Saturday, February 28, 2015

Thursday, February 26, 2015

sitting and staring

last year in madagascar i had this thought occur to me that an extraordinary amount of my time traveling involves sitting and staring.  i spend long hours staring from the windows of local transportation or long flights.  sometimes i'm stuck in a dingy hotel in the middle of a village which does not show up on a map and i take some time to myself to buy a few warm beers and hang out on the balcony just watching the world below.  i'm trying to figure things out, perhaps i'm giving recent experiences a chance to sort themselves through my mind.

i typically travel alone.  i spend a lot of time in my head and often i find it difficult to come up with words to describe the things i've been through.  sometimes i'm watching a beautiful view, sitting and staring at the endlessness of nature or the animals which were confined to zoos back back and i'm giving thanks to the universe that i've come to wash ashore in such a faraway land safely.  there are even days which come about when i don't say a single word for the entire duration of the day.  i spend the entire day in my head and it's tempting to call this loneliness.  this isn't loneliness it's alone-ness, a feeling which many people rarely get to experience.  in this sentiment i am sometimes so far off the grid that nobody in the world knows where i am.  in these days i feel like i can truly become myself, to act solely on instinct.

i'm a teacher.  throughout the work year (not really a year, more like six months) i exercise the parts of my brain in charge of intellect.  i gather information and prepare my head to educate.  my job is to teach english and in this line of work you must constantly be creative.  there is a time to practice intellect and there is a time to practice instinct.  as of today, i can see the pending dawn of instinct in my life as i'll be back into the world soon, very soon.

maybe others are better at this that i am.  i've always maintained that i've never gotten good at traveling.  perhaps i've become experienced to the point where i know how to take care of myself while being free in the world but my heart has never learned how to sift through the emotions which come over me while i travel.  i hate flying.  i hate leaving my loved ones.  it sucks.  i don't know another way around it.  i make these sacrifices and they never get easier, but i'm blessed to have people who support me.  people seem to really dig what i do and that gives me inspiration.  sometimes when i'm alone either sitting and staring out the window of a minibus or buried feet-deep in the sand on a beautiful beach i look off into the nothingness of things and see how small i am in this universe.  i see things for how they are.  i see that my world is nothing without the people who love me.  this is why i come back.  my motto has always been to 'run fool!' but i cannot go so far to say 'run away!'.  go out into the world and find yourself, you will be a much more interesting and well-rounded person who appreciates the company of those who love you.  your eyes will show your experiences well and those who have ever traveled or are curious about travel will be able to see a part of you that took you a lifetime of wandering to discover.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

serotonin

so....

i wrote an original post and read it to myself a few times.  it wasn't nice.  i wrote about depression and how bad it sucks to deal with something which people can't understand but now as i read back on it i have changed my mind.  it is something that i have to cope with and something that few people will be able to wrap their heads around save a few random people who check this blog and know where i'm coming from.  to those of you who this applies to i want it to be known that i've learned how to deal with it and i hope you do too.. we have a job to do on this earth and i wont let depression stop me from what i've come here to do.

now here we are.. waiting.. ten days or so are about to slowly pass and then i'll be off into the void exploring another beautiful corner of planet earth.  i'm older now, wiser, a few more stories to tell and i think that my words might be able to stir some interest in the hearts of travelers who are yet to begin their journeys.  so this is what it is, an open letter to people just as curious as me.


dear traveler,

when you were growing up you used to stare out of the window.  you didn't pay attention in class, in fact you felt that formal education was holding you back from the real world.  somewhere out there was a lesson to be learned and you were thirsty to experience this world first hand.  nobody understood you.  you were brought to tears when you watched documentaries showing the true colors of this planet.  you travel not to escape from the people you know but to learn more about the ways in which other people live their lives.  you take comfort in loneliness but you're not alone.  you will meet others who think like you and others who of course are as fearless as you in your wanderings.  you care not which day of the week it is or how many years you have collected under your belt.  you ask not what a person has learned yet what he/she has seen, where they have been.  you wonder what the stars look like from other corners of the globe and you believe deep in your heart that life is not supposed to be the way you were taught.  nobody understood you.  they never believed you would take that flight but you will.. you will and you you're going to see this planet from the inside out and i believe in you.  you're brave and you never accept things for the way they are.  you'll find a way to get out.  life and everything you know about it has lied to you and you choose not to be part of a system which discourages personal growth.  you are not your job or your car or your student loans or your wallet, you are a traveler and you are about to see this world from a perspective others can only dream about.  run you fool... the whole world is waiting for you.   i believe in you.

your's truly,
christopher matthew ardagna

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Monday, February 9, 2015

i look good in these pants

9th of February, 2015.  somehow this is the first time in a while i've been alone in my silence.  my life has overcomplicated itself only to return again to simplicity and it happened exactly one month before i leave on my next adventure.  i need this silence, not checking my phone nor going outside for a day.  the writer of this blog is a strange man who doesn't see the world through typical eyes.  he's seen it inside out along with the beautiful and the ugly of this planet.  he's careful not to get bitter yet he wears scars from his experiences well.  that's a bit too dramatic.  i dig him though.. we go way back..

so how does one boat-hop through the islands of indonesia?  i'm not sure yet.  in fact, i've tossed my thoughts into the sea and decided not to plan much of anything for this trip.  i'm washing ashore on a beautiful island and hitching rides on long narrow boats to the next.  i want to be near the sea and the though of life aquatic is so exciting to me that i can hardly believe i've been locked on land for so long.  should i eat some fish?  nah.. my inner hippy would frown upon it.

for many years i was very insistent on changing the mentality of the world around me.  i wanted people to break from their shells and explore the world around them.  i tried to shake people and get them to step outside of their comforts and ignore the warnings given to them by idle media sources.  i wanted everyone to see the world like i can and to appreciate their own freedoms which they never knew they had.  i stopped that.  such is the luxury of youthful idealism.  now it's only me.  i rarely tell strangers where i have been in this world and the things i have seen.  if they are interested they will find out for themselves.  furthermore, i stopped arguing with people ignorant about the world.  'don't they hate americans?' 'aren't there terrorists everywhere?' 'what are you looking for?'.  i know deep inside what i have set out to do and the source of my inspiration comes from within me and not from the agenda which my home country bestows upon us.

we are taught to be afraid, to consume and to value our country as the best of god's creation, the providence perhaps.  if you don't believe in evolution, global warming or strict heterosexuality you are not part of this system however part of the problem with america.  you shouldn't make babies with a black person if you are white because your child will have a difficult life.  if you don't accept the correct religion you will go to hell.  you need a retirement plan or you'll rot away in the streets.  if usa does not defend other countries they will fall into despair.. and so on..

so what am i looking for?  i'm looking for a source of where we went wrong as people.  i want to know when life became a matter of rules to follow of which we have no choice.  when did we start believing in sin and evil?  why do we have to be afraid of other people and why can't we just celebrate our differences instead of propagating hatred?

i have theories about this and like most other things i've learned them from people much smarter than myself.  i won't write much about these theories because, as i've said, i no longer care what other people think.  these theories are between me and the ghostwriters who speak to me through literature.  i'll give you a hint: it involves the agricultural revolution.

my blog has been dark lately.  it won't be like that for long.  soon it will be pretty beaches and volcanoes and all of those things which people care about in my writing.  it just seems to me that lately i've been around a lot of negativity.  people give me shit about all kinds of things.  originally i made a list but i've deleted it.  who cares.

you should do yoga.  practice breathing and rock a really cool pair of hippy pants.  it magically transforms you into health and consciousness and often provides us with a bit more aesthetic beauty, who doesn't like that?  can you imagine if everybody practiced consciousness everyday for at least an hour?  there is my dying idealism creaking out.  what would the world be like if we purposefully made it a practice to listen to the sound of our own breath and clear our minds of the poison we absorb from the world and rather filled our hearts with a desire to understand more about what makes us human?  maybe i'm wrong.  maybe just an ageing idealist but i do still have hope for people..

if.. we.. just... let..... go............

so there it is.  make fun of me if you want but there is love to be shared in this world.. and made..  i said 'made' because i'm tickled by this notion of the Bonobo, my favorite primate.  if you're bored you should look into their societal practices and perhaps you too will wonder what would have happened if they led the path of similar ancestor into the modern human and not the chimp.  i'm dumbing these comments down because people still think that a belief in evolution suggests the great apes somehow transformed into humans.  read a book before you know what you're arguing against.. and read about the Bonobo, they have a cool way of resolving differences with members of other clans.

so yeah.. one month later beaches and volcanoes.. woo hoo!  and head hunters.. and tribes and tattooed naked people.. more on that later.

smile at a stranger today.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

some people are so poor that all they have is money

a strange thought hit me..  take a look in your pocket right now.  i bet you have somewhere between 20 and 200 lira in your wallet (i say lira because that's all i know anymore).  you work your ass off every day and when it is time to be paid you take a sheet of paper called a 'check' and deposit the numbers written on that check into a bank where your numbers will dwell in an abstract realm until you again visit the bank and turn those number into cash.  it's a neat system how we can do this and avoid keeping our paper versions of money in a box under our beds and not fear people stealing it from us.  we do this every payday and we constantly drag ourselves to jobs that we hate and confront ourselves with bosses who we are afraid of and we always worry if our number in that abstract realm is high enough.  life hits us and we are forced to lower that number in order to pay our way out of problems and we even offer a fraction of this number to an insurance company to make sure we are safe just in case life hits us too hard and we are unable to take care of ourselves.

life hits us... just in case...  afraid...  i hate these words.  something seems fishy.  something makes me feel like we are being used and actually controlled by this fear.  how did it come to be this way in the first place?

there are times when someone else words things much better than i ever could so i'm going to loosely quote a person who i value as both hilarious and brilliant, Louis CK.

it goes something like this...

God comes back to Earth and asks, ‘What the fuck did you do? I gave this to you motherfucker are you crazy? The polar bears are brown! What did you – what did you do to the polar bears??? Did you shit all over every polar bear? What did you – Who did this? Who spilled this shit? Who spilled this? Come over – did you fucking spill this? What is that?’

the humans, 'It’s oil…it’s just some oil…I didn’t mean to spill it…’

‘Well why did you take it out of the fucking ground???’

'Cuz I wanted to go faster…I’m not fast enough…and I was cold…’

‘What the fuck do you mean cold? I gave you everything you needed you piece of shit!’

‘Well cuz jobs and nmmmm..I wanted’

‘What is a job?? What is – Explain to me, what is a fucking job?’

‘Well you go like uh and you work at a place where people call when their game doesn’t work and you help them figure it out.’ ‘What do you do that for?’ “For uh money’

‘WHAT DO YOU NEED MONEY FOR???’

‘F-f-food’

‘Just eat the shit on the floor! I left shit all over the floor! Fucking corn and wheat and shit grab it up and make some bread, what are you doing???’

‘Yeah but it doesn’t have like bacon around it…and like…I like when it has like…bacon on it and bread’



so that makes me think... what is the point of all this?  have humans just been around for too long and now we are born totally confused and existing in a system that has been lying to us for hundreds of years?  maybe.  maybe i was born at the wrong time.  maybe other people feel like i do.

i haven't learned enough.  i tried but all i have learned is that i have more questions.  i do know one thing though, when i look in the eyes of the beautiful faces and souls belonging to the people i've met in my travels i know deep inside that i am the richest person in the world.  life is sweet and shitty and complicated and we pay so much attention to meaningless and non-existent things but for the short time i'm here i'm going to find wealth beyond belief.. and maybe turn a few crowns upside-down while i'm at it.



completely unrelated but this is absolutely beautiful



Cumbia Sobre el Mar
Una vez me quedè, ahì dormido en la playa 
Y allì yo sonè, que del cielo bajaba 
Un enjambre de estrellas, y la luna plateada 
Y las olas del mar, con su luz salpicaba 
Sobre el mar divisè, divisè una cumbiamba 
Que a sonar de tambores, sobre el agua giraba 
Las parejas de estrellas, con espera llevaban 
Carrusel de colores, parecìan la cumbiamba 


I de pronto surgiò, una reina esperada 
Era Marta,la reina,que mi mente soñaba 
A sus pies vi la luna,las estrellas plasta-aguas 
I un himno de fiesta, las palmeras cantaban 

Era Marta,la reina, que mi mente soñaba 
Carrusel de colores, parecìa la cumbiamba 

Ayy amor… 


I de pronto surgiò, una reina esperada 
Era Marta, la reina, que mi mente soñaba 
A sus pies vì la luna, las estrellas plasta-aguas 
I un himno de fiesta, las palmeras cantaban 

Era Marta, la reina, que mi mente soñaba 
Carrusel de colores, parecìa la cumbiamba 
Parecian la cumbiamba