December 10th, 2016
The image above was taken the other day, along the highway in New Mexico, in part two of my continued journey o’ mine… it just called to be photographed. Here along some back highway in the middle of New Mexico, an old, abandoned, dilapidated building, that someone, sometime, decided to graffiti upon the sentiment, of all sentiments, to “stay happy”.
That’s the point of it all, isn’t it? Happiness. To attain it, then maintain it. I know it is for me… that’s why I am on this here little ol’ journey o’ mine, to hopefully come to discover and find it.
Am I really unhappy? Is my everyday existence and life just a day to day depressing melancholy and sadness? No. Not even close, really. Then what’s the problem?
Well, one reason I would say that I am not unhappy, currently, is because I absolutely do not hold onto the past anymore, and have a short term memory… right now, me, my life, what it is I am doing, is all of my choosing. And although this isn’t exactly how I would, and want to spend my days and life, just wandering around the fuckin’ planet whilst living in a van, I know the purpose and direction behind me doing so, and do like, and am happy with my doing so, because it is me doing and living to my highest right of what it is I think I need to do for myself. As well, as I know I am by far happier doing this, than tied to some default life that I was living prior, doing that which I did not want to, in a place I did not want to be.
Freedom. Independence. Both cannot but help to lead one to be be happy.
That is why I am out here though, doing this, so as to hopefully discover and find that which I can do for myself that will make me happy long term…
Time, I really am losing all concept of… it doesn’t at all seem like only five days ago I set back out on part two here, but more like it was weeks ago… and that I didn’t just get into Phoenix (oh, by the way, I am now in Phoenix, Arizona) last night, but been awhile ago already… sorry, the reason I said all that, is because one thing I want to do, and was planning on doing last night when I got into town, but because of the ridiculous traffic, it got to be too late to do so… but anyway, one of the things I want to do while in town here, is revisit one of the shots I took when I lived here a quarter century ago, to the right here.
This journey, I have revisited (or in other words, retaken) shots that I did around that time frame of twenty to twenty five years ago… first was a modern day version of my prior to leaving on my journey… the second, was redoing my Summer Of My Discontent shot I took in Casper…
I have taken a half trillion more than needed self-portraitures of myself over the years, but that one just above, has always been my personal, only favorite, of all of them… mostly because of the story it tells, of the time, the place, the person, I was when it was taken.
Really, that photo marks the start of it all… that leads me to be right now where I am in my life, twenty-seven years later, and just happening to be back in the city that it essentially did all start for me and my life… the path that led me to be here again today… the reason that I am. So, since I was too late to do it last night, am passing the time today until I can head to North Mountain later this afternoon, try to find the spot to where I was in the photo above, and retake it, now, as me today, at sunset… twenty-seven years later, almost to the day, I think… it was either December of 1988, or January 0f 1989 that it was taken…
End Of Innocence revisited (film version) / 27 years later, 2017, Phoenix, Arizona
End Of Innocence revisited (digital version) / 27 years later, 2017, Phoenix, Arizona
The couple years that followed that photo above of me, I can say were not happy, and were in fact very hard… so much so, that I survived, is only a testament to that young man in that photo, for enduring and holding on.
So, twenty-seven odd years later, being back here in the city that I affectionately came to refer to as PHellOnEarthNIX… that always found fitting that the name of the city, reflected that which I seemed to be when I came to leave it – as the mythical creature who consumed itself in fire, only to rise from the ashes anew… Here I am again, here, twenty-seven years later… who I am now, how and what my life is like now… that course set by the very same young man in that photo above…
One of determined resolve to discover and find out the reason, meaning, purpose to it all. To hold out and endure… to not give in, or settle, but holdfast to what it is I believe, hold true that to which I know to be…
All that hasn’t gotten me too far in this life/world… so much so that twenty-seven years later I am where I am right now, pretty much exactly where I was in the photo above, in this perpetual hell square one of trying to figure out my direction, meaning, purpose in this here life/world… what am I to do in it…
To be happy. Whatever graffiti dude, that sprayed across that building in the lead-in, to relay to those who read it, to “stay happy”… not “be happy”, but “stay happy”. Of course, according to the sign above, that points down to the now destroyed building, reads that it was a liquor store… maybe it was the proprietor saying to those who once used to purchase the products once sold within, to help make them feel happy, or not notice for awhile that they were unhappy… now not being able to use them to make them now so, to ‘stay happy’ some other way…
That photo of me from days of yore above, was during the years where I would use liquor so… the only reason I wasn’t a full-blown alcoholic at the age of nineteen was simply because I was too poor to be… I couldn’t afford to go out and buy the stuff whenever, and every time that, I wanted to use it. And that was the reason why – because I was so unhappy, and just wanted to drink so as to numb myself to it all, so that I knew not the hurt and pain I was feeling, but only a drunken stupor.
I am me though, and even if I had become a full time alchie, instead of the barely part-time one that I was, I would have ceased to be so around the same time anyway… which was pretty much when I became of legal age to be able to purchase it… because the numbing was only short lived, while I was drunk (or as close as I could get to being so)… and the next morning, day, my life was still my life… it didn’t solve anything, my life wasn’t any better, still was what it was, the only thing different was that now I felt hungover and lousy on top of it all… so, what was the point? So I stopped.
Anyway, back to happy… This journey is to help me find that which will make me be so… even though again, I say, currently, I am not unhappy, per se… but, I know it is only short lived, as this whole galavanting around the countryside living out of a van existence, will, in it’s due time, lead me to be more and more unhappy, as this is not exactly how I want to spend the rest of my days.
Though, that is not really true… If I had like an actual RV, mobile home, camper, to live out of, that was better equipped than my van is not now, then yeah, I could full time live out of it, and just make my home wherever I felt like making it next.
Of course that all boils down to what has really made me, or that I have allowed to make me unhappy – money. How every single fiber of my being resents it, and has absolutely no desire to do anything to just attain the worthless crap. And is really the – “thing that will make me happy” that I am trying to discover and find, for me to do, in order to acquire it, so that I can continue to live in this here life/world, happily.
Maybe, and am secretly hoping, the secret that I will discover and find to do so, is to just say – fuck it. And, don’t.
Time will tell.
So, tomorrow, will most likely begin the last leg to southern Cal, and the place I look to set up camp for the coming months, at least… where I will park, and do nothing else but sequester myself, and let this physical journey of travel, become the more of the originally intended spiritual and soulful one, so as to immerse myself in.
Once there, Journal entries will take over the Daily Notebook, in being written into… but, more of that then… for now, until then.