Monday, October 11, 2010

Chase the Day

Ah, shit yeah... Or "shichya," as it's more phonetically spelled. It's a saying I picked up from an Australian friend of mine and, truth be told, people around my neck of the woods often wonder why the Hell I'm saying it. I don't really know the technical reasons behind why I say it, but I use it for the same reason I use anything: it works.

My closest friends know what a fucking roller coaster I've been on since early 2006. Really, long before that, when I went from having more money than I needed to having almost none at all. Lots of factors played into that - some external, others self-inflicted - but, damn... you learn who your friends are when you're that close to rock-bottom. And I've got the best of the best. It took everyone I know to help sift through four years of utter confusion. Everyone I know and then some, for I'd be remiss in not mentioning the kindness of many strangers. Through it all, I've found that my enemies are insignificant and easily ignored. In fact, I wish them all the very best in life. As long as they don't cross my path again, of course.

I don't know if the Sufi or the Jews coined the term, but "This, too, shall pass," is about as certain as death and taxes. Oh, I've touted it, but I know it now. Some things take a little longer; need a little more patience; require a little more effort, but they'll pass. Tomorrow's coming whether you want it to or not. How fucking wonderful is that?

I've not yet returned to the physical shape I was in back in 2007 - arguably the best shape of my life - but I'm almost there. There's even an added bonus this time. In 2007, my left foot wasn't being properly rehabilitated. It is now... and I can almost taste the mountain air and the deep ocean water I'll be able to expose myself to again. It's been far too long. Someone I admire once said that if you stop moving, you might as well be dead. Yeah... totally. Never mind that moving too fast can kill you, as well. Been there, done that... I'm still here. At least speed is exhilarating.

It's been an eight-year journey to get to where I'm at. Eight insane years. Outside of maybe 1989 - a year that's value in my life has only recently become truly realized - and 2000 - a year I wasn't yet mature enough to deal with - 2002 through 2010 marked the biggest changes in my outlook, my perspectives, my beliefs. Everything I thought I knew up to that point was effectively proven wrong amid a rapid-fire succession of change. Locations, loves, schools, careers, you name it. No stability whatsoever. Just a pretty convincing facade of it. No, that's not entirely true... I was stubbornly resisting change in some fucked up desire to win a conflict I had no business fighting.

Taking chances - something I'd long been accustomed to - suddenly seemed foolish. Instead of rolling with the punches, I tried to hold on to some ill-conceived plan of world domination. It almost fucking killed me - figuratively and literally. But, after 2006, that all slowly started to reverse itself. Four years down, as it were, and four years up.

That's not to say this resurgence was of my own making. Not entirely and, I'll probably have to admit at one point or another, not even primarily. There were plenty of well-placed slaps and kicks in the ass that got me back to where I needed to be... where I should've been the whole time. Slaps and kicks from both friend and foe at the most unexpected - and opportune - of times. Face it, people... those around you know you better than you know yourself. And when strangers figure you out before you yourself do... it's just all the more profound.

So I started taking chances again, albeit in the wrong direction. But, hey, I'm not perfect. And, besides, that first wrong-way chance got my career kick-started. I knew something was wrong, though. I knew I was in the wrong place and for all the wrong reasons. At least I knew, though... which is more than I can say about all of the previous fuck-ups.

And then came 2009. The year I let the career go down the drain. Not sure what I was thinking, but I'm betting it had something to do with my physical location. I was, literally, in a place I did not want to be. But that summer was pretty awesome. Again, the right people - friend and stranger - at the right time. And I got off my ass and took a leap.

Then another. And another.

Now, I'm almost running again. It feels great. The wind is blowing the bullshit out of my hair. That can't happen sitting around. 2011's looking good. I'm sure that everything I think I know will effectively be proven wrong amid a rapid-fire succession of change. But this time, that's the point.

Next April I'm reengaging my quest to visit every country in the world, beginning with a month in Australia. I've always been a creature of momentum, ever since I left the roost at 17. That I got stuck is beside the point. I ain't stuck now. There are some things I want that are elsewhere in the world, and I'm going to go see if I can have them. Carpe diem? Nah...

It's a saying I've used a lot, but its is a false premise; a false promise and a false hope. We are incapable of seizing any day, never mind any other moment in time. But we can, however, chase it. And, as another saying goes, the chase is where all the fun is. C'est la vie.

I'm coming. Shichya.


* It's all about the moment, the here and now, and perhaps a little about what comes next. * Go out on a limb once in a while... somebody's there for you, you know. * Having no direction isn't necessarily being lost, though being lost is a prerequisite for finding your way. * The world is moving faster than you ever will, and will move longer than you can possibly be remembered. * a stubborn refusal to accept an overwhelming sense of embarrassment or shame prevents any acknowledgment of such defining moments of life. * The more beautiful it is, the better to kill you with. * The days when a mirror was just another toy are long gone. Reflections no longer reflective, the face staring back just another enemy, allied with the onslaught of time. * A lie is a weight the wind will not carry. * It's remembered how it wants to be. The chase, the trap, an act of foolish bravery or cautious abandon to feel what couldn't be said. * Tomorrow, sunrise will begin the chase again. * Are you going to do something, or are you going to watch it burn? * No worries. The sunrise will greet you in the morning. Whether or not it lights the way home is another matter entirely. * You'll know when the clock is right, for motion and thought will blur into one. And when it does, don't hesitate. * There's a scream of triumph as youthful lust streaks through cloud, finally knowing what it means to fly. * Why you’re smiling as the world starts tumbling finally makes sense. It’s too late to stop, and you didn’t want to, anyway. * If it's going to happen, there's no need to worry about it. * Life's picking up speed, and people you don't want to leave behind are going to be left behind. * The world is a large place until you've seen it all. And when that happens, you can just make up another. * Maybe that's why so many people choose to live in the desert... the grass isn't greener on the other side, because there's only tumbleweed. * Whoever made the mistake of attributing Red to love never understood what it meant to be angry. * Mirages are a good thing to follow, however, when you think about it. They do have a tendency to keep you moving. * Precipitation on the precipice, flowing down the path of least resistance while wondering what it would be like to be a flake of snow. * This is not a summit's peak, but a cliff's edge, and the difference is unimportant. Get up. If you're going to fall, do it here, do it now. There's still air beneath you. *


  1. Well my progeny and I are very excited about you're coming to visit our humble abode and fair island. I'm even more pleased that you're embracing change, getting off your lazy butt and chasing your dream. Wandering suits you and as long as you feel like it, have your health and your sanity (although I have my doubts about that), you should go for it - Can's wait to drink you under the table or off your chair . . (O hai, already done that!)
    Shit yeah!

  2. that is the longest postsript i have seen in a while. its all a journey, man. hope the next year is good to you...and makes sense why you will be stepping away now...australia sounds like a good place to start....

  3. Looking forward to the jet-set stories! -J

  4. Up and at 'em, Jeff. Nice to see you in good spirits.

  5. So if you are going to visit every country in the world and you are starting with that bloody penal colony, I assume you are taking an alphabetic approach. That means it might be some time before you make it to Yorkshire (to answer your protest, of course Yorkshire is a country) ... but I can wait. Personally I am a great believer in not moving much at all, just staying still and let the world come to you.

  6. One of my oft used aphorisms is "Put your money where your mouth is." This is in direct opposition to a world full of the "Do as I say, not as I do" sect. Sounds like you are about to put your money where your mouth is. Bravo.

    But beware the "grass in greener" syndrome which can sneak up on you and be very persuasive. Know that you can neither run away from nor run to. It is always right there with you. You need only look.

    And now I've used up my quota of clichés for the day, so...

  7. well, i envy you..hope you go everyfuckingwhere

  8. Penal colony! Penal colony . . Mr Burnett wash your mouth out . . at least our beer is cold! Fwooar. You never know, I might just keep him, he's cute as a button.

  9. Yorkshire is definitely a beautiful country. :)

  10. Last one . . when you're blue, unmused, unenthusiastic, feeling flat . . read this. This is the you I love. Keep chasing, you will have fun.