I woke up today in darkness.And it wasn’t because it was 530. I’m not talking the darkness outside, but to the darkness inside. It’s a blackness I haven’t seen in awhile. I had chased it away. But there it was, reminding me of it’s prickly nature. It was the blackness I used to see every morning. The blackness that caused my legs to shake while I lay there in bed contemplating the day ahead of me.
I now see it for what it is: an emotional reaction to the negative picture of my life I’d created in my mind, for various reasons, mostly due to my lack of self-worth, the lessons of the past whispering in my ear. In retrospect, It’s probably one of the reasons I want to Spain. It couldn’t follow me there. Well, it only showed up once or twice anyway. It had no reason to be there. I was a stranger in a strange land with no past, and the only future was imbued in my boots, and the next step I was to take. LIterally.
Which leads me to the purpose of this blog. My goal with this is to sort of continue the blog I wrote while walking in Spain (which intertwined stories of my walk in Spain with stories and observations of my life) in the hopes that I can at least pass on a few bits of wisdom and maybe help others with some of the mistakes I’ve made, and the lessons I’ve learned. I will also include some excerpts from the blog “All Roads Lead Home”
Back to the darkness: If you wake up and can’t shake off the darkness, here’s where you need to start: go to bed thinking happy thoughts. Think about how lucky you are just to be alive, how beautiful the afternoon light is. Sorry to be so simplistic. Give gratitude. Pray. Doesn’t have to be to god, but I theorize that this is why praying became a cornerstone of religion.
Praying is usually about positive things, and we need positive energy to roil around our brains as we sleep, and our brains prepare for the next day. There is even science to back me up (click here). But it’s funny. At least with me, the darkness fades away slowly, like a physical malady. All things must pass away.
There you go. The following is from the bio on markwestwriter.com, and sort of states my purpose:
Last Summer I walked across Spain on the Camino de Santiago. I blogged about it, and the journey of my life over the last few years, which included divorce, estrangement from my daughter, therapy, loneliness, thoughts of suicide, insecurity, self-esteem and doubt, and finally a relationship with a recently divorced beautiful Swedish mother of 4 who was dealing with her own shit, who saved my life.
I’m not saying I know any more about life than you. And at times I read what I’ve written and see it as the ravings of a self-absorbed dude bent on self-destruction, or at least self-immolation. One of my favorite refrains is “…but what the fuck do I know? But life goes on. And so does the path in front of each and every one of us.
I’m heading back to Spain to walk part of the camino and finish up the book, walk a few parts that need to be rediscovered, meet a few new people, and maybe to discover a few new things about myself. I hope you stick around, and walk these steps with me. Cause one things I’ve discovered- life is short, and it’s much more worthwhile traveling this world with someone.
In the morning it will fade away
Daylight is good
At arriving at the right time
But it’s not always going
To be this grey
All things must pass away
All things must pass
All things must pass away
Don’t you love getting comments? Doesn’t it make your heart freeze when you throw yourself wide open and the reaction is to be utterly ignored? Silence. You think: Is there not something attractive about my work,my words, my sounds? Doesn’t something resonate with someone? Jeeez! Come on, people!Here I am, I’ve put immense effort into the endeavor of my life, extraordinary effort.
Anyway, that’s why I’m leaving this comment. Your concept got to me. I think I understand. Of course, I don’t know shit. But you’re a brother, a writer, a self-hater, someone planted the dark seed in you way back when…whenever, Mark. You’ve got talent, persistence, a weathered soulful face, the face of a writer. Good on ya!
I don’t know why the neck you just didn’t go dancing with a flamingo dancer when u got depressed. For God shake Mark the people are passinet there F the Dark side go have fun with hot Spanishs chicks. U should have gone to a art gallery and met your self a good looking Spanish painter. U need to lead a colorful life like an artists. Do not waste time on depression ok u can use it as an excuse on rainy Sundays when u want to sleep in but other than that its a total waste of engery.
I agree. It just takes some of us awhile, and we have to go through things (events, emotions) to bring us to that realization. That’s how life works.
Arthur- Thanks. I think it’s hilarious you wrote- “I don’t know shit”. Sounds like me. If you watched my video on the home page, you’ll hear me (first person voice over) say “but what the fuck do I know?”. I guess we’re kindred spirits.
Mark seriously of l was you and l was depressed about people l love treating me like shit which l know a great deal about and l had the money to travel through beautiful Spain l would be having Big Fun like going to the beach there drinking wine with good looking Spanishards. Going boating, going hang gliding over the water, l go see their bands play and to their art shows and their bull fights and their formal races and l get caught up in there love of life and passion and drama and let it sink into my soul and fall in love with their country and l take that feeling home with me and write about those experiences and l would still make out with Fernando Alfonso at least once if l got the chance. Lol
I’m not really depressed about what has happened to me. Stay tuned, all will be revealed. You would appreciate the fact that, like the last time I walked in Spain, I didnt have a choice in the matter. Someone, something pushed me there and would not let me say “no”. I can’t explain it. Same thing with this trip. I am being told that I need to go and finsh my story (the story of my life thus far). In future, I will go and luxuriate but oddly enough, the whole walking, meeting other people, staying in hostels, is more attractive to me right now than sitting on beach sipping Sangria. It is where I am at on my journey.
When Harmonys father and l first moved to Boston we stayed in Milton with a Spanish couple a doctor Fernado and his lovey wife a nurse Amala. She was an exllent cook. She all ways severed soup before the main course.I dropped weight very fast eating her cooking. I would go to a lot of Spanish restaurants if l was you and write about their food. Screw being in the hot bug interested woods during August. U will get ate up with ciggers man!
I understand your sentiment, but those “hot bug infested woods”- that’s where you learn the most about yourself. When I walked the Camino last year, probably the most “spiritually rewarding was the 4 straight, uber hot days I spent crossing the Maseta, no trees, shade, 100 degree heat. You have no choice but to turn inside and think about shit. Like what the hell you’re doing crossing the Maseta in 100-degree heat with no trees, shade, or much water!
U know the more l think about it if l was you writing a book l would take myself to all kinds of different countries. I would find out which cool events where going on and l would go to that event and feel the group engery of the crowds of people. And check out the cool beautiful things about their countries. I would half to go to Ireland and Scotland and get a swords raise it in the air while saying THERE CAN BE ONLY ONE! And do great spiritual stuff like that and l would go back to Mount Baker and go to the Big Foot Convention in America and do fun stuff. The best way to retrieve your soul is to fill it will beauty and happy adventures. Spend time with people who choose to be excited about life and the future. It will change your life. Peace
I agree with you wholeheartedly. Not sure if I’ll make the bigfoot conference but you never know. I like your ideas. We’ll discuss on my return. You are so right about this: “Spend time with people who choose to be excited about life and the future. It will change your life”.
I tell u why l say these things to u. I grew up being sexually abused, raped, beatten so badly with my step father belt that there where times l couldn’t go to grade school for two weeks at a time. I was so shy as a child because of the abuse that l barely spoke, l could write a fregin novel about it, l could dwell on the darkness, l could do a lot of crap but why? Here is the thing l survived every kind of abuse and betrayal and lm still here, syringe as can be and deep down inside l don’t give a dam if lm liked or loved because l like me, l love me with all my perfect imperfections and God loves me and really really likes me because l am not an ads hole even though l play one on tv sometimes! Lol And u should know the same thing is true for you. God loves you be at peace with that. Best of luck on your journey. Have Big Fun!
Sorry for the pain you had to endure, I never knew. You hit the nail on the head. The whole point, I think, is learning to get in touch with, and to love ourselves. Thanks!