Realisation

Think about it. We read fiction to escape a mundane reality that in reality, is not that mundane.

Imagine seeing this sunset for the first time with no prior knowledge of the sun at all, seemingly sandwiched between these two trees. How far away would you estimate it to be? Is it right there between the trees? Is it directly above the small boat below? How would you possibly know without trying impossibly to reach it without ever getting there?

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To know that it is in fact 93 million miles away is incredible. It is no longer a mystery and this makes it even more amazing. The fact that despite this vast distance, the sun still manages to dwarf the small boat that is close enough for me to swim to deserves so much recognition. I guess because it is all we have ever know we so rarely take a moment to watch it disappear behind the ocean.

We don’t need to hide from reality to enjoy life, some things in life are much more mind blowing and magical the more we get to know about them. I am sure there are plenty more unimaginable facts out there waiting for us once we put our books down to a much more exciting reality.

There must be a reason why we are so obsessed with reality and chat shows, soap operas and talk show DNA tests. To be so entertained by watching people live normal lives, where is the fun in that? Do what you want of course, just make sure your time is spent wisely and know that this is a better time than ever to learn about the truth so many humans have sought and sometimes been killed for, for centuries.

Reflection

‘Back in my day, people used to blow themselves up. Everyday you would hear of this happening somewhere in the world. It was normal to me.’

This is the conversation I hope to be having with my grand-kids in the year 2059. Not that I take pride in this, more that it will be something future generations will have to find in history books and not witness first hand.

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I can remember the horror when my grandparents told me of the relaxed health and safety rules in the workplace. Of actually being in a war. Of course I would much prefer to be alive today then in any other period of history, not that we are faultless by any means. I can understand a little better why stupid shut happened way back when.* Most of the time they didn’t know any better. The crazy superstitions and countless gods, that was their best attempts to gain an understanding. They didn’t have a great deal of scientific research to delve into, there was no ‘option B’ to choose from. Today there is and yet we still find ourselves being easily led by myths and sweet nothings. 

*I’m talking hundreds of years, not my grandparents era.

Suicide bombings a should have ceased 500 years ago. The fact that I can pick up my smart phone, capable of receiving signals from space, only to read about another beheading or stoning blows my mind. It’s like we are trapped between ages.

My hope is that the future will not replicate the past. I worry that I won’t be able to shock my kids with such a story. That the story won’t be something learned by future generations but compared to. Will futuristic weapons be used to kill infidels? Will threatening messages appear anywhere via hologram? If the scripture won’t change, what hope do I have that the fundamentalists will?
 

Solace.

It is a shame that as I grow older, I feel safer in areas away from people. This should not be the case, it has always been safer to hunt in packs. Now, the busier the venue, the more uncomfortable I feel.

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Shortly after hearing of last nights attack my mum called, as is often expected after such an event. She told me she was about to call my sister and wish her luck as she is going climbing today… and to stay safe. I reassured her that I am much more content with my sister climbing a mountain than walking through a city.

How perceptions change. I do not know if this is a sign of the times or my realisation that humans can be pretty awful, more than I knew in the bubble we all grow up in as children. Nature can be brutal, but it isn’t brutal to intentionally cause suffering. This is why I cannot hate a violent storm or natural disaster, as tragic as they may be I take comfort in knowing that it wasn’t due to evil. Lightening doesn’t strike to scare you and the rain doesn’t pour to bring you down. It may scare you and bring you down but without the sadistic intention. Some people may believe such events are repercussions for human decisions, not that I have time for those people.

I am having a 24-hour withdrawal from social media today and all of the opinions, claims and blames that will no doubt be forming after yesterdays news.

Today, give me a beach, calm waters and a dog and I am happy.

Superiority

For a species that believes it is superior, nature gives humans very little time to prove it and finds an incredible number of ways to wipe us out. I took this photo in a park in Rio, I’m unsure what tree it is although I was fascinated by the size of its roots. The people below aren’t exactly noticeable.

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We are the best. The most intelligent, or so I’m told. On many occasions it’s justified. Despite this the universe only gives us a mere few decades to prove our claims of superiority, nowhere near the lifespan of a bristlecone pine tree or a giant tortoise, the former outliving civilisations and countless beliefs systems with that. 

I don’t think it is depressing to think so, more humbling. We need to be humble, the more willing we are to accept this the less we will try to prove our worth by making false claims about our place in the universe.

I’m proud of my species, it’s just crazy to consider the sheer number of things that out-live us, without having a book dedicated to them either. 

Priorities

The clock barely struck noon. As I ordered I wondered if it was too early for such large quantities of meat, at just £9.50 for two courses I was going to give this great Turkish restaurant my best shot. I spent late morning/early afternoon with my mum, I need to make family time when I can. September is just around the corner, relatively speaking.

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I have realised after the loss of my dad that family time cannot be a burden. I used to take it for granted, only for a great part of it to be taken from me without much warning. Three months to be exact. I have started to cherish the family arguments and fall outs a lot more, these in turn have become few and far between. We spend much more time making time of value, it is a great shame that we sometimes learn lessons after the test.

I have also learned that as far as I may search for someone that shares my core beliefs and ideologies, the ones bringing me up may be the best people to speak to. I may spend my whole life looking for someone that understands me as well as my family. Some people do not have this, a huge reason as to why I blog. I hear of family members being disowned or shunned out by family for thinking differently, I cannot believe this is a reality so many have to face. The irony of being an atheist is that despite my appreciation for stars forming the beings that brought me into this world and proving shelter and care, if I was born at the wrong time and into the wrong family, they may punish me for coming to such a conclusion. The love of a parent perceived from a scientific perspective is too much for some parents, rejecting a religious outlook can lead to a complete reversal of such love, whether it be abandonment or even murder. This terrifies me. The fact that some people on earth can show love until you openly practice a separate belief… If this love can be taken so quickly, was the love there at all?

I thank my family, those still with me and the ones that aren’t, for allowing me to come to my own conclusions. You are the tolerant heroes I need in an intolerant world.

Imagine

Times change. Buildings rise and empires fall. As inconvenient this must be for those at such times of change, imagine if we didn’t allow any adaption. As I grab a sandwich and coffee I’m staring at this view out of the window and pondering… What would our place in this world be like?


We wouldn’t marvel at architecture of the past. We wouldn’t strain our necks gazing to the roofs of high rises penetrating the rain clouds above and out of view. We wouldn’t appreciate classical music and understand what paths were carved leading to the radio hits of today. We would simply be in an era like every other. The same, changeless era. We would share so much with past generations that they would be of no interest. I love change and thinking in new ways, even if people don’t want that kind of thinking in our society. Should I care if my opinions aren’t welcomed?

Did musicians care when introducing the electric guitar despite the controversy? Did Martin Luther King care when making his voice heard in an age of segregation? It’s not my duty to care, it is the duty of the opposition to have the willingness to listen to new perspectives and consider the possibility that, just maybe, their beliefs may crumble to dust like the buildings of past, hostage to time. I’m not saying that I am the one creating the new, I’m simply excited and not offended that something new is constantly around the corner. 

Misdirection

It says the viewpoint, yeah. But is it?

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Is it a viewpoint that they have decided based on their own perceptions? A viewpoint that they deem safer and good enough for you, sacrificing the opportunity for greater views or increased perspective?

Is it a viewpoint that has been preached to everyone, distorting your view behind the masses whilst a deceitful minority look the other way? I worry so much of life is wasted in this way. We rely on others around us to teach us the way, which has been taught to them by others. We are all mislead in life, sometimes by people with a hidden agenda, at times by people that didn’t know better from people with a hidden agenda.

Viewpoints and directions are good, just be aware that there is always the possibility that more is being missed in the process, whether it be truth, beauty or greater satisfaction in whatever took you there in the first place.

Rose tinted sunglasses 

Isn’t our sun incredible when it isn’t trying to kill us to death? Bright enough to blind us and hot enough fry an egg. We are always quick to praise ‘perfect’ nature, despite doing so much to avoid it from finishing us off…
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I would much prefer honesty when talking about nature. Why do we constantly hear that our world is too perfect to not have a creator, told by people wearing glasses and hearing aids, spending a shit tonne of time using air conditioning and sun cream? Nature is awesome but it can be a right little shit at times.

Images taken in Langkawi, Malaysia and Palo Duro Canyon, TX.

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Malaysia, my first time in South-East Asia. My first time in Asia at all, in fact. Stepping foot in Kuala Lumpur for the first time I wanted to explore and receive some great recommendations from locals, even more so in Langkawi as I felt I would have limited contact with people on the small Island. Using Tinder as my local guide, (that’s right, Tinder) I found some great spots… it isn’t simply an app for casual sex and overly optimistic romantics looking for love. I love using the app when I am abroad, there is no quicker way to chat to people in a certain area. Who else in history has had this opportunity?!

Do religious people use Tinder? I don’t know. There is a beauty in finding alternate uses for such things, a more innocent use if you will. A life hack that my parents couldn’t have had access to, my grandparents would have read about it in science fiction. One place I was recommended by a pretty Malaysian girl that I didn’t ever meet (I didn’t meet anyone on Tinder during the trip, just for the record) was the Ruang Bar. I had no idea where it was until I sat on a bench facing a makeshift bar made out of wooden crates. It was only when my friend and I placed our cocktails onto the drinks menu that I realised where I was. The bar I was told about! A very fun night unfolded.

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Some people avoid alcohol not because of health reasons, not because they dislike it either, but because they have been told to avoid it in preparation for judgement in an afterlife.

Thank goodness I am not one of those people.