As I’m writing this, typing this with my thumbs, on my phone on a rocky riverside in Kananaskas, I feel a bit foolish and a bit defensive.
I was hesitant to take out my phone and start writing like I would anywhere else because I know if someone sees me they’ll think oh those fucking millennials…
Whereas if I were writing in a paper and pen journal, if I’d lugged that out with me, they might just assume I’m a poetic soul.
I feel much the same desire and embarrassment about having headphones in and about using my phone to take pictures.
As if modernity shouldn’t intrude on this timeless space except that of course a paper and pen journal and a film camera are still ultra modern technology. The shoes I’m wearing, the fact that I came out here at all using a vehicle fueled by gasoline instead of hay are all modern concessions. Are we just victims of the generational fallacy and convenience blindness?
Be it in the wilderness or city streets I love walking alone. I love the thinking it induces. The problem is, maybe for the depressed especially, is that unstructured mental time doesn’t do good, doesn’t bring one from the threshold of despair into the light, rather it reinforces the meaningless of all things, the fact that you are just a bank of poop that other life makes unwilling deposits in.
So music helps.
To be in a peaceful riverside afternoon, and have a mental conversation with my friend Frank Turner, who was there for me in the city and in the dark times, I can listen to him and feel myself asking me if I’m truly better now. Am I healed or do I simply feel healed because of the conducive environment?
Because there’s obviously a location bias to the way one thinks in serene nature. It’s a little too easy to presuppose that you should be blissful, and it’s so easy to feel good without having anything specific to feel good about, that you can feel like out here is defacto good and all your problems aren’t your fault – they’re the city’s. They’re the fault of the dreaded modern times and the horror of progress.
And the willingness to think about uncomfortable, unhealed things in a healing environment is the best way to heal. That’s why drugs can be positive for some people and escapist for others.
The frame work you bring to anything is what matters and as an introvert my unconditional friends, friends who need nothing from me to be a friend to them are albums. Albums are a time machine that let me have a conversation with past versions of myself.
It’s bizarre that each generation is thought of as lazy when really they’ve just innovated and stream lined satisfying desires that humans have always had, the desire to give narrative to the incongruent string of moments that is a life, the urge to introspect and give that introspection meaning by sharing it.