man of curiosity and love of learning/knowledge and finding, the man of faith.
    I love your site so much, it has such an awakening feel about it.
    Love for life and all of humanity.
    Thank You For Sharing . Truly Inspiring …
    God Bless You On Your Onward Never Ending Travels…
    Don’t Forget o Make A stop Over Here In Athens, Kalamos… Your Nouna Is Waiting For You…
    Lots Of Love and Blessings
    Ange

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    1. Thank you, Nouna! You comment has lifted me🙂 I really AM on this crazy journey of life at the moment, moving so fast I almost can’t keep up. Just delighted and feeling truly inspired! My soul craves a good rest in Greece, and your wise council. I will come very soon, I hope. God’s will!

      I wish you every blessing and all God’s great love.

      Soon, James XX.

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  30. So glad you found me. So glad I found you. Father is joining us all. Nothing, absolutely nothing is what it seems to be in our human understanding. It all is, far over our thoughts, our imaginations. For far above our wildest imaginations? There is a loving Father waiting for us all to return to His loving arms.🙂

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        1. O my friend, you bless me! Listen, don’t try to absorb it all. When I check my blogs? It boggles my own mind! lol So much Father has given me but, that is all in the course of 30 years. The harvest is the core to center in.
          The Harvest is what Father wishes to pass on to all of His children.
          “In the journey of your life in My Presence I have implanted My written words within you to produce LIFE & STRENGTH to live accordingly to My will and desire for you to live by! LIFE & STRENGTH to live the life that you are now experiencing is the HARVEST and the most valuable product that you have to offer to My children in these BOOKS!” said Father Yah to thia.
          The content of everything in those posts is the process to arrive at the Harvest.
          So, may I suggest to let the Spirit of our Father/Creator lead you as you read.
          And don’t hesitate to write or open a chat to chat with me. I have Skype, basilia3032. If you happen to have Skype you can get in touch with me that way.🙂

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        2. Thank you, Thia. I’m speechless… Packing my rucksack, collecting little bits for the children of Ghana, tribal music playing and your words – lifting me! – the perfect inspiration and beginning of my next, most emotional journey. Your words give me the same feeling as singing the Gospel does. I WILL be in touch… Anon, my friend XX

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        3. Be blessed! Psalms 121:7-8
          The Master will keep you from all evil; He will keep your life.
          The Master will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. Your friend, thia

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  31. As I was interested in who had followed my blog, I was pleasantly surprised to see such an insightful blog. The amount of clarity you speak with is honestly very admirable as well. As a person who would love to travel, it was very eye opening to see your photography around the world.

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  32. Hi James
    It was a pleasure reading your blog. I must say your endeavors so far with respect to writing, singing and traveling are truly inspiring. Your journey inspires to explore life to the fullest.
    Good work pal. Keep inspiring.
    And thanks for visiting my blog.

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  33. I am in awe of your amazing blog, James, and this About page is the most impressive one I’ve seen. Your explanation about who you are, what you believe and your ongoing learning process about life as you journey across the world is truly fascinating. Thank you so much for following me. I’ll be very happy to follow you on your ongoing travels and enlightenment.

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    1. Millie Thom, thank you. You’ve truly lifted me today. I really wanted the front page to hit people with who I am and what I’m about, before people explore the rest of the site and my Journey. I’m glad it’s affective. I read your about me – beautifully written! I was thinking “this woman should write books” and, of course, you do. I really enjoyed the nostalgia you created, especially with your old family photos and stories. Good luck with your trilogy – I’d love to read it some day… definitely the kind of the my older brother would adore. God bless. JDX

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  34. Well, your blog reminds me of the song “Live like you are dying”.
    Your zest for life and living is what we all should strive for. Thanks for reminding me. Also thanks for stopping by my blog, I love company.

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    1. Thank you, Sharron. I believe firmly that, whilst reminiscing, and preparing for the future, TODAY is the only day to truly fight for, ultimately. Today is everything, and I try to embrace that – losing bonds, and fears, that can hold me back. Thanks for the comment. And good luck with your treasure hunting adventure! Jxx

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    1. Thank you. I appreciate your words. “Constantly keep yourself headed in the right direction for you. It may not be easy at times, but in those times of struggle you will find a stronger sense of who you are.” – and I adore this quote!

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  35. Thank you for following my blog. You have something amazing here and the words flow so smoothly. Would love to ready a biography some day, for now I’ll read each post. Have a light filled day!

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  36. Could I ever put into words the constitution and nature of my own journey in such mystically, beautiful and truer words? No, never. What more is there more to say? I am simply humbled by what I have read, and honestly wonder how it is that you stumbled upon my own humble blog and why it is you have decided to follow me when, in truth and in life, I should be following you. T’would be an honor and privilege if I were actually able to do so! May the Spirit of Life, Light and Truth be ever with you to guide and direct, watch over and protect, bless and keep you ever and alway in Her tender, loving care!

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    1. Thank you! “Who doesn’t have challenges? That is what I love about life and writing- it is comedy, tragedy, and drama all on one seat, teetering with fictional prose on the other seat.” This speaks to me much. We indeed ALL have challenges – it is the moving on that makes our success. Keep writing, for you, and for us all. Jx

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  37. Thanks for the follow. Your blog is a beautiful reflection of your life as an anaesthete. Your enthusiasm and passion for life are contagious! I admire your courage to live life on your own terms, always listening to your inner voice.

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  38. I found your follow this morning and thought who is this guy? Diary of an Aesthetate, he must think he is Lord Byron! Then I read your blog, then I read some more. I love who you are and what you stand for. To throw off the shackles, to not worry what others think, to travel, to experience, to live. We could all do it, but most do not through fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of letting go, fear of letting others down. I say, “bravo Sir.” Enjoy the ride, the challenges, the laughter, the tears. I hope you can always stay true to your wonderful ideals. I will certainly enjoy following you. I too am blessed with Greek friends and relatives. Austerity can never dampen their flame.

    Not sure if you have met Bhudda yet – if not I think you will enjoy his company.

    The road is long. Safe navigation.

    Wilbur x

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    1. Ha! Thank you, Wilbur. Actually, my friends and relatives in Greece call me Lord Byron, and as he is held in such high esteem over there I take that as nothing short of highest compliment. Of course, he was rather suave too which applies. I’m so glad to read my site reaches out to you, one so well travelled as you are! And I am so very jealous of your sunrise over the Valley of the Kings, one I will emulate next year and remember you for. Yet to meet the Buddha – we will sit down some day over tea, I’m sure – we have much to discuss… Thank you for passing by. I wish you every success with your future travels. God bless. James x

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      1. I would baulk at swimming the Dardanelles if I were you! My Greek family used to have a house on the wonderful island of Skyros. Here is the final resting place of another English poet, Rupert Brooke, who died from an infected mosquito bite. I have walked up the hill to his monument on the island on many occasions to enjoy fabulous views across the bay towards Skopolos and Skiathos.
        I spent many weeks on the island reading and playing chess for just about the most chilled times of my life. If you happen to go, early spring is a fab time to visit to find it virtually tourist free.

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  39. Hi James, so happy you have followed my blog as I come to find yours. Your words and your photos have inspired me. It’s truly great the way you aspire to live, if only more of humanity would have more faith.
    I can’t wait to learn and read more about your blog.
    -Mani

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  40. I’m really inspired by your blog. It’s incredibly soothing and shines with peace and warmth so clearly, I’m very drawn to this. It means so much that you took the time to follow my blog. I hope to learn from you as well. So thank you for putting yourself on my radar.

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    1. Thank you, Ada. It’s such a blessing to be able to share so much of the beauty I’ve found in life, and to know other people can find comfort in it. One of the glories of the modern day I’m glad I’ve finally tapped into. Wishing you best fortune and all the light you surely deserve along the way, as your lotus blooms to full flower. Jxx

      Liked by 1 person

  41. Wow, what a fascinating and refreshingly unhindered, journey you’re on. Beautiful photography and stunning subjects. Thank you for following my blog and bringing yours to my attention.🙂

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      1. Well said! Life is bloody hard, travel too – but worth it. All great things are worth fighting for. SELF is the hardest thing to challenge. Although a determination to travel, almost constantly, is surely refreshing. I always find it refreshing, lifting, looking back, even if at the time there was a lot more ‘grit’ than a blog can afford. Thanks all. x

        Like

      2. Hindrance has negative connotations – it’s an obstacle, an interruption. However, if a person has a positive outlook, they will see this obstacle in a positive light – as a challenge to be relished. This was what I meant by ‘unhindered’ – not letting life prevent you from following your dreams, seizing the challenges to work in your favour. Apologies if you feel I used the term incorrectly or flippantly. It was not meant to offend.

        Liked by 1 person

  42. Thank you for following my blog for in doing so I got the opportunity to follow back this fascinating blog! I’m glad I now have my ticket to go on your journeys with you. God’s peace.

    Like

  43. i am always amazed by people who can speak and think with such clarity. Perhaps it is because i find myself always struggling with different shades and listening or reading about people who work on clarity is always a refreshing change.🙂

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    1. Clarity is a wonderful word, nicely put. You’re right, sometimes the biggest struggle is just knowing which way to turn, which path to take, which choice, opinion, style is best. The inner voice is sometimes hard to hear…

      Like

  44. Hi James, first I wanted to thank you for the follow, but as I read ‘The Man’ I need to thank you for more than that. Born in a different world and another lifetime, I don’t posses your certainty in who I am. In fact, I’m not sure I know who I am yet! My old beliefs are defiant in leaving me, though my heart and soul knows that those old beliefs no longer serves or support me. I need constant ‘doses’ of self believers like yourself to change a lifetime of programming. I feel the secret to that is: being on your own long enough to know who you are first and foremost! Thank you for the follow that led me to you 😊

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    1. Thank you. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head – being on your own can give you time to strip back layers applied by society, parents, ideals, and find the shining light beneath – the organic self – the untouched. Many people never find it, all their lives – and yet it’s never too late! Being a ‘self-believer’ is hard, and takes constant work – you don’t just crack the secret and waltz around with ease for the rest of your days. All good things take effort – and I really do put so much effort into my life, constantly bringing myself back to myself, constantly reminding, constantly standing up, through the crowds, and fighting… and it’s always worth it! Thank you so much for taking the time to look through my blog. I wish you every blessing for the rest of your journey ahead, and much light. I look forward to seeing more of the world through your eyes, Sonia. God bless you x

      Like

  45. Thank you, James, for following me, and giving me the opportunity to follow you on your global pilgrimage. I am very moved by what I read and see. I will come back for more, and look forward to seeing new posts as they arrive.

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  46. hello there – some wonderful insights on your blog, you have traveled far and wide and as you write, always solo never alone – thanks so much for the follow, best wishes for your trip Poli

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        1. Thank you. I’m sitting in a friend’s flat, in the very centre of a medieval English town, listening to Bob Marley, drinking black coffee, planning wonderful things… and the sun is shining! Hurrah. Anon… Jx

          Liked by 1 person

  47. Hi James. Glad you found and followed me. “Finding” and following in return. I look forward to sharing your journey here on your blog. May God bless you on your journey and may you find “home” wherever life leads.
    Creative Blessings, Jody Thomae
    Author, God’s Creative Gift

    Like

  48. Hey there. Thanks for the follow. You are one intriguing individual! Prayers for your safety, new vistas, and many overwhelming and glorious moments to come! (Perspectivesinfaith).

    Like

        1. Ah, the family will be appreciating that and the sun is yet to come! Wave at a castle for me, there has to be one within fifty k or so, right?😉 I’ll wave at Canada for you (at the end of my street). Blessings AND cheers!

          Like

  49. If I were younger, I’d be right there with you . . . look forward to following your adventures in cyberspace. Beautiful words, photography, ideas. Would you comment more about the elephant photo? I’ve been hearing a great deal about elephants lately.

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    1. Thank you !! Yes, well, elephants and tourism are a subject of debate. I had quite an extraordinary opportunity with wild elephants when I was in India, one I haven’t written about yet. This herd had gone astray, their usual migration routes disrupted. They were being ‘rehabilitated’ by Indian forestry authorities. Me and a couple of others had the opportunity to get down in this river basin and bathe the youngest. It wasn’t a ‘tourist’ experience in the sense we didn’t pay for the honour, just knew one of the mahouts who allowed interaction (we had to sneak down into the valley, avoiding forestry officers). But really such an extraordinary experience… Magnificent creatures. Truly… !

      Liked by 1 person

        1. I think it was houses being built on their usual route. They say elephants don’t forget for a reason – they remember every detail, follow the exact same routes every year – one little thing different can freak them out, which is why sometimes they wander frightened into towns and villages, on apparent ‘rampage’. More and more of their habitat is being destroyed… v. sad.

          Liked by 1 person

        2. But of course. That is generally true for migrating species, but because elephants live so long, they may have extra trouble adapting.

          In Humanland, we are seeing the same phenomena. All animals gather at the watering hole, including humans. The basics of survival, water, food, and physical safety, will show why human infrastructure is re-mapping the landscape and is a much larger threat to the planet than CO2 emissions. After all, lots of habitat is destroyed when you cut down all the trees to produce junk mail.

          Keep trunking,
          KCO

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  50. I did not know I am an Aesthete (a keen sensitivity for beauty in nature and art) as well. Hail fellow Aesthete!
    I checked out your link on Ethnic Neutropenia and also explored it via Google. I learnt something new today.
    I agree with you on living in the moment and appreciating your individuality. This brings to mind a quote from
    Heart-Centred Balancing:
    Stop waiting for Friday, for summer, for someone to fall in love with you, for life. Happiness is achieved when
    you stop waiting for it and make the most of the moment you are in now.
    Keep on keeping on James! Thank you so much for following me. Guess who will be following you! 

    Like

    1. Thank you. In that case welcome to the world of aestheticism! Yes, Ethnic Neutropenia’s a weird one isn’t it? Even my doctors know hardly anything about it… LOVE that quote!! To individualism – mindfulness – to today – to us! Wishing you all the light in the world. Jxx

      Like

  51. It looks like you’ve had many adventures. I like the photo of you holding the snake–the twinkle of excitement in your eye. 🙂

    Thanks for following my blog! I hope if you can find the time that you will stop by my page called “Reasons to Smile” and leave a comment. It’s a list of things people are thankful for, just to encourage each other. I’d love to hear your thoughts!

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  52. you’re an awesome writer and i love how this blog is about spreading positivity along with your gorgeous travel photos and stories. looking forward to reading about your next adventures, wherever that might be. =)

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    1. Hi Jan. Thank you for the appreciation. Makes it worth all the walking! I do my best to live life arbitrarily, according to the whims of my soul, not the logic of my mind… which doesn’t always work. But I still try… very intrigued by your site. Your journey with ‘William’ and the fact you live in Glastonbury! My favourite place in England – one I’ve just returned from an annual pilgrimage to. It must be so wonderful to reside in the Land of Mist permanently. Looking forward to following your journey. Thanks for joining mine. Peace. Life to you. Jx

      Liked by 1 person

  53. Stunningly beautiful and insightful blog. One statement of yours that rings so true in my soul is when you said, Whether it’s swimming through volcanic lakes,
    dancing in Baroque fountains, walking barefoot in the mud of remote villages,
    or chasing every moment, every sky
    – I Live.
    Thank you for living ALIVE! Stay safe on your journey. I’ll keep following.

    Like

    1. Yes to living ALIVE! Love that phrase. Got me all excited. Thank you for the returned inspiration and appreciation, and your blessing. My God bless you and keep your heart thumping on your search for happiness. Peace and life. Jx

      Like

  54. Not bad! LOL! Congrats on creating such a cool beautiful blog. It is great to meet you on your pages. Traveling indeed shapes you and opens up your mind. I traveled here and there and it’s never enough:) all the best to you!

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  55. Impressive introduction. The man , within . Photographs are well taken and choreographed as life stages. Indeed , we all are born with a cry..few of us forget to laugh while others are waiting for life to begin..but it had already started the day we were born..naked..but then covered with clothes..that hide and protects , gives statements about our inner self..and directs them to discover ..but then..sometimes we are alone..and in shower..as the water trickles or washes our dirt..we think isn’t it time to clean our mind..after all..the inner voice is important.

    Like

      1. I try! It isn’t always easy but I believe everyone is here for a purpose. I love raising my two kids but also understand how incredibly fortunate I have been. Here are so many who are not even here in the U.S. So I do whatever I can to help even if it is small. We all can make a difference!

        Like

        1. You have been fortunate – but it seems to me you have spread your fortune far and wide. We CAN all make a difference. Even, as you say, in our own small way. I remember being on a bus in Bangalore, this elderly lady was passing the window as we parked. She looked very poor. As she looked up and caught my eye I gave her a big smile. Very slowly she reciprocated – giving such a big, heartfelt smile, her eyes almost glazed with tears. It made me so happy and emotional, and I couldn’t get her face out of my mind for such a while. A beautiful moment, all created by a simple smile. J x

          Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, gosh! Well, what comes time mind straight away is India – it’s the country I most enjoyed travelling around alone. Indian people are very friendly. Anyone who reads this blog will of course know that I have a particularly soft spot for Italy though. Hmmmm… I just love discovering new places. That’s a big part of the thrill – new places, people, spirits and skies to breath in…

      Liked by 1 person

  56. James! You are inspirational. The ways you carving your life.

    “I came into this life with humble beginnings – and I seek a humble ending.
    But what I look for along the way is to acquire a life worth living, a day worth getting out of bed for,
    a smile worth sharing, a hand worth holding. A place worth finding.
    I just want to look back at my time and regret only things I did do
    – never something I didn’t.”

    And that’s you.🙂

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  57. Your blog is like watching a thousand daffodils bloom. Each picture is an exotic petal, which, as it slowly unravels, tells a story as you stare into it. And by the time you get to the end, the flower has bloomed and you realize that the time spent on reading your story is well spent, very much worth it. Thank you for sharing, you are a blessing to spend time with.

    Cheers! Keep touching lives (and elephant backs).

    Like

    1. Thank you, Shaun. Such a lovely tribute!! Your friendship has enhanced my journey very much, and for that i will be forever grateful. Keep doing your wonderful things, and never stop moving through your art, your vision, your unique and inspiring interpretation of the world. Thank you, too, for being a part of my story. Ever and anon. Jamesx.

      Like

  58. I love your blog, your pictures and this comment, “I’m not heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual, or asexual…
    I am a Human Being.” Thanks for sharing and “being human.”

    Like

    1. It is my absolute pleasure. Thank you for having a look round, I really do appreciate it. I just don’t know why our society feels the need to categorise everything?? Here’s to living for the heart, not for expectations. J x.

      Liked by 2 people

  59. Amazing pictures and… and amazing thoughts if I might say. I hope this doesnt sound strange in any way, but I would like to read more from you and to know more. I found myself agreeing with everything you wrote up there. It’s incredible.
    I salute you from Italy! ^^

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. It’s so lovely to think of other people relating to my thoughts and feelings. Expression is very important to me, and is something I’ve not always been good at… I’m still working on it. Send my love to bella Italia, I shall be walking that land again soon. Thank you! J x

      Liked by 1 person

  60. Your profile just jumps off the page at me! And so does your freedom. I share your lust for life, and I appreciate your openness/honesty. Keep sharing. Best, Maisie🙂

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  61. Wonderful inspiring read (and high five for shooting film!) Makes me want to take the train anywhere at this very moment! But I just came back from Venice’s splendid carnevale this weekend and now I’m back to school in Prato…I’ll leave the traveling for next weekend.
    This feels like my imaginary bucket list, things I’d love to do, but school and societal expectations prevent me from. Normalities of an average life getting in the way of how I see myself.
    I’ve been in Europe since September studying and doing my fair amount of solo travel, finding more of myself and of other living, other ways of being and thinking. Now I’m my own favourite travel companion.
    My worst fear is being trapped in a place, life passing me by sort of thing. I’m addicted to going, to motion. I studied in Spain, and am now studying in Italy, and I’m looking towards studying in Thailand next year.
    But I fear what will happen when all my semesters are over? I don’t want social conformity to catch up to me as I’ve spent all this time to avoid it.
    Can I ask you, how did you begin? Is this travel interspersed with a different life, or is this your life as it is?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WOW, thank you Patricia – it seems we are similar souls indeed. I’m so glad we can connect this way. I’ll start by saying that how you see yourself is how you TRULY ARE, how you were ‘born to be’. If society and her MANY expectations are getting in the way of you just simply being you, then why are you doing it? What’s it all for?! It’s a hard thing to hear, I know. I’ve struggled for many years trying to shake-off the confinements of social expectation, community ideals – what I ‘should or shouldn’t be’ – but don’t be fooled: It’ll never get you anywhere trying to be somebody else’s vision – it’s a flawed existence, and someday it will catch you up, bite you in the bum, and shattered everything you thought you were – the fortress we build up around ourselves throughout our lives – our ‘personal concept’. It’s all to protect the ego – that doesn’t like to feel vulnerable, open, exposed. A defense mechanism, so to speak. I began the slow destruction of my personal concept when, at the age of seventeen, I decided not to go to university, full stop, and spent a lot of time alone, away from all my friends, teachers – people that no longer served my personal progress – as a soul, a spirit, a person – not just a number, another student, another tick in a box… I couldn’t do it. People all around me went a bit crazy – couldn’t believe I’d just ‘give it all up’ – especially my school – I was Head Boy! But giving up a life that I didn’t want to lead in the first place didn’t seem like a loss to me at the time… still doesn’t. I spent a lot of time alone, exploring my ‘inner voice’, letting time work its magic, and eventually I worked out what was calling me – travel. And that was that. I know not everyone’s the same as me – I am a bit of a rebel. I cringe and shy away at the first sign of conformity… it’s one of my complexes… But moving to Europe, studying in Spain, Italy (my first love) and Thailand (haven’t been yet…)?? Sounds amazing! And if you’re happy doing what you’re doing then by all means carry on! …of course, as you say, your courses will end… then what? Well, there are many things you could do – my first bit of advice is NOT TO TAKE A CRAPPY JOB in haste, and fear that life might, just… STOP… …Let it stop. What’s the worry? Clear you head and let your heart speak to you. Your spirit knows what excites you – and what excites you is what you’re MEANT to do – your head has all the doubts, the rationale – but the heart is not foolish – it KNOWS you can do whatever you want… with determination, of course! If you want it bad enough – get it! The world is there – seize it! Everyday is another chance. Just keep that logical mind quiet – the heart beat may be fainter, but it is consistent – it beats for a cause – YOUR cause. Connect, make a change, take a leap – and NEVER LOOK BACK.

      J xx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for your response!!🙂 I do indeed know one thing- haste isn’t for me, and neither are crappy jobs! I always tell myself my backup life plan is a flight attendant….. well, once I figure out my actual life plan..or once I let things fall into place🙂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You’re truly welcome. In some ways, haste isn’t for me either – when the right opportunities come my way I grab them with both hands… but when they’re not there, the timing isn’t right. Give it up, and like you say, things fall into place. Just never give up on your dreams. You can have anything you want. Trust yourself. J x.

          Like

  62. Hello! Wow I love your Italian post! Venice! How lovely really is so nice to read! I never really get in to blogs but yours yes! I enjoy reading it on my phone . Each one is like a nice new thing I can look at instead of Facebook and watts app!
    But you are naughty I am late for my coffee with the girls now!
    Thank you , mucho gracias

    Liked by 1 person

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