*** This is an archive post from 2021 ***
So maybe you’ve been wondering, dear reader, what happened to the enlightened man, the wide-eyed boy, the solo traveller on his seemingly-unstoppable global pilgrimage, the ambitious one, the spiritual one; what happened to all those prolific words of wisdom, snippets of worldly knowledge, tales from faraway places and stories of inspiration?
Perhaps he finally retired from all that, went off to live in his beloved desert far away from the world, or in a cave somewhere in the Russian wilderness. Or perhaps he died? Not such an unlikely thing… all those crazy adventures had to come to an end somehow or other. Or perhaps, you simply assumed he finally came unstuck one way or another. Surely one person cannot have all the luck forever? At some point reality will catch up with him… he’ll come crashing down, just like the rest of us.
Well, no… as far as I can tell I am very much alive. Since the beginning of the pandemic I have been travelling, both through the infinite realms of the soul, through pain, grief, abounding love, and a deep connection with earth, my faith and my race; there have been sweet moments of ecstasy beyond the powers of recollection… I have been living out childhood dreams in places around the world I have longed to see since I really was a boy.
I became 30 years old under the African sky. My beloved Africa. My 7th trip to the continent.
…when He wills it, nothing, not the apparent shutting down of the entire world, will stop a thing from happening. When God is with you, mountains will part and the powers of men fall away like leaves at the turning of the season. Truth is at this stage I don’t really have a plan or particular expectations, I am learning, slowly but surely, to trust Him, and let Him lead the way, wherever that may be.
Just when I am expecting that place to be home, to be the quiet, the retreating from all earthly things, I get ‘the call’ – He whisks me off again across the globe, fire and earth once more beneath my feet, flashing by. Once again I am in His fantastic storm, and, as always, I have no idea why… All I know, is that when God has a plan for you, or a mission – NOTHING can stop it, only you… and I would never stop it. He is mine, and I am His, and there is nothing in-between.
Make no mistake, these 12 months or so have been some of the most challenging of my life, on many levels, as I am sure they have been for us all. You cannot escape it, and regardless of what you believe, how you have chosen to deal with and respond to the global crises we have all unwittingly been flung into, it is undeniable that everybody has been affected by this, many lives ruined, dreams shattered and hopes betrayed… I won’t even begin to tell you what I’ve been up to, and will save individual stories to come as they may. But my message is this… Life goes on. Life never stopped! Man’s world, whether you chose to accept it or not, is not the real world, the real world is beyond all that, out there (and inside of you). Perhaps the only difference between me and most other people is that I haven’t chosen to stop and I don’t place all my hopes in the world of man. Never have. Whether it is home or abroad, I live. Whether I am given permission to travel or not, I am fully alive. While the sun still rises and I have the blessing of healthy lungs, two good feet and a mind to possess, I live. My travelling bag is half-full of papers, permissions for this, permission for that, tests and visas, invitation letters, flights, certificates, various documents, you name it. I am back in little England now and I get calls daily from immigration to check I am staying at home as I’ve been in exotic countries. I tell them, I am quarantining “with pleasure” – 10 days?? Let’s call it 10 weeks! I need a rest. Travelling has always been exhausting, and now it’s more complicated than ever. But… for those who will (and may) the adventure is all the better…
I have experience things these past months that would never normally be possible.
Where to start?!
p.s. some of my favourite adventures of 2020/21 were in England. Those ancient stones I am standing upon and leaning against (see below) are between 4000 – 6000 years old, older than the pyramids ! I have always been home among the ancient and natural places of the world, and one doesn’t have to jet set around to find them, to absorb them, and to find one’s own space for healing…
My dears… it is time, yes, it is time. Change has been thrust upon you, whether you will it or not, change is here. The world is changing, it is changed even. Things cannot be as they were before, and those hoping to find rest in the returning of the old things will be bleakly disappointed. Now we are being sold many quick-fix ‘solutions’ to all these problems in the promise that things will get back to that ‘normal’ you so crave, that comfort zone. It is a lie, whether an intentional lie or not is irrelevant. It is time to embrace the change, to evolve, or to die. It is as simple as that.
It is time to make a choice. I am disappointed in humanity, I cannot pretend otherwise. Most people now seem to be at ease blaming others, criticising others, pushing and shoving around to get what they need, so intent on ‘protecting’ themselves and their ‘lives’ that they would do anything to preserve it. All compassion, all humanness seems to be thrown out of the window as soon as the muck hits the fan. What have we come to? What are we doing to the world? What are we doing to each other?
Have we forgotten everything that it means to be human? What it means to be a witness!
So we come to a better day, a time of healing from the past mistakes. We don’t have to be either near or far to shine our own light. But shining your light is not to blind others, it is to reveal the Truth, of your own soul, who you Are, which reveals the Truth buried within another. We bury our true selves under cloaks – the mum, the teacher, the easygoing, the clown, the victim, the saviour. These are all just shades of the human condition. The biggest lie is the one you keep telling to yourself. Sometimes, often, the way to really heal is catastrophic, monstrous pain and upheaval. The storm can be a blessing, if we chose to learn and start again.
I am learning all the time – to be true to me, not tailored, or clipped, homogenised or edited. You want me? Accept it all. There are plenty of other places to be, plenty of other walks to follow. We are only in this together if we are brutally honest with ourselves. The true version of ‘you’ is the greatest gift you can offer the world. Sometimes… at least in my life… I have found the greatest love I can give is to shut the door… and climb through the window.
Shine your light. Shine your light.
*** This is an archive post from 2021***
How are you all? This is 2023 James now. I’m still on the road. I left Southeast Asia some time ago and am now in India. I’ll think I’ll stick around here for a while and catch up on some writing, and dig into my soul a bit more, see what treasures, bliss and agony, I can release 🙂
Wishing you all the love and strength in the world, for your journey.