“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
Welcome to my diary… the Diary of an Aesthete.
A life in word, picture and song.
This is my Global Pilgrimage ~ the story of my life, and the people who have become a part of my story along the way. In this life God has given me The Gift – The Gift of Journey, Hegira, Odyssey – a gift I have run with.
Along the way my skin has continually morphed and changed, experienced, and aged. A soul in the wind must learn how to bend... 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… 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.
Nobody is one-dimensional. I know my making. Artists are witnesses to Creation, not the makers. But I have learnt that knowing thyself is key to being a pure vessel, to being as open and forgiving as possible… “When you come to know yourselves, then you will become known, and you will realise that it is you who are the sons of the living father. But if you will not know yourselves, you dwell in poverty and it is you who are that poverty.”
– Jesus Christ.
“It is not the eyes that are blind, but the hearts.” – Qur’an.
Everywhere there are signs.
Do not blind yourself.
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, this Great Spirit, or ‘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… for voyage, and the metamorphosis of travel.
On this Journey I have danced with Druids, sung solos in Gospel choirs, dined with modern-day ‘prophets’, African kings, chieftains and Fetish Priests alike, once played drums at a Voodoo ritual (never again), walked the deepest desert and fasted with Muslim friends, lived with Saharan Berbers, celebrated the blessing of marriage with Hindu friends, took a solo pilgrimage through Israel and prayed at all the most holy sites of Jerusalem, one time woke-up in the middle of a pagan ritual. I identify as Orthodox 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, and choose to live by my own example, and in peace. I have embraced everything imperfect about myself, challenged many fears and denials 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 Indian jungle, fed sacred monkeys by hand in Ghana with the help of Bagbor tribesman, kissed an adult crocodile in the Gambia, caught a wild cobra in India (two actually), walked with adult lions through the West African Bush, free and equal, no chains, collars or drugs. I took off my clothes and danced in Rome’s oldest fountain, swam naked in West Africa’s highest waterfall, was granted exclusive access to explore a ruined Hindu temple, got a surprise invitation to an ancient Roman amphitheatre, once had the Sistine Chapel all to myself… experienced the deepest healing by a Holy Man on a mount in Athens.
“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 vision – of 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 the Spirit, 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.
Follow the Journey.
It is time to come together. Time is spiralling, speeding up. There is no tomorrow on earth, only today, a hard fact in these times of constant ‘progress’. Old ways will fall away and perish. No more pride, stubbornness, fear or snobbery. Change will come. Acceptance, truth, gratitude and Love. It is time to re-find the Light of the ancient world.
See His hand in everything.
☩ ✟ ☩
Go blindly into the dark. Take a leap of faith.
We are the Fire of the New Dawn.
To The Stars…
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