Here's another excerpt from my Nepal trekking journal:-
I expect if you heard the sound of your own kid's noise, the way someone else without the built up tolerance might. Or you could fully appreciate and empathise with those who's peaceful idyll had just been disturbed, then you'd probably go stark-staring, cockle-bonkers mad.
So, dear reader, (always love to begin a paragraph with a so) I am writing this beneath a blue tin roof of the Dhampus Holiday Home trekkers lodge in the foothills in the Annapurna Himalaya in Nepal.
The last of the sun's rays lick at the cold glacial ice cream tumbling down the flanks of the impossibly pointy peak called Macchapuchre or 'Fishtail'.
If the professor of mountains from the mountain's guild and the head of the mountain university had got together to design a peak that would be the mountain to end all mountains, so that hills would have to skulk off in a sulk, then surely this would be it.
I am surprised it hasn't torn a hole in the sky. Its razor sharp edges would surely cut through and rip the most tightly woven oxygen molecules. It should be able to cut a line all the way around the earth as it spins, loosening the top of its scalp like a soft-boiled egg.
In the distance I can hear a farmer goad his oxen to continue their furrow and dig deeply into the parched soil. The shrill peep of an eagle pierces the air and the terraces cascade everywhere like endless staircases.
Truly Shangri-La, what could taint or spoil such tranquillity and wonder at the savage beauty of the mighty Himalaya.
Well how about eight children under the age of ten trekking with their half deaf, two pair parents. Screeching and fighting and running rings around me and my tranquillity.
Now don't get me wrong, I like children but I couldn't eat a whole one. Being a sensitive type, the abrupt transition from peace and quiet to screeching is just ever-so, a-little-bit jarring.
I have a tendency to offload any extra stress by whining. It can feel like I am bobbing along in a little rowing boat, oars up and prostrate, staring at the sky. When a speedboat full of squawking infants draws alongside and their wake fills my boat with unwelcome water and unless I bail furiously, I'm gonna sink without trace. To save myself from a watery demise I have to mutter under my breath “bloody parents, can't they not hear the noise their own children make? And at least ask them to quieten down a little?” But alas surely you'd go a particular nutty type of nut, that would get stuck between anyone's teeth if you really could take in their noise, full-force, unfiltered by the numbed brain of parenthood. And murdering your own children, though temporarily satisfying is probably not a great thing to do.
What's life about if it's not about doing what enthuses you. It matters not what it is as long as it drives you, it's the motivation that's the key.
For a good few months now land art has not been my thing. The drive it once saturated me with, boiled dry and evaporated into the ether. I didn't know where it initially came from and once it had gone, I didn't know where it went.
I only wanted to travel to wild places and be myself within them. Nothing inside of me wanted to commune and express nature through little sculptures at the mercy of the wind. I still felt the buzz for life and Mother nature but through other things, other activities and ideas. I was not cast out or stranded or lost just not artistic or motivated to create. But still I felt like part of my identity was missing. Did I care? Not really, but I did care that I didn't care.
I was left in a little quandary. Would it ever come back and if not what then?
Today a little of it came back and I wanted to make something once again. I didn't have the right tools or the time or opportunity to gather ample materials but I did have the most wonderful landscape in the world to gawp at and a whole gamut of of new plants and trees to feed my soul.
Most importantly of all I had that little flame lit within me and I wanted to feel the warmth of its flickering light. It is that that's all important, the rest is just fluff and nonsense.
Of all the tools I need to create something, it's that that sits at the top of the pile. The result might not be all that, out of practice and away from things and places I know. But whether the image is striking or not, I felt it inside.
Then again it might be gone again just as quickly as it re-arrived. Something else will drive me ever onwards and I may never make anything again. Or I may do nothing but, who knows?
But for today I created something and it made me happy just for today. And really that's enough until tomorrow. And tomorrow is just another day.