Thursday, March 5, 2009



Mine is a fragile raft
It has no force
Thin and small
On growling waters

These people, here on my raft
Are all I have

So I inspect the river for evil and
My eyes are taken to the edge of a vision

The sun - barren with heat
The white tooth of the crocodile
Rides the mocking shores
A, all this sweat
My sweat, on my arms, across my cold

As trees....I have trees
Surrounding me
The sky is alien and the air strangles
A cool breeze along my cheek

I have known the agony

This raft will divide and sink
A thousand burning memories


We have nothing to say, nothing to claim or assert, nothing to ridicule or chastise. There is not one thing in the universe that needs our attention. Everything sits well in perpetual proportion, imposing on itself an even, unchanging pattern that cannot be altered and cannot be denied.

Winter becomes spring, spring summer, summer autumn., autumn winter and so the wheel spins. Day and night negotiate for hours and each year accept the same compromise. The system, sleep and action, reigns sovereign over the earth. Too powerful, too inveterate for our feeble souls to alter.

We are born ignorant and as we grow our ignorance grows with us. At death’s door we understand at last that we achieve nothing, that all is the same either with or without human existence, that our lives at all’s end, amount to nothing.


Not working, unemployed, and yet desiring that that be so is delicately terrifying. The terror runs counter to reason. It evokes chaos.

I am not at all afraid of, a
nd in fact try to encourage in myself, the type of bold, assertive statements which shock.


ngless eagles.

we steer barren courses through dry waste. Ecstasy, brilliance and cerebral orgasms dampen the void.

cannot argue with a flower. Still blossoming decay is our excellence.


h: The evening lingers. It preys on our thoughts. It disturbs our souls and rouses this fear, this anguish. It says “I am the light” and “there is no light”. But mostly it is black, just black.

Emezelia: You tire me
with your obscure speech. It is late; I am weary and tomorrow we must work. We must earn money so that we might live.

h: You do not know how to live. I do not know how to live. But I know this, I know that we do not live, I know that at least - we have no life. You and I, my Emezelia, we are dead, as the lifeless phantoms that stalk our dreams.

zelia: You tire me with your obscure speech. It is late; I’m so weary. You do not care. We’ll wake the kids. We must work, we must work, we must toil so our brows and backs survive. Joseph...relax...sleep...the bed is soft.

Joseph: Such cruelty, ramming brains into frail lost beings.

Where are the firmities, the elements of form, the proofs of purpose?

God is found by way of
reconciliation through woman. Through love God shows us his face in the wonder of things.


What happ
ens to the mind unfilled? What happens to the bones beyond? We must embrace the burden of our reality.

I love life and I have always lov
ed life. The evidence is the air in my lungs and the blood in my veins. I shall be long since dead if I had never loved life and it had never loved me.

People are hollo
w and empty; pods with five senses.
But your face is at
war with its surroundings. Can’t you see the flowers and the clouds and the waters exulting eternally. You are invited to join them but your pride blinds you. It will butcher you and butcher you again until you let it go.


The outsider feels at best “half a person”
, at worst a corpse and a tired corpse at that, one that longs for his grave, his bed.

A girl
meets a boy and flowers of water terrorize a parched desert.

Suicide-life and light optin
g for death and darkness freely. And where are his Mministers?
nking tea and eating cakes in country vicarages. Playing croquet on sunbathed lawns.


His life is a key

A door to nothing and again nothing
It holds no
secrets and offers no argument
sustaining always nothing
No f
riends, no love, no enemies, no hate.

For there ento
mbed in that lifeless place is found
hrysalis of corpse with ageing flesh and fiery eyes.

, unloving, unreal.
A one death does not hide.
It goes o
n, he rolls on, it lolls on, there
search, with tumult
know again and feel the still black light of death.

world is stolen from him, the heart of light denied.


magine death and what it is saying. Consider your end; hold a picture of your “no longer” before your logical mind. Embrace the light.

To some “life” is an invention
bred of aggravated suffering. A speculation, a hope, an illusion, a delusion of the imagination.

Just as the
snake casts off old skin, so you will lose that shield of pretentiousness and expose the primordial reality within.

My life, our lives - steered by forces beyond life. Our direction, known from the beginning, will be revealed at the end.


examining darkness is no basis for an investigation and understanding of our dark reality. Darkness is real and darkness must speak for darkness. To drive off darkness we must first identify it so we might know what to avoid. We must listen to the testimonies of those who suffer and are especially tortured. Then we see ourselves what should be banished.


moralists are not useful and can be destructive. They presume themselves to be relatively happy and accomplished, in a position, therefore, to promulgate wildly about life and how it should be lived. Unfortunately, for the millions who model their behaviour on their recommendations (often eclipsing in the process brute common sense), such moralists only address themselves to the external, observable, so called “objective” universe. They neglect and sometimes deny the existence of the internal, veiled, heartfelt, largely subjective universe that ironically is that quarter of humanity from which the problems which call morality into service in the first place actually arise.

man brotherhood, peace, collective harmony are to be realised by pillaging and illuminating the private sufferings and private agonies of man - the tensions which originally give rise to feelings of animosity and frustration towards one’s neighbour.

Yet how is this to be
done? Is this a call for a whole new science? An entirely new emphasis in art?

Since Calvary the living Ch
rist has made us aware of the great wisdom of loving each other, and the great pleasures that accompany humility. Science and art have elevated the human mind, promoted peace over war, health over disease, order over disorder, freedom over tyranny, and secularism* over tyranny. We have redeemed our physical, societal and economic situation, though of course on all counts there are grunts of reaction.

All h
as, however, as it were, proceeded on the external, observable, “objective” level. Unfortunately, we have paid for this our advance in a concomitant neglect of the other subjective universe-the one everybody takes to bed with them at night. Consequently, we have promoted some extremely disgusting, pedantic, life denying codes of morality. Our sole adherence to the “objective” has had ramifications. These are clearly visible in today’s world. Everyone, if he or she bothers to think about it, will concede that flesh is soft and vulnerable and that we are fleshy, yet we have all worked very conscientiously (for such is our nature) to build up a world that is capable and on the point of destroying the Earth. These plans for mass suicide have grown because we have grown apart from ourselves and blinded ourselves to our true reality – that we are frail, animate, emotional creatures of an organic integrated ecosystem. This collective impoverishment has resulted from our over-insistence on the objective, empirical standard. This standard has come to be related to the Church in threetwo ways. Firstly, it has invaded Christian thought and rendered the vanguards of Christ’s truth distorters of our palpable, ever present corporeal reality. Secondly, it has produced cold, clinical, narrow- minded, self-certain definitions of the scope and nature of true love. It allows Christians to forget that Jesus clearly defined “love” in his own self-sacrifice. For such a love gives to those who ask and proves by demonstration the truth of its glory. Thirdly, it has led to an immanent insensitivity within the Church to human emotional, and physical reality, which has fuelled anger and opposition in clear thinking, intelligent minds. Unfortunately, these minds did not endeavour to reconcile Christ’s love with their objections but instead embraced the ridiculous religions of humanism and atheism.

I think it is importa
nt that we drop our pathetic, time consuming quibblings over what needs to be done with our sad world and, instead, that we look very deeply into our hearts and the hearts of others. We should engage and earnestly endeavour to understand the psyches of those who offend us. We should forgive people not just for their acts but for their thoughts, since their thoughts are our thoughts, as Jjung demonstrates through his elucidation of the collective mind.


The self yearns robustly for gratification and glory.
How it longs to be special in worldly eyes-
To live beyond death in the memory of a flock
To be pillaged, plundered and invaded by lifeless academics.

I lust for grand, turgid notions of "Me" to swarm and infest.
I long to flourish in an unreal, self-created land of fantastical dreams...
Being dead through life, avoiding every dawn, to condemn and approve only in abstraction, a
Nothing, a heavy mist, a nuisance, an idiot and a fool.


To be dead and alive at once
To span the divide and render it a summer cloud
Meaning little, saying less
But pointing to ineffable glory.


Feb 26 – On the point of going to South America

The reality of my commitment to the three months ahead of me has focussed itself sharply in my mind. I am clutching onto a nation, a civilisation, a routine, a structure of life and thought that is all soon to pass away. I am on the verge of re-birth into new surroundings, new experiences, into a whole new landscape with different fears, different joys, different sufferings. My eyes will open. Onto what they will open is yet to be discovered. My great regret is my mental unpreparedness. I have not taken enough time to ponder what exactly I’m letting myself in for. I should have reflected earlier on the significance of events hanging over me. Too much is unreal, unbelievable, illusory. Things are really happening this time, really, really happening, but I cannot form a thought as massive and real as the truth before me.

Feb 27

I shall look back on this in twenty years and laugh – ah, the explosions of frustrated youth.

(See end of this entry for more South American writings)


Elijah in DJ

Thank you, Thank you
Might I, tonight, be so bold as to disturb this quiet, this peace, this equilibrium
That controls and sustains the safety of experience,
That puts me here and you there and drives off the void.
Might I entreat of you uncomfort and dread, might I remind you
Of the things you'd rather forget-
Of our horror, the restless inexplicable pains we hide
And can I and should I
Thrust hot irons into this evening air
And rub dry salt into our wounds
And will I unsettle and torment and disturb, turning all our eyes to coal
And our hearts to the dust. I think I must.
For we, my souls, my colleagues, that you are to me and I to you,
We are not alive to the light, for we decide in fear never to see.
Never let me know again the vigour of the light,
For the cloud is safe and it is mine and I am its,
Tonight on all nights perpetually dark.

All around me I see death, a hollow insubstantial travesty of life
Veins, bones, blood artificially electrified, displaying foul splendour
And I the criminal for not blazing in defiant outrage before this curse.


So, we have an opportunity to redeem ourselves.
This is hope.

The lavish radiant peace I was as a child
The luminous jewel I called myself.
I can recall the substance in flashes, in baffling paroxysms of memory,
Seizing by the bannnister, amidst the rose bushes,
On the grit path down to the lake.


Life, the idea, the creation and the essence, the form, the cohesive substance
Struggles, abandoned and derelict beneath
Man's pathetic statutes to his own synthetic brilliance.


Ethereal denizens
We have raped the light
Endless joy of the spheres
Astral creation
An ecstasy, males and females.
Is that your mother crying in the corner?

Our life is never here, never quite here at all.
An emptiness in a something undiscovered, or at least forgotten.
And so little time, such little time.
The various agonies of mortal incarnation just short of the light.
Have you ever really cried?

Regard our standing, know what we have become.
Yet I have never conceived a child
So cannot know, never know the substance of experience
Or the object of knowledge.

Silence. Revere.
Rejoice at the scattering of the sun at dusk
The explosion of the sun at dawn.


The most omnipresent feature is an invidious fog.
People are only half real.
The spellbinding resplendence of the eye seems drugged to sleep.
A vacuum, a veil stands between common experience and potency.


In joy, the lust for consummation
In langour, the concern for steadiness and control
In frustration, the insatiable, robustrious drive for life
In disappointment, the importunance of hope.

Come and remember the warm gentle rays of summer morning distress
Prodding, obtruding, rattling
The enervate brain collapsing.


I cannot speak, my thoughts are thin and lean,
My head is numb as lead,
My feet flat on dead sand
Shoulders taut in wracked agony
A collapsing hollow in my skull.
Is this my birthright?
For this , this sterile dull amazement,
Are we born for this?
Or for gentle introductions to memory
Intimations of a strangled glory
A bleeding splendour, a crucified kingdom?.a


The alien sky above is burning
We whittle the universe down to the size of our thoughts.

The imposing, uninvited suggestiveness of dawn.

These: lighted dreams that fade.


Stumbling over, groping at fierce memories,
A windfall of private lands held in peculiar conception
The awkward recollection of faces and bodies in discussion.
Observe this, my personal labyrinth
But do not enter.
My private place within is impossible paralysis.
Life glancing horrified across
A pregnant incommunicable phantasm.

Memory is disassociated coherence- compact, vivid, terrifying.


Born to be dead in life and die never having lived.

Dream the contiguous emollience of a woman.

Feel, this collapsing hollow in my skull
Suddenly buoyed, resoldered, infused with strength.


The mysteries of life are often solved by men and women who are too old and tired to build upon what they learn, too alien and remote to impress their knowledge upon the vigorous young.


Life is only slightly real, only partly whole.
Much is hidden, dark, unheard.
This enormous, hideous, painfully tragic fact is one
We must die with and die with alone.
As the crippled splinters of the something we come from.

Dreams held as real, dreams that know only the reeling, teeminmg luminous whirlwind.

Not being into being-before thought, knowledge, language, certainty.


The eyes swarm through the stars and I know only a raging elation all about me.

I am paralysed and stunned, stultified energy, flitting, pondering
The sour emptiness that is me.
This didn't have to happen- this sensory barrage
This entity formed alone and unguided.


He was drawn to people with large conceptions of life, with thorough raw perplexities, people, artists who knew the problem of life-that it is one seemingly illogical compound of contradictory and incongrous


Life is neither fair and square nor is it easy. It throws individuals into states that come from nowhere; it as frequently invests a soul with inexplicable joy as it does with alien shades of dread. Life then might arbitrarilly, illogically, absurdly (as if it had a mind of its own) reverse these sensations ruthlessly, baffling and stupefying the subject so thoroughly that all that can be thought is how anything could be so cruel as to throw life together into such a frustratingly inconsummable arena.

Each time I truss my mind with these wires the soul cries within.


The world surrounds us, engulfs us, ensnares us yet persists in eluding us. Only once its contents and multifarious permutations find pristine reflection in language, may we feel conjugal with the world. Only once experience is viewed and conceived through the window of language can its true marvels be plumbed and graciously acknowledged.

When we communicate we express ourselves and understand each other in this way: one person conceives a notion, he packeges it in words and sentences, passes it over to another by speech or through the written word. This person, in turn, unpacks the notion from these words and sentences. Inevitably the possibilities for distortion and misapprehension are mammouth.

Even now I am building golden memories. This moment is claimed by the enshrining habit of my future.

Ill- prepared to receive the full, immense truth, reduced, we absorb in instalments and episodes.


Through the love of our egos we condemn life to prolonged corruption.
A billion universes clogging, cursing, deranging
The one whole universe to which we are all innate.

Having approached too near the heart of glory
We recoil, tremulous, flushed, relieved
Mildly agitated that we allowed ourselves such a near encounter
And once again content ourselves with our own very small, very dark worlds.

Why do some minds admit prodigy, let it swarm the mind,
Whilst others remain numb to its presence?


Forces in the self rage and rise, imbruing desire and will.
It is these energies that the self must deaden, and deaden by following.
The ultimate effect on the individual is the creation of an unacknowledged condition of inertia and emptiness. This he terms happiness.
In reality: vacuity, a stilling, an ending of activity.

Here he stands- chasing vacuums so that he, the tired languid soul, might be spared the pains of true life.


The capacity of the past's vivid permutations to petrify the mind and desensitize it to the present.

The horror that engulfs the soul when the immensity and ineluctable complexities of existence suddenly dawn.

To collapse, atrophied, for the love of a grain of dust or a twist of light.


All is linked to fear
The fear of life, its risks, of guilt, ridicule, humiliation.
But mostly the fear of a certain type of personal trauma, that of stumbling on the bewilderment and disorder in the world and of having to reconcile this, adapt it to and engage it with the personalized time-honoured ego stance.


Habitually, the ego strips the universe of its glory, reduces it to a manageable size, adorns it with congenial permutations (whilst decrying the residue) and controls it through a stubborn imposition of rules, standards and expectations. The ego becomes definer and master of the universe, supreme judge, leader and power.

Everyone decrees that they know and can run their life and its circuit
Such an assurance, for many, is the only thing that can stave off the abyss.

Here, our realm
Where the edges meet.


On that day in may
You deranged my sombre face
Upturned the cemetery ruin of the past
Infused fresh dreams, arms stretched to wealthy peace
And you never knew that I was your first born
Your child, frenzied blind lover,
Once again in blue
My eyes bleed thirsty for you.

The sand is dry and the sun is wild
I never prayed and asked God to make me a child.



That music moves us. Why does it do this- to where?

That children are in contact with such potent, arresting appearances of bliss?

That the natural world is exquisite, simple and compelling, while humanity is unnerving, ugly and complicated.

That we strive to understand by reducing, by cutting phenonema down into their rudiments for dispassionate analysis.

That we find it a great strain to look one another in the eyes.

That when we experience uplifting art we are distanced from our selves, that they are coshed into retreat by the compelling truth that engulfs our souls and apportions our consciousnesses. That this makes us blissful, that we desperately struggle against this marvel and feverishly clutch onto those sprawled trappings of the self which persist in defiance of joy.

That people are aware of the presence of prodigy within them yet never express it.


Youth- the irrefutable unripeness and inescapable exclusion.

It is startling but a vast wealth of notions, concepts and cognitive permutations do not belong to the true reality of our world but only to that universe housing the self and its rampagings


And all other intricacies of the stance that judges and sustains the delusion of ubiquitous separation.


We love going to the movies, yet life itself is such a presentation- one which costs us nothing, lasts indefinitely and always casts us in the leading role. Yet we still love going to the movies- to forget, to escape, to evade. Observe your own film streaming out of your eyes, the film you influence and manage- is it a good film?

The grand delusion is that one has no power, that an attempt to assume powers is a pretension. This is pure folly at its most crippling.


"I thank you for this fresh direction, this new perspective.
I pray that the feelings of well-being and purpose,
The awareness of the higher love,
And the courage to accept the responsibility for life,
I pray that each persist beyond the Okavango.
I pray that on all counts my strength does not weaken
Or fall prey to the importunate deceptiveness of my self..
May this joy last and buoy me forever,
And with this purified constitution may I live my life
In perpetual service to the divine peace."

" Let humanity turn from its resistance.
Let it recognise real life and by its presence
Unfurl the joys of living and the infinite intricacies of rapture.
Might the primal intended state of bliss engulf us."

The only truth is joy, the only peace is joy, the only point to life is to magnify that joy.


Light, levitation, crimson irresistible lips.

The bliss is transient because I choose it to be. I decide upon its elimination because my ego is frightened of the mammouth derangement it is undergoing.


Only when a man has looked squarely into the soul of darkness can he know anything. And all he can then know is the light. With this knowledge of darkness and of light he cannot listen to folly without becoming immediately subject to feelings of revulsion and disgust. A crippling, a freezing of hope, the struggle for joy

The bright, still and sterile heat.

My eyes attain vision. (move to earlier)


Waking alone in a tender bed of synthetic flowers
Amazed caresses across my flesh
Exploring creations delicacies
Alarmed with primordial surprise.


I know for I have kissed the hidden suppressed splendour of your smile
So do not drop that vile mask of emptiness across your angel face.

So much and nothing
Strange intuitions of Ruddy florid bliss.


Being frightened of one's circumstances mortifies and paralyses
He struggled within the framework of an imposed fate
He struggled to assimilate his ideals into the brute fact that he was a student again
The parameters, the permutations of his experience were now very different
They reminded him of a suffering he thought he'd escaped
They militated against the peace and security which was once so paramount.


It is one thing to passively consider: "life is passing me by", quite another to advance from esteeming the issue with nonchalance to grasping it with passionate despair. The transition induces stark, urgent, astringent feelings of insuffferable horror. One reviews and scans and looks upon the fact of the past with an eerie, clinical disdain that is absolutely unfamiliar. The shocking understanding that life is real and fierce and moving on, that it possesses an impersonal, unsympathetic drive of its own which will, without pity or regret, abandon one to floundering inertia. This realisation is accompanied and punctuated by feelings of nausea, humour and tragedy.


The evening is soft upon the pillow tonight
Empowered, bright aspirations
Light the sensitive waves that swell the tender frail escape.

Absorb me wholly, make me oblivious
Exterminate this rancid fear,
Execute a deluge of loving rapture
For I love you
My life, here, in a world bred sterile
Found hollow, lived in a duty perverse.


What rigour, what energy, what sacrifice must I endure
To become the lily in the field I long to be?


The suspicion that existence is ineluctable and uncanny
That a coherent appraisal and understanding of my identity does not exist
That little or nothing is reducible and quantifiable
That the intrinsic natural state (from which we sense ourselves freed at rare moments)
is, in truth, an inexpressibly, thoroughly unknowable occurence.


The close, hugging awareness of a distant world
Like and unlike the one we know
Where radiant eyes converse and explode
And delicate emollient arms are swaying..
Where love is infinite and inexpressible, timeless,
Incredulous of proud reason's blunt and vacant teeth.
Unwilling even to register the vain gnawing of its lies.


Nov 11th 1990

It seemed a bit foolish to discontinue diary writing after such thorough efforts abroad so here I am tightening knots again. University is enjoyable, engaging, mysterious, belittling, intoxicating and depressing. I am convinced of the existence of the soul. My experience ion the Okavango was so searing I’d be a fool to refute its significance. Studying philosophy, however, my thoughts have been jilted and exposed to challenge and threat. I’ve come to see how disparate people’s minds actually are, that the universe really is private to oneself and that all we can be absolutely sure of is the presence of “exposure”. My gap year is invading me less and less now but I long for a letter from Cheryl.

Since I arrived in Durham I’ve kept myself from relationships or other engagements. Rebecca wrote me a letter in early October. I’m still besotted with her and after meeting in Manchester wrote and expressed (rather weakly I think) my affections. She hasn’t written back. My best female friend is “Jessica”. I’ve met Alexandra five or six times, popped in on Emma in Newcastle, spent a few days fancying Rosalind and, am trying to pluck up the courage to send poetry to Samantha in Collingwood. Last week I “Got off” with Clare. She fancies me but I don’t her. Very nice girl nonetheless.

I’m really trying to train myself to live in the present, in the NOW!!

I think that “Action and more action” is a code that should guide me at university

(continued at the end of this post)


When the ink stops flowing the notion left installed
Is that life, the collective exposure
Is perfectly malleable and lithe.
The still point about which exposure swirls is the inflouursescecence of my thinking
The only thing I know, on the sole account of which my exposure is attacked by something and not by nothing.
That I can call the universe any name I choose
This is my freedom, my power.
The occurring wealth of phenomnenma that attacks my senses
Instills awareness and fuels thought
I am convinced that things are happening before and about me.
Nothing is unfamiliar or novel-tables, colours, voices, shadows, ink
Everything I see I own.
I Know what befalls this occurrence
How it rises, falls, brightens, pales, quickens, slows, alarms
Soothes, panics and is settled.
I know my material ambit-clothes, soap, coffee, food, hills, people, sunshine.
Yes, it is mine.
I am able to feel acquainted with the occurrence
Since life, its stage, is all about me.
Life is what my being perceives.
If thought is the subject of the occurrence
Life is the object( I am nowhere to be found and yet everywhere.)

A cool hollow pain in my skull is imperceptible to those who could save me.


To see infinity in the finite
Oceans in your tears
Fire in your arms
Flowers in your hair
Rivers in the air
Rip your eyes from your skull and hurl them at the stars

A desparate passion in the name of truth, Jesus Christ
To be and do un-according to habit
The attuned Christian-who would blast apart a million billion follies with one flash of the eye.


Distance me from brutal perception- sensations that drive me to the void.

Public thoughts in private minds, we know what you are thinking.


I am aware of nothing but the treading of heels and the
Banal clanging of an old iron gate.
Nothing is killing me
Nothing is hounding me
These bones are not mine

Fear, battering, encroaching, loud and unruly
Ferocious frustration in a vacuum.

Lament, lament the unknown kingdom
Blessed is he who gives freedom luxuriant, unqualified ebullience.

Foreign emotions I have not known
Retreat, retreat behind the fortified walls, retreat
For a mighty storm is thrashing wildly towards us
A devouring maelstrom is coming.


South of American Diary (well, until early April, continued)

February 27th (continued)

I have been very foolish. It is only in a position of wealth and complacency that my life becomes unreal. My last two months in Cambridge, emotionally, mentally, financially – have been unreal. I have acted the greedy fool: vain, aloof, self-righteous in the extreme – in the last analysis, immature and naive. This “rock star” existence might well cost me dearly when I return in June – to modest bank balances and the sobering awareness that my Trust is finite.

I want to shut the door on my self-obsessed romantic past. I want to grow up.

What we need in this life are principles.

Feb 28

James saw right through me and insulted my so called “intensity”. I remember drinking rather a lot and not paying for any of it. Then I discussed global death with a nice Canadian 53 year old. She smiles and laughs too much – particularly when discussing serious issues.

March 1

When I write diaries I’m often cynical, but when I sit and think “Give me my diary” the thoughts in my head embrace life and worship its manifestations.

March 2

We shall be arriving in Peru during elections. I am hearing stories of an armed Shining Path attack on an Encounter OverlandO vehicle last autumn. Looking into a barrel of a gGun is one sure way to energise and make real a person’s appreciation of life – is sure to leave one gasping for a return, a return to this medium we call life, but if doing this is going to leave one dead, I wonder, was it worth the bother?

March 3

Head off south down the coast towards San Sebastian. I was freaked out over the beauty of “Meat is Murder” by The Smiths – luckily I had a window seat, which clarified and gave wider scope to the romantic strivings of the imagination.

Felt young and free swimming in the beautiful sea. I am finding it easier to relax but today I was put slightly ill at ease by the things I read in 1984. The world depicted is so evil and endlessly hopeless, so different to the society of this truck and my world back home, but it is conceivable nonetheless. In our world there is suffering of all shapes and sizes, affecting different people in different ways but behind it, as a compromise and an escape, there lies the possibility of thought, of personal rebellion. Not in Oceania. This is the land of despair, the most outrageous of wastelands wherein the virtues of “simplicity, goodness and truth” are consciously strangled in the hope of their ultimate elimination. Power is truth, the few over the many. Everything that aspires to beauty and joy, to celebration and ecstasy, physical or cerebral, is annihilated. The forces of darkness mirror and magnify endlessly. To accept orthodoxy is death, to rebel against it suffering and despair in death, to promote it, fury and animal lust in death. Death, heavy death, death forever, in the mind, in dreams, in the skin, in the bones beneath the dead skin, everywhere. Freedom is abstinence from sex – freedom is extinction. Anyway, back to the real world.

March 5th

We stopped at a National Park for lunch. The rock formations were gorgeous, all of irregular, thrusting shapes and sizes, the landscape a distant planet…prehistoric. Reciting “The Wasteland” on the edge of a cliff, arms raised, scanning the panorama of a green, undulating valley under blue sky blew my mind. The union of man and woman permits the mergence and harmonious clashing of humanity, holds a unity, a primordial wholeness, that evades the lives of men alone, women alone. WE are the dead. Long drive in the afternoon. Maturity is understanding, maturity is acceptance, maturity is joy, maturity is humility.

Simplicity in humanity is beautiful. Obscurity, complexity and intensity are irritants begetting ugliness, neurosis and fear. As usual I cannot say the things I would like to say. In their stead, false tracks are laid to feelings of emptiness and restlessness. Every night the universe crumbles. The morning is the wreckage, the after birth. Self-giving, sympathy, control. Peace, insanity, love.

March 6th

Today I am a cook, with Anne and Suzanna as helpers. I am not of great service, dithering, indifferent, indolent and shy – I ride on the backs of my companions’ enthusiasm. Everything happens without any feeling of encounter or engagement. Things are happening around me but only a part of me is plugged into the situation. The rest is somewhere else, lost, in the past, in my ego, in the imaginary landscapes built up in my mind.

Get drunk and mildly chauvinistic towards Suzanne, Anne and Jane. I seem to gauge some kind of strange, innocent dignity from this particular mask. Something in my head tells me that I am the manipulator, that contrary to the strain of the world I am succeeding in justifying the ways of man to women. How ridiculous is my vain folly!! Suzanne thinks I’m a “dark horse”. I don’t know what a “dark horse” is but I suppose its warm, patronising offence of some sort. Very drunk. Radar has a conviction that we are not all going to get shot in Peru. I am a little over obsessed with the idea of death. I seem to have lost swimming trunks.

March 7th

Had an interesting chat with a pissed Australian woman about the future of adolescents (as regards direction) and the problem of adult patronisation. The dulling of youth audacity and blood and the acceptance of life for what it is at its various stages, both coming with maturity, was also discussed.

March 10th

After receiving no mail from the Post office in town James informs me with friendly exasperation “What do you want letters for? All you need to do is talk to people.” He then accused me of being anti-social, which I found difficult to deny. Then, as we approached camp, I reflected on the fact that excepting social formalities and group orders or requests, I was basically being ignored. On remembering what Francis once said about the energy people can give someone simply by talking to them and recognising their existence, I felt pangs of nausea intensified by the happy memories of Outward Bound.

My bed is uncomfortable on account of sagging canvas and defective legs.

March 11th

A free day in Asuncion means a full day in the bar. A very lazy day, but welcome since it allows me some time to myself to think etc. Restaurant meal in the evening. Interesting discussion with David (the tent mate I never talk to!) about the merits and demerits of science & philosophy. I appear insecure in my decision to study my degree. Cheryl is an interesting lady. I thrust the Smiths at her and she thought they were “quite good”. Over dinner we discussed why it iswas that young men get pissed all the time. Youth Idealism was introduced by Andreas. On Radar’s last trip, a Brit called David left the truck from Quito at Santiago. He verbally abused the women, made no attempt to fit in and in every general way alienated himself from the group. The situation continued to deteriorate. By Santiago, he was throwing his possessions around the truck. The last straw came when he ripped the speakers away from the stereo and threw them out of the window. Though Radar conceded that it was his legal duty to take him to Rio, he made it plain that he didn’t want to and that he wanted him out. This guy David sounds interesting. I should have liked to have met him. The anger, the outrage, the anguish in his soul – where did it come from, what does it mean?

March 15th

Second binge of the day in the evening in downtown Germanic style steak house. Somehow I get talking to Anne about religion and get mega intense about the fuck ups and uselessness of humanity. Anne bores of the scene and retires. With prompting I walk her home. James and Jamie are not in the hotel room. I go to sleep with the light on, expecting to be woken shortly. Two hours later I am disturbed by the phone. A moment later there is a firm knocking at the door. I open the door to Jamie, who strides in with Etonian air pervading. The pair had gone to the tango. James is jubilant because he got friendly with a Brazilian and has arranged to meet her the following day. He looks forward to a bit of steamy sex.

March 16th

James is up early. He showers and borrows Jamie’s best trousers. He has arranged to meet “the girl” (who is apparently very good looking) at ten o’clock by the pyramidal needle. Jamie and I go with him, promising to keep our distance. On the way we have a coffee at a very tarty cafĂ©, meet some Brits and buy a red rose. By 10.30, the girl has not materialised. Chuckling to myself quietly I leave James to compose an innocent explanation. The truth of the situation was, however, that James had gone to the wrong pyramid and might even have mis-timed his appearance by twelve hours. I wander back alone, getting ridiculously lost on the way.

Evening meal in the airport restaurant. Hollow out a bit and am forced to discipline and suppress the temptation to spout venomous, cynical vibes of intensity. Crash out at hotel, once again without the two James. Two to three hours later my eyes open to the sight of James clambering (laughing/shouting as he does) through the small flap above the door. He jumps down, lets Jamie in and they both run over to me and start laying in (HA). . For the last 15 minutes the phone had been ringing and they had been banging mercilessly on the door, hollering breathless to no avail. When I’d appreciated what I’d done, I was seized by hysterical laughter (which was not tactful). I went to bed feeling sorry and a bit fucked up.

March 21st

Tonight wine, G & T and beer mixed up with bravado and a dose of elan make for one fucked up teenager. Dancing in the cook tent is a highlight of the evening. Monica is shocked. After I’d retired and whilst Radar was rolling around in the fire, this Swiss girl confronted Jane: “God, John drinks so much alcohol and he’s only eighteen.” To this Jane replied, “he drinks so much because he’s eighteen.”

March 22nd

Today takes us to the coastal resort of Villa Del Mar. We walk along the beach, and have lunch, before heading off to the centre. The fact that we’d actually now crossed the continent seemed to impress nobody, myself included. I walk along the sand with a stick and carve numbers and messages in the sand: my initials, my age and year of birth, age of father, prophesied age of death (131). Very simple and innocent, and very nice since Sue and Myoko appear intrigued.
March 24th

In the evening Susanna, Anne, Anna, James, Jamie and myself have a Chinese meal in a cheap, but very good restaurant. The rest go to an expensive Italian. As is boringly predictable, we, after the conviviality and excesses of last night, had chosen to contrast with, as Anna might put it, a “nice, quiet, civilised meal.” This we had -, a resoundingd non-event, stifled by the lust for the affected conformism of well balanced etiquette and the equally potent preference for inertia, for the unchallenging, the undemanding, for the cosmically irrelevant. All this, and how long have we got? – 70 years we are told. Nobody obsessed with the urgency of life can prevent feelings of horror and despair from boiling inside. Yet what did I have to offer, what could I say or do? Nothing. The reaction tonight, as had been many a time in the past, was defiance, passionate defiance. Especially, I refused to eat with chopsticks. A knife and fork seemed to be superior to chopsticks (in fact they bloody well are). Still, it was the principle. Food good.

March 25

Lie in a park listening to the “Queen is dead” and reading Dostoevsky (Dostoevsky gets on Sue’s nerves). “Letters from the Underworld” is excellent and original). Perverse suffering. So much of it, so dementing, so dangerous. I buy a cheap steel Inca necklace (2/3 dollar) because it is something to do. Tonight sees a return to the same Chinese restaurant. Again, the food is good. I am overwhelmed by the peace that perceives everything in a beautiful, brilliant light. And the feeling of substance – the form and foundation, the intuition of coherence and meaning. Words, movement, even thought is extraneous. Joy – simple, innocent, perfect, and nobody to share it with. All we can do is talk gently and quietly to each other, and think, always think before speech. Words in this world are all we have. Be diligent, be prudent.

March 26th

Truck suffers from food poisoning. David is ill so I put up the tent solo before cooking, which he appreciates. Walk onto beach and look at stars with Cheryl and Sue. Not romantic or memorable, but the stars are magnificent.

March 27th

Read Krelza. Taste and harmony as the basis of all morality. On into Atacama desert. Dry, hot, dusty, in fact everything you might expect of a desert. Camp off the road. Irritated when “The Beautiful South” is shouted down. I was cook, after all, and didn’t attempt to aggravate their ears with The Smiths.

March 28th

Long drive through the desert to an exceptionally attractive campsite – spurs, rolling undulations and marvellous evening and morning skies.

April 1st

Feel queasy and dry in the mouth and brain. We all walk through the Valley of the Moon and are picked up at the other end. I can appreciate how hard it must be to survive for days on one’s own in desert conditions. Firstly, there are the weather conditions – bright, dry, still and sterile heat. Then the endless, unchanging expanses of sand and rock does little for the morale, instilling symptoms of mental neurosis and fatigue. Who you are and where you are and what you are doing and what for are certainties put in question by the enormity and alien features of the surroundings. The corrosion and weakening of one’s hold on reality and reason is intensified by the cold, brute fact of solitude. With no companion or friend with which to share these negative feelings, the real possibility arises that the basic and essential principles of life – that life holds hope and future, that it is a noble and admirable and virtuous a thing to be strong and defiant in the face of adversity, and that thought and memory and action and desire are significant and somehow and to someone important, and moreover and especially that we are duty bound always to strive towards the good and put an absolute and unfaltering trust in the order and inevitable progress of things – in short, that this and that will be alright, will hold fast, will find a foothold, devise itself a meaning and context and rise above, defusing and casting out as it does, all the miasma’s, the chaos and storms of human experience; all these principles could, in the desert, so easily crumble away and lose all fecundity, all vividness and substance. The meaninglessness, the void rises and subsumes and nothing is left to the individual but collapse. Strength and force of character is not an issue. Everyone has their “Marabar”.

April 2nd

Head off to the Chicuquamata copper mine – the largest open cast copper mine of its type in the world. Just a very big, sand coloured hole with layers cut into the side to enable the enormous Sstar Wwars looking trucks to descend and ascend.. best bit is when we clamber over and climb into some enormous tyres.

On the way down from the mine I tell James that I “excel in adversity.” I should have sobered it down to “I perform best in adversity.” Anyway he doubted this (and he has so much to go on, too!) and he proceeds to talk about himself, his strengths and ambitions, and of how with correct and thorough mind application anything can be achieved – one can even become an Encounter Overland driver! And all the while, the tone of his voice indicated that he presumed I thought differently, and that he thought he was doing me a favour. Oh well, who cares. James is a good bloke at heart. God knows he and Jamie have enough to whine on at me about, though. He’s intelligent, young, blind (like me) and likes to lose himself in verbal activity and laughter. On this last point I’m envious but he does intrude and annoy the peace and silence sometimes. Jamie’s the same, but I think he has greater mental agility and has an alarmingly perceptive and discerning mind.

April 5th

Heading off to the high altitude mining town of Potosi (4,000m). Noticeable feature is when we walk through canyon at lunchtime and it rains. Roads are primitive and dusty in Bolivia and the people peculiar, colourful, Indian and small. Camp at hot Springs. We are immediately swamped by Bolivian school girls who make this trip to the springs twice a year and on this occasion, unlike any before, had something more bizarre to report than the luxurious (and green) heat of the water. Autographs given out by James, David, Albert, Myoko and myself. Girls are particularly taken by Myoko and Anne. Some fruit and vegetables are stolen, but otherwise nothing suffered. Midnight swim. Albert thinks I am Cheryl’s “boyfriend.”

April 6th

Share a room with Albert in the Hostel Carlos. Feel thoroughly pissed off and empty- nervous and paranoid. Meal with Albert at restaurant across from street. Talk very little, but his silence puts me at ease

The afternoon trip to one of the many co-operative mines on the Cerro Rico hill is quite brilliant, by far and away the highlight of the trip to date. All the petty and trivial sophistications that are common to human interaction and integration whenever life is comfortable, easy and predictable fell away when we began crawling through these dark, choking, hellish corridors and came face to face with the small, crippled human animals that scrape their existence from the solid asbestos ridden rock with foot long picks and iron limbs. They pray to the devil for minerals and luck and live and work all day off the oblivion of the Coco leaf. My life and the lives of every one with whom I associate has absolutely nothing to do, and nothing to share, with the experiences of these men. Working three hundred days a year, earning sometimes as little as $45 a fortnight, with a pittance for job security and a pension scheme directly related to the amount of silicosis in the lungs of retired miners. Few live over 45 years and most begin work illegally in their teens.
Most significantly, to the living, suffering, consciousnesses of these miners, all the subjective drivellings and inflated laments at one’s emotional and sexual privations that are a feature of western life, must seems as nothing but a rude insult, an outrageous kick in the teeth to these men who strive only each day to come closer to our paradise. Our sufferings and our lives, our encounters and immersions are dilute and fickle compared to this. So ungrateful – so devoid of joy and celebration, insight, rapture and fulfilment. Nobody can expect these men to understand why the rich complain and remain invariably unhappy.. I love these bulldozers, who have not yet lost touch with the earth and with nature and hang on to the correct and righteous function of man – to act as an intermediary between the soil and the rock, the fibre of the earth and the magnificent creations and monuments that arise from it, standing firm and strong in testimony to human dignity.
Regardless of their nobility and strength, it is not a condition I envy for I am not accustomed to it – the very real tragedy and pain and physical wretchedness they endure would be insufferable to a tender, unbattered piece of meat like myself. They also have no conception of a life without toil and cannot hope to appreciate the huge variety of experience and activity that is available to us on earth. They are not inferior; unlucky, devoid of opportunity, loveable but enslaved; virtuous but unable to project their power and worth outside and away from themselves – to be wholly human. Give them money and cars and “conversation” and health and education and longevity and they will become (sterile) just like us. No synthesis possible. Pity really. For the individual maybe. Krezla is a genius; his mind is full of high explosives and power.

Durham diary (continued)

November 16th

My mind is foggy. I think I’m gradually becoming a Christian. I’m aware of the acquiescence that is gradually pervading my character. It was weird to listen to Steve Wright- as though I’d ruptured or been punctured. I have an urge to explode. Never has my life been so multifaceted, curious, bewitching, ineffable. Yet I’m caught up and involved. Alexa insinuated that I should forget about Cheryl – perhaps I should. Keats – oh for a life of sensation and not of thought.

People see me, my face is very calm, but they infer that I’m depressed.

I’m thinking that my leather jacket is a symbol of, a projection of guilt, fear, anger – that it comforts my despairing aspect.

What is needed is a stimulus, a raw, very forceful, pulse to galvanise the audience. A Strident blast. What I’m after is a presentation of impossible suffering on the one level, on the other a depiction of otherworldly, yet intuitively inferable, associations between things and the realm of joy. The failure to live, the unlived life, the ineffable fog, joy, jubilance – habitual themes.

18th November

Work is not as cool as it might be, though it is not “bothering” me. The Course in Miracles. “The Sspecial ones” are all asleep

I am living in the past less than I used to. Nightly conversations persist with Oliver.

Borrowed “The Tragic sense of Life” by Unanumo. From the central library. Am I meditating on life when I could be living it?

The house move psychologically disturbed me.

19th November

Alex Linklater accused me of living in Platonic otherworlds.

I’m still lusting after life and terrified of dying but fairly serene, nonetheless.

20th November

Tim is an exceptional person. In behaviour he is rambunctious, assured, brazen, invariably obnoxious. Once known, however, he is caring, helpful and positive. His outlook on life is cogent and disarming. Egocentric-; me and the world, get on, climb the ladder, make something of your life. He doesn’t respect me. He thinks I will waste my life and needs a kick up the arse. He urged me to state what I’ll leave behind at the end of my life. Tim is convinced he will build a business empire, that his name will be immortal. He genuinely believes women are inferior and enjoys “frightening” me. The galvanisation that runs throughout Tim’s words is good. I am stirring, I think, from slumber. I only wish he’d respect me. Perhaps he does, he must, or does he use me – YES!! Will I become a Nietzschean brute and ascend to worldly peaks. There is a side to my nature that wills this. He said I’d die leaving behind a trail of smiling faces and nothing more. I will be faced as an old man with the realisation that life had passed me by. I perceive alike already. Thank you Tim – what you say “moves”, it is creative, energetic. You were rude, however.

Energy, energy, damn you Tim, damn you and your blasted mind. He instils in me the belief that I must prove myself to be like him, that I must mirror his stance. But yes, life is passing me by. It bloody well is. Present, now, now, do it now, now, now.

22nd November

Thatcher resigns. I estimate 400 million times the number of times “Thatcher” has been said in Britain today. Pissed and tired. Life is an event in which we are involved. The mystery will at some time be unravelled.

I love you and your whole body and everyone you touch, physically, mentally, spiritually, emotionally. Alexandra has split up with Nick.

If I’m learning a lesson it is to glory and revel in the present moment, for such is all that truly exists. The power and capacity for projection is a powerful one. An idea for a play is growing. It will depict the polarity between one man who hates life and a woman who loves it. I’m considering devoting my life to spiritual research and ecological protection.

True, pristine, unsullied consciousness is the occasion when the mind believes “I AM” without an object. The ego is unfathomably destructive. When it is a presence in the mind, creation is warped, bludgeoned and corrupted, shrunk down to fit a mould invented for it out of fear. When it is dissolved away creation dances as a union and in the minutest components of infinity and eternity isare embraced.

I actually feel entirely alive. I haven’t felt like this for a long, long time.

29th November

I suspect, perhaps, that Jessica fancies me but I don’t know.
I am conceiving the idea of a play of short acts that externalise and embody in characterisation on stage the components of the self – ego, soul, spirit, truth.