I haven't written a blog entry in 10 days for the following reasons:
1) I was out in the world doing fun shit.
2) I was hit by a Pajero on my motorbike.
3) I didn't feel like writing, I'm spontaneous or inconsistent (depending on who's calling it) and I'm very committed to this stance on life.
I'd like to share 5 things I learnt during my blog awayness.
1) Before an accident, motorbikes are the most cost effective solution for exercising male freedom, adrenalin and adventure. I have participated in the world of risky sports for some 15 years now and I've gathered a good feeling for the dimensions of a sport that make it rewarding. I'm throwing it out there that motorbike riding is the bee's knees for the everyday soul. Let me clarify that I'm not talking about cruising, I'm talking about pushing the bike to a healthy, committing speed around tight corners. So, with that in mind, the perks: you ride fucking fast and with maximum exposure. Bikes consist of an engine which you wrap your body around and then the two wheels to move on, there is nothing superfluous, it's a very raw feeling. You enter a new world, when you hit a windy national park road, there is only your body movement, your speed and the corners, there is no room in your mind to consider anything else, you become drawn in, absorbed into this new improbable world. There is much complexity and deep learning to be had to master cornering but it's always fun, totally engaging and completely committing. You have two objectives, 1) go as fast as possible around each corner 2) don't run the corner wide (into the other lane or off the road). So, there is a brilliant balance that is strived for that keeps one completely engaged. Nothing focuses a man more than having certain death waiting for him on the side of the road if mistakes are made for giving anything less than total engagement. More than this, you move, constant new scenery is pushed towards you, good riding roads are often in remote places with beautiful forested hills, so, you get to enjoy charging through nature. This play with danger, skill, constant change of scenery, adrenalin from fear and speed, the noise and feeling from being wrapped around an engine working as hard as it can....it's a sensory overload and it makes a man feel free. All things considered, post accident, this summary may no longer apply, I'm yet to know if I'm happy to pay the price tag, whichever limb or life that may be. But the current price tag is pretty damn low, you can get a fun bike for $4-6000 and running cost shouldn't be more than $1500-2000 per year for petrol, services and rego if you ride a lot. Segueing into my next point, the last amazing draw card for the old bike riding is it takes you out of everyday life, you get to travel down new roads away from the habit and scenery that you grind through day to day.
2) Getting out of Sydney into good old mother nature is pure refreshment for your emotional well being. I've been doing nature hops a fair amount recently and I feel more light hearted and fulfilled than usual. Last week, we ventured down to an amazing 100m waterfall in the southern highlands and swam in rock pools right at the edge of where the waterfall threw forth. Thursday involved a fast scenic drive to Nowra on motorbikes and rock climbing the overhanging cliffs that are dotted along the main river in Nowra (scary but fun, you climb up to 10m and fall into the water). Sunday involved hilarious cliff jumping into fresh royal national park rivers. It's been good fun to break up the feeling of being stuck in Sydney, which is never the reality, but often seems like the case.
3) I'm in an adventurous mood of late, so the next insert of learning involves one activity but with two insights. The first being, I like having moderately uncomfortable risk in my life, it reminds me to enjoy the moment and often bold moves are required to open certain doors. I'll explain, my house mate and I go looking for treasure from time to time, or in a less glorious description, we go looking for 150 year old garbage. Up until recently our only method has been scuba diving at old historic sights in Sydney and digging up old bottles with embossed print detailing Sydney brewers, this is hard work and Sydney harbour feels very sharky, so sharky, I hate it but I love it. The reward can be lucrative, my work colleague who I introduced the hobby to found a $30,000 bottle within 2 months, this is not at all a common achievement but illustrates the motivation. Any who, recently we explored a 130 year old tip site which had been dug up due to construction work, we slipped in after dark with shovels and dug up other peoples' garbage for 5 hours into the night. It was great fun; the awareness that any unusual noise could be security arriving, uncovering a bottle and then slowly digging around it to identify it, I found one bottle worth $200 that night, not a lot, but still substantial enough to warrant the experience, sneaking out with your haul, back to the car, then home, the relief of not getting caught is palatable. Something about this experience feels like an achievement, it seems both purposeful and pointless, an unnecessary risk for a bizarre pursuit which makes it all the more rewarding in it's uncanniness.
4) This recent flurry into bottle hunting reminded me that there are so many weird ways to make money that I've never even thought of. There are many ways to make money that I will never know about because it's in no one's best interest to tell me how to do it. Bottle hunting is a good example, if you know where to look, there are plenty of areas you can find valuable bottles, but who would ever tell you how to find them, you must do your own research, or have a close friend who is willing to share with you, but once you know, you can mine that vein for a long time. It's amazing how we look at the world through a narrow lens that restricts the many possibilities for deriving value from our surrounding.
5) Consistency is important, I've noticed this in life, those who can be consistent for extended periods of time, do well. I'm both consistently inconsistent and inconsistently consistent, this results in mixed success and many abandoned projects which get revisited later down the track. I want to keep up the blog but I know me too well, consistency is my killer. Hang in there and harass me from time to time, that should keep me on my toes. If anyone feels especially good at consistency and has useful mind tricks, I'd love to hear them.
I'l tell the motorbike accident story another time. It's quite amusing to be intentionally struck with a 4wd by a heavily pregnant Arab woman and then chase her down and coax her into admitting on video that she did a cheeky hit and run.