Take Me Home

Take that look of worry
I’m an ordinary man
They don’t tell me nothing
So I find out what I can
There’s a fire that’s been burning
Right outside my door
I can’t see but I feel it
And it helps to keep me warm
So I, I don’t mind
No I, I don’t mind

Seems so long I’ve been waiting
Still don’t know what for
There’s no point escaping
I don’t worry anymore
I can’t come out to find you
I don’t like to go outside
They can’t turn off my feelings
Like they’re turning off a light
But I, I don’t mind
No I, I don’t mind
Oh I, I don’t mind
No I, I don’t mind

So take, take me home
Cos I don’t remember
Take, take me home
Cos I don’t remember
Take, take me home
Cos I don’t remember
Take, take me home, oh lord
Cos I’ve been a prisoner all my life
And I can say to you

Take that look of worry, mine’s an ordinary life
Working when it’s daylight
And sleeping when it’s night
I’ve got no far horizons
I don’t wish upon a star
They don’t think that I listen
Oh but I know who they are
And I, I don’t mind
No I, I don’t mind
Oh I, I don’t mind
No I, I don’t mind

So take, take me home
Cos I don’t remember
Take, take me home
Cos I don’t remember
Take, take me home
Cos I don’t remember
Take, take me home, oh lord
Well I’ve been a prisoner all my life
And I can say to you

But I don’t remember
Take, take me home…

Take Me Home – Phil Collins

I think I’ve found my voice and have come to grips with many things that were plaguing me much of my life. I have spoken aloud most of the fears and regrets that I needed to get off my chest, all on the pages of this and my past blogs. The audience has been fickle and sometimes non existent, but I would not change a thing. No amount of likes or followers nor ego boosting pats on the back can bring one to the point of self assuredness better than realizing you are unique in this world and you need not try to fit into someone elses club or clique. I started blogging with that reason in mind, but several years later I’m writing this post just for me.

Many will start to read this long winded post then fall by the wayside because they have a short attention span or a disinterest in what someones deepest thoughts may be. Still others will scoff at this notion or that due to their beliefs or outlook on life and that’s OK. We each have our individual life to live and we must try to find what it is that brings forth the greatest joy and comfort. I stand in no ones way and I expect the same. This post is simply about my way home.

“I’ve discovered who my true friends are and that when times are tough the person I most need to trust in is myself.”

Miriam from Outandabout.com

You are so right Miriam. In this world of meme’s and unsolicited advise, no one will look after your best interests better than you. No friend or family member, not even your spouse will ever think of you alone without adding their own bias or wants into the mix be it unconsciously or not. It’s human nature to want to help someone we care for, but our fix is most likely not what is needed for someone else. As much as I tried to do the right thing for those I care about, many mistakes were made that I must live with.

Regret sometimes attempts to gnaw away at me but I try not to see the negative side of it. Regret can help put into focus what we must change or how our thought process can be shifted into a way of thinking about how our actions can have a much greater influence on others than we imagined. If you wish no ill will towards others than your everyday decisions must be calculated in a way that you have minimal impact on those around you. A lesson I am working on putting into practice, but it’s easier said than done I’m afraid. (Please be patient my sister as I also work this through.)

“Oh, my ways are strange ways and new ways and old ways, And deep ways and steep ways and high ways and low, I’m at home and at ease on a track that I know not, And restless and lost on a road that I know.

Henry Lawson

I have been searching for my home since my teens and only now do I see the light. My restless spirit caused me no end of grief given all the unforced errors and the unforeseen consequences of an impulsive lifestyle. The fire I felt burning has been there all my life, yet I just didn’t stop and try to complete the thought. I rushed into every new idea or plan without pausing to reflect on what might happen if things went wrong. Many a heartache and even bodily injury could have been avoided had I shown a little more forethought.

As I approach my mid fifties I understand where I have gone wrong. I need to travel the roads I have never been down before with the wisdom I have earned through past mistakes. My dreams have solidified into a concise vision of time well spent no matter how much time I have left. Though I go forward unsure if my plans will lead me to a level of happiness unseen to date, my earned wisdom tells me if I go slow and watch out for the pitfalls I should be able to make the best of what comes. I will take my life by the reins and try to guide my restless spirit towards a better outcome. I will not go back to the old ways of failure, only forward even when trepidation and fear casts it’s shadow over me.

“Heaven has no rage like love to hatred turned, nor hell a fury like a woman scorned.”

William Congreve

15 years ago my road to a better life began when I walked away from my drug use and all the people I knew from that time in my life. I also walked away from the dating scene and have been single ever since. I don’t regret that for a moment. I have written about lost love and the want of a special person in my life, but the reality is I have no real need for anyone in my life but me and my dog at this time. You may say I am just kidding myself into thinking I want to be alone, yet at this age I am quite comfortable in my own skin and pleased with the direction my life is going. I will let no one get in my way now.

With today’s #metoo movement and other such groups it seems men don’t stand a chance if a woman wants to get even or harm us for some unknown transgression. Society seemingly just accepts anything a woman says as gospel, and men are left trying to ward off accusations that may not be based in fact. Justice Brett Kavanaugh for example. Just a whisper of sexual harassment on the job can cost us our livelihood and destroy all we have worked years for in an afternoon. Most women I’m sure would never try that tactic, but to me the gains are not worth the risk. That’s not to say I have blocked out all possibilities of romance, it just means I will wait for “The One” who wants to live like me and to grow like me, one who loves me for me. I am set in my ways and I see no reason to change. I guess I will stay single for the foreseeable future.

“Go West, young man, go West. There is health in the country, and room away from our crowds of idlers and imbeciles.”

Josiah Bushnell Grinnell

As much as I love the state of Maine, this is no longer my home in my heart. The land is the same and the coast still carries the dreams of my youth on the breath of it’s salt air. The smell of pine stirs the memory of many camping trips afield and I still feel complete comfort resting among the trees. What has changed is the people and their politics. This past election has changed the landscape here from partly conservative to mostly progressive liberal, at least as far as the elected officials and those who voted them in. I want none of it. I am a libertarian at heart but I do lean right in my thinking. Both parties in my estimation think too much about re-election instead of what the best interests of their constituents are, but I prefer a Republican majority to a Democrat majority. I fear the far left Democrat group we have now will destroy this fragile state economy in just a few short years and I will not keep paying taxes to a government I don’t agree with if I can just move to another state. And that is what I am going to do. If you don’t take a stand for what you believe in you have no right to complain. I will move to a state where the people are more aligned with my outlook and lifestyle.

“I would like to live to a ripe old age and raise watermelons in Wyoming.”

Lou Reed

Not sure about the watermelons part, but I love Wyoming. Every time I drive through Wyoming my heart skip’s a beat at the sight of the Grand Tetons or the vast rolling grassy plains and hillsides awash with antelope. You can look at all the pictures you want, watch every movie or video on YouTube, but nothing compares to being there. My first night there at a remote campsite with just me and Brandy my trusty furry friend will be a moment that will stay with me till I die. This may not be the 1820’s and I may not be on horseback or traveling the Oregon Trail by wagon, but the pioneer spirit resides in me since my youth and it will carry me to my dream.

With every photograph and cool breeze, every sunset with the mountains behind, I will feel the same spirit of freedom that the settlers felt as they crossed the open grasslands on their way to a better future. But first I must fulfill a promise I made to a friend. Many years ago my prior best furry friend and I stopped and played in a certain field in Wyoming with all the spring wildflowers and even a little snow still on the ground. To him I’m sure it was just a field, but to me it was magical. I want to feel that magic again and I will bury the ashes of my friend in that field in remembrance of that day. I miss him very much, and I think I always will. My heart aches just to write this…You will not be forgotten Vinny.

“This gun is liberty; hold for certain that the day when you no more have it, you will be returned to slavery.”

Toussaint Louverture

I own guns, 3 to be exact. A 12 gauge shotgun designed for bird hunting, a bolt action hunting rifle for large game and a 44 magnum handgun for personal protection from any predators be they 4 legged or 2. I keep them securely locked up unloaded and disassembled when not in use in the name of safety. I also traded in my AR15 style rifle because I feel I have no need for it, yet I believe it should be legal for sale in this country. I believe in background checks before purchase, but I will not abide by any government registry. I strongly believe in these rights set forth in the Constitution that this country was formed under.

I am a law abiding citizen with lawfully purchased guns that I use in a safe manor and I will not give up my rights just because some crazy person shoots up a mall. More stringent gun laws will not stop the “Crazies” from getting guns, they will just make it impossible for the rest of us to protect ourselves from them. I believe more should be done to weed out the people that have serious mental conditions and try to prevent them from acquiring weapons, but I feel the real problem is we have let our sympathy for those with mental defects blind us to the real need for more stringent laws that would protect them and us from their inability to control their actions. The knee jerk reaction to the agreeably poor conditions of the mental institutions of the past has lead to allowing those people not in control of their faculties to live on the streets. There is a happy medium I say but what we have now, dictated by the bleeding hearts and the politicians vying for their votes, is not the answer.

“In a civilized and cultivated country wild animals only continue to exist at all when preserved by sportsmen.  The excellent people who protest against all hunting, and consider sportsmen as enemies of wild life, are ignorant of the fact that in reality the genuine sportsman is by all odds the most important factor in keeping the larger and more valuable wild creatures from total extermination.”

Teddy Roosevelt

I’m not a hunter as of now, but I have no problem with hunting done in a safe and controlled manor. Controlling the population of deer in Maine as well as many other states is essential to the overall health of the herd. Because we as humans have altered the habitat of these animals it is up to us to help maintain the balance of animals to acreage to avoid starvation. I have come across dead deer in the woods that obviously died from a lack of food and it was heart wrenching. Mild winters lead to an overpopulation the next season, and if followed by a bad winter many will starve to death as their food source is covered with snow.

Culling the herd based on population is a good way to insure the survival of the species. If their comes a day when I was hungry enough, I could fish and shoot birds for sustenance or even a large deer if I had to but I admit that large game would be a poor use of resources for just me and my dog as much of the meat would go to waste. At this time I will not personally kill an animal for food, but I have the tools and the know how and I would if I had too.

“There’ll be two dates on your tombstone and all your friends will read ’em but all that’s gonna matter is that little dash between ’em.”

Kevin Welch

My goal in life is to be as self sustained as reasonably possible. I will try to limit my footprint on the land and ecology yet I still wish to experience all that this life has left for me. The Jeep and trailer I am setting up will provide most of the items you will find in a home including running hot water and a shower, but I will be able to pack up in 30 minuets and be on my way if need be. What I take with me is crucial to my success in the field so I have spent a great deal of time thinking through just what I really need to live a happy life. I have asked myself, “What do I need for a comfortable life?” My answer was a resounding call for very little. My wants list far exceeds the needs list, so I will focus on the needs then bring whatever wants will fit.

Comfort I think is partially a state of mind as far as emotional and mental needs verses physical needs. A good pair of hiking shoes can provide comfort in all three areas, yet a three piece suit may not. My kitchen will consist of one boiling pot one saucepan and one fry pan, not some expensive All-clad 20 piece set. Simple dinnerware for two, melamine is best as they won’t break, and some silicone cooking utensils should round out my needs. Simple quality items will last the longest without the constant need to replace them. Quality over quantity. One must look at all the “Things” we feel we need in the light of more than one use and more than one comfort, and then you will find the closet gets a little more uncluttered!

I also believe how you die is equally as important as how you lived. When you die you take nothing with you but the memories of the things you saw or felt as you made your way through all of life’s difficulties. No amount of money can stop many of the trials one must endure and how we deal with them is a reflection of our values and all we hold sacred. If you live a simple life you have very few “Things” to lose.

When laying in your deathbed will you regret what you feel may have been time you have wasted in your life, or will you smile and feel you made the best use of your limited time? Will all the accumulated stuff give you solace at that moment, or will you feel empowered because you gave it all away before it was too late? Think that through and decide how you want to let go when the time comes.

“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”

Jack Kerouac

When I leave Maine next fall I should have enough money saved to take at least the next 6 to 9 months off and travel without fear of poverty, then drive to the south and seek employment for the cold season. Perhaps Texas or Louisiana in the oil fields or maybe a small construction outfit driving a dump truck. I want to go to work as a means to support the lifestyle I really want, not because I have so many bills to pay to maintain a lifestyle I really don’t need. By that point I will have a strong handle on my monthly expenses and I should be able to live well and save enough funds for the next summer off. How many seasons can I keep up that lifestyle? We shall see, but I am willing to put forth the effort to find a balance to my life.

All work and no play makes John a dull boy and that’s just how my mind feels. Blindly going through the motions day after day with no real plan for the future, I have wasted years of my life in the pursuit of things I neither needed or ultimately wanted. The definition of insane is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result so I’m Guilty as charged! I also have no problem with being alone for extended periods of time. As a truck driver I have many hours alone driving the roads of this country with nothing but my thoughts to guide me. Much of the inspiration for these posts come from a mind at ease while traveling along an open road. My time driving affords me a chance to think through my plans with the hope of minimal mistakes.

There’s something about being alone and many miles away from anything. Relying on oneself for everything including ones safety gives a feeling of empowerment, a feeling I’m sure many pioneers felt as they crossed the plains. I have felt a slight twinge of that emotion at times but I thirst for so much more. Never have I been more than a few hours away from help, never more than a day without seeing another human being. Never have I faced a real challenge. If all goes well I will face some, yet be prepared enough to overcome the trouble. We shall see.

“Photography for me is not looking, it’s feeling. If you can’t feel what you’re looking at, then you’re never going to get others to feel anything when they look at your pictures.”

Don McCullin

When you take a picture do you not feel something? Have you ever stopped to think about what it is that compelled you to look through the view finder and try to frame a reference point that captures what you felt at that moment? Do you just blindly snap the shutter and hope for the best? One can see so much in a 24 hour period that a hundred photo’s could not capture, especially if you don’t stop to think just what it was that drew your attention. If you want to capture what it was you must stop and focus on the small pieces you see and pull it out and store it in a picture.

A camera is not like your eyes. With a camera you must cast aside all the “Fluff” from the big picture and frame the items that drew your attention. You must stop and allow your mind to grasp the individual glimmers of beauty in each moment and pull them into the frame. Without emotion in your efforts you will have no emotion in your finished product. I have found that time is needed to fully capture a moment, time to sit and soak up the vision before snapping the shutter. I will sacrifice much to give myself that time in the near future.

“Letting go means to come to the realization that some people are a part of your history, but not a part of your destiny.”

Steve Marabol

I walked away from all the people I knew, and I’m about to do it again. My life has been a cascade of lessons and painful mistakes that I have now endeavored to learn from. Each weakness and failing in my quest for a better life have empowered me to a better standered, a wiser outlook on what it takes to make me happy. First I must understand a simple fact. You are what you surround yourself with. Success is a state of mind or a level of achievement that satisfies your vision of a perfect life. Yet perfection is in the mind of the thinker. Your vision may not be mine but we each want what we see. For me, I have decided that my vision is very simple. If I can’t surround myself with like minded people, I must remove the ones who distract me from my goals. My destiny is yet to be surmounted, my goal is before me.

“Being a man was not the opposite of being feminine or emotional. It was the opposite of being childish and immature. It meant having the courage to face your fears and responsibilities, but also not being afraid of your emotions or weaknesses.”

Matthew Ryder

Toxic masculinity” Those two words piss me off. Men are what we are, there’s no way around it. We were meant to compliment women just as they we meant to complement us. Neither is more important than the other, both together make a strong bulwark against the world and it’s hardships. I as a man can never be a mother just as a woman can never be a father. It takes both to raise a child in a manor that brings out the best in any human, yet we live in a society that praises someone who intentionally tries to make it alone.

Indeed it can be done, but at what cost? Do my qualities of strength and perseverance not add to the stable and strong well being of a child? Is a woman’s soft touch when we or our child is injured not calm and soothe? Relationships are hard, and that struggle is what makes the bond that much more special be it a spouse or kin. Family is the one thing that binds us, the one constant in the world that holds society together. You may have water under the bridge with a friend, but blood is always thicker than water.

“Life is filled with unanswered questions, but it is the courage to seek those answers that continues to give meaning to life. You can spend your life wallowing in despair, wondering why you were the one who was led towards the road strewn with pain, or you can be grateful that you are strong enough to survive it.”

J.D. Stroube

And survive it I shall. I’m going home at last.

6 thoughts on “Take Me Home

  1. Well, I survived to the end, just as I know you will John. I really look forward to looking over your shoulder as you pursue your dream. I’ll not be there with you. I don’t have that knowledge, or strength, to do what you are going to do. Also, I’m a deal older and set in my ways.

    Keep on keeping on. Stay healthy, and safe, and enjoy yourself!

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    1. Thank you Peter, I appreciate your words of encouragement. What I set off to do must be done alone or I will never feel the sense of accomplishment I so desire. Time will be the judge of my actions, be they foolhardy or sensible, but I will never know until I try.

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  2. Firstly, I love that Phil Collins song. I’m going to see him in concert when he’s here in Australia in two weeks.
    Secondly, I read all your post, I feel as though I’ve just sat in a cafe and had the longest, deepest conversation with you. As always you mirror many of my feelings and philosophies John. You know I’m happiest when I’m camping, when I’m away from the “stuff” and living minimally. And yes, we do need to trust in ourself and live with no regrets. I agree it’s not always easy but we need to try as we keep striving for happiness and peace. Keep travelling those untraveled roads and writing from your heart. Your soul sis from down under joins you, in spirit at least, on your journey.

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    1. Thanks Miriam. I knew you would be one of a few who would follow me down the rabbit hole I’m writing about and understand just what it is I am looking for. The first night I truly feel I’m home I will think of you and smile.

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    1. I’ve been very busy making money for the future and have stayed on the road for several weeks at a time. That leads to no time for much of anything but sleep. Not much I can do in Maine right now as the average temp is about 10 degrees so my Jeep progress has been slow but I have completed a few small projects. Check out my Instagram if you want too right from my website!

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