Saturday, August 28, 2010

things dont always go the way you plan them

she whispered to me, half asleep, behind the windows of the trains..

she said, 'my boy, dont fill your head with trivial things..'

and after crossing border after border after border

we realize that differences are not

Thursday, August 26, 2010

here is a guitarra for you little chavo if you slave to kissing you gotta play this thing

frozen eyes, sweaty back, my family's sleeping on a railroad track. all my life i pack/unpack... but man i gotta earn this buck... i gotta pay representation to be accepted in a nation, where the efforts of a hero start again from zero.

-eugene hutz

the song and the strings... the ink on my skin... i would like to write a thank you to two very important people in my life's story. the first is steve, my guitar teacher. this is the guy who gave me a break from the early stages of teenage angst and gave me a way to learn how to channel my creativity. the other is ryan lientz, the man who has covered me in permanent and beautiful art. i would like for these two gentlemen to know that the gifts they have left me with cross many borders and enter many nations to share their stories and beauty with the people i chance upon. these are great gifts and they have become ways to learn about the sounds and colors created on and with the bodies of people from far far away.

i've made a bold decision.. as if somehow we have the freedom to do so in the futures of our lives. i have met so many wonderful and interesting people on this trip that its inspired me to reach towards greater goals and greater living. now i'm awake. i'm wide awake. i've been given a gift to explore the world. we've been given the gift of the present, there is no past. as its been said before, all of your goals begin with making your bed. make everything you do a step closer to something.

i'll be back home in october.. calling istanbul my home feels good and it feels good to say that i'll be back home soon, or soon enough. i'm a little lonely today. i cut my foot on some glass last night and i've been stuck at the top of an extremely high hill staying with some friends waiting for my foot to get better so i can come back down. all this time i have to myself has left me thinking about life and how strange it is. how we live in a world full of colors and tastes and shapes and sounds. but all this thinking has taken me into a deep and passionate obsession as of late. perhaps i've been looking in the wrong places. perhaps my love for traveling the lands has distracted me from the world below.. the world of the oceans and seas. this tickles my fascination. the thought is boiling inside of me.. maybe after another (slightly shorter) contract in istanbul it is due time i take to the water. this next chapter is going to be a wet one....

Monday, August 23, 2010

tales from south of the Danube

an abrubt and unannounced toss of the dice landed me upon a place that is probably the exact opposite of central asia. this toss brought me to a city which is perhaps one of my favorite places my travels have chanced me upon: Veliko Turnovo, Bulgaria. from here i have set up shop for a few days and started rerouting the next two months of my journey. i'm thinking north.. far north.. across the danube and into the land of vampires and werewolves, but before then there is much to be explored in these beautiful balkan forests.

i absolutely adore this city both now and last winter when i first came here. its weird how different it is in the summer and how much i prefer being in the company of Normal but alas i am here living and loving. met some characters in these parts and even managed to infiltrate a folk music festival in the comany of two bulgarian dancers i met while hitchhiking near Gabrovo.

happy travels my friends past and present and happy travels to those who have yet to come :)

this video isn't as cool as it looks... just taking in the enormous sensation of being rattled by a fast train on a bridge.

i laughed at the moon a bit last night.. reminded me of a dear friend of mine from long ago who used to complain to the moon at night. i had a lot to laugh about. it was one of those maniacal laughs that is neither joyful nor distressed.. just felt like laughing. i gave some though to the human condition and the possibilities that come with owning a brain. i thought of all the crazy people in the world and realized how capable we are to lose our minds.. yet perhaps we are one and the same with the madmen of the streets.

i advise to all people for a short extent of your life try to go hungry for a while. try to not eat and to see your mind begin to eat away at itself. imagine what it feels like to lose our sense of reason and to stop looking at people as our brothers however as an obsticle between us and ending this horrible sensation of hunger in the belly. there is so much distrust for street people in these parts of the world but really look at what you are hiding your face from. i remember the widows in georgia, dressed in black, helpless and frowned upon. i remember the gypsies i've met everywhere who are not even thought of as citizens, their names carrying the stigma of racism. i'm no better.. just because i'm no better.. but i've seen some things and i've learned when to listen.

yeah my shits starting to go.. i love it :)

i made promises as a child and made claims that one day i'd leave my home and walk off into the world to forever seek adventure, culture and happiness. the only foundation i have in my life is to respect the path i walk on and more importantly respect the paths of others that i cross. listen.. listen.. what speaks to you?

the author, alive and a-love...

hitchhiking to shipka with my dear 'sudaka' friend, Mauro

Saturday, August 21, 2010

hitchhiking to бузлуджа...

a shot of бузлуджа long before its abandonment circa the fall of the soviet union..

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

twice i've seen the view from space

the chilliness in the air is a wonderful welcome from days of walking through godless and marauding heat. even the stars at night seem to be like thin slices of ice that piece away the outer layer of hot that your body has absorbed from the sands that came before. and its nice here.. under the nothingness of heaven. somehow in these moments the people you travel with come together as one mind and one conciousness and you learn things about each other of which we have never told anyone. the feasting is delicious that night.

i've seen that view from space before. i saw it many years ago on the otherworldly planes of my travels. i saw myself lifted above the world i know and pulled from my window watching nature reclaim the earth, and the city shrink behind me.

even the clouds here seem to have their own personalities. they move quickly and change in time. unlike the desert they are always there looming about giving a teasing sensation of rain to come.. but she rarely pays her visits. instead her body dances in the sky and creates illusions vulnerable only to the wandering journals we carry in our back pockets, one day to be taken to the eyes of the public. for now our words are scribbled on dancing paper amidst the bouncing tables of trains and the backs of bus seats in front of us. we think back to those who we love and those whom we have missed dearly.. our regrets for leaving and our hopes for leaving again. lately i've felt a calling, a few of them actually, and they are loud in my ears.

i've learned something about getting older: when you are young you try to validate everything under the guise of idealism. you think that everything you do will somehow make a difference and if there is no purpose there is of course no cause. however this changes when you get older. you begin to act on your gut instict and you do things without questioning.. you just do them because that's what you do.

you are the get up and go.....

.....that got up and went

Sunday, August 15, 2010

we ride tonight.

when this man brings you into his yurt and his wife generously pours you endless drinks of horse milk wine, you drink it.... and you smile... and you ignore the seepy and chunky taste of death in your mouth while you sink into oblivion upon the craziest of places the gods have created. his wife will put thin slices of ugly meat in front of you and you will ignore your years of vegetarianism and smile. but its so nice.. its such a great feeling to be so far from home and wonder if you are any closer to where we all begin - community. the only reason our species has been able to exist in such vast growth is because of our abilities to work together. we are offered into the homes of strangers and we eat strange foods and ask questions about the strange things on the walls. but it is us who are the strangers. this is why we travel. we do this to find ourselves in the most foreign places known to us and we are swallowed up into a whole new way of living and loving. and i think of this when i am back home visiting the states. i think of the farmers i've met and the fishermen who, as we speak, are somewhere in the world living amongst their people in smiles.. yet i wander.. with no home.. no tribe.. only my thoughts and a few stories i want to share with the world. i'll find it someday, whatever it is i'm looking for.. until then i'll stare at the sun and burn my eyes on the horizon. we ride tonight.. into the abyss and into the nothingness of the desert.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

the youngest desert in the world

a long time ago i met an older man named Randy Lada in a tattoo shop. he was jokingly introduced to me as 'mookfish in the future' for a handful of reasons and i greeted this as a well deserved compliment for both of us, he was pretty damn cool. Mr. Lada was an experienced traveler who had visited many different corners of this earth and he was completely covered in beautiful tattoos from all over the world. he was perhaps sixty although somehow seemed younger and older at the same time. he was quite interested in my coming travels, which back then was a preparation for central america. i took everything he said with wide eyes and i didn't speak much.. he asked me why we travel and suggested that we are trying to find ourselves. for months i thought this was too simple to bear any water but the older i get the more i realize that this is a very complicated idea. you see, to find yourself you must first lose yourself completely. you must challenge things you believe and greet the world with wider eyes with every waking moment although the stains of time make our eyelids heavy. you lose yourself and you do things that would have disappointed you so much in the days of your young idealism.. i was once such an idealist.. but you learn from these mistakes and you learn from your failures. the deeper i get into this world, the more people from my home become a part of me. i remember things i've learned from them and here in the desert i begin to realize why things came to be when they did and why did they. i see every experience in life i've ever had to be an eclectic mix of useful knowledge that comes with me everywhere.

it is in this fullness of heart that i find myself east of aral, due directly for lake balkhash. everything in between is basically the surface of mars, soviet desolation and merciless heat. years ago the soviets attempted to use the aral sea to irrigate the lands thus growing cotton which was thought of as 'white gold' at the time. the project failed and the seas would eventually lead to desertion and the advent of one of the greatest man-made environmental disasters in history. its sad really but quite peculiar to myself when i set up tent at the bottom of the sea, in the youngest desert in the world.

things became different when i got to kazakh. my face shifted. my expressions became limited and i began to talk less. the thrill of georgian tbilisi has worn off and suddenly i feel again like a visitor from another planet. realistically, this is the farthest i've ever been from home. i miss everyone. i'm beat up but going strong and the stars fall into place when its their time to do so.

when you change cities in kazakh you also change colors. the eerie brown of desolation in the desert turns into green again. where there is water there is life and the colors and sounds of man-made earth begins to lure you back in with the temptations to indulge in life.. i'm going to get an ice cream..

Sunday, August 08, 2010

when the lights stop blinking

welcome to the aral sea, kazakhstan... the greatest environmental disaster since 1989. this is what happens when man mixes with nature and thinks that the problems they create now will only affect future generations and what we do today does not matter. ghosts dont even come here.