Gone a’Viking: Three Years, and Searching for Home

the goathair blanket on the bottom, the work clothes folded neatly, a calfskin mat, icelandic sweaters, then the buckskin boots, animal curio collection and precious gifts wrapped in a bandana, some wool socks from the army,the denim vest, then whatever is left that enters and leaves my scarred, tired hands; a bush knife, some artwork, candles, some organic hygiene products, a bottle of whiskey, journals, and books…

There is a ritual in every packing, every move, and every mile across the land, air, or sea. Like the nomads of the last frontiers of life, drifting like pollen blown by the wind, or setting coordinates on the horizons of good prospects. I am but a man seeking his Scandinavian soul, filtered through a Germanic expression of truth and honor for life. Partaking in an age old comunion of being with tradition, a rite of passage for the journey of the hero through the wars and winnings of a life lived on the road. Everytime my bag is packed, I set my sails on a new waymarker on the map of my existence, and let the wyrd reap a new furrow into my life’s work.

Shetlandic mists

After thrice years and a day, I find myself reflecting on the heros I have kept and used as anchor points to instill my own myths into my journey. In the words of Jack London;
“He was mastered by the sheer surging of life, the tidal wave of being, the perfect joy of each separate muscle, joint, and sinew in that it was everything that was not death, that it was aglow and rampant, expressing itself in movement, flying exultantly under the stars.”

To be athrive with the heat of life’s fervent love, and wander afar into fields unknown, confronting both the nadir and the zenith of ultimate human experience. I remember meeting a young man very early in my travels somewhere in rural England, so new to the world. He spoke with story, and spoke of two years of continual travel from his home. I still remember it, where we would walk to after a day on the farm to drink strong sprits and make bonfyres from rubbish heaps. I think the poem “IF” by Rudyard Kipling and the Havamal, have been like anchor points in my personal reality, and tools along the way to understand the experiences of a man gone on his own.

Keeping close companions has been hard, keeping a mate, near impossible. Having lovers and my deepening romance with women usually depended on what next country either of us would be in. We would meet in a Scandinavian flatland, and she would be going back to the sea, I would be deep in the Mayan jungle. Our lives separated by thousands of miles with barely a technological tether to keep the flame alive, this is usually how my relations would unfurl with the close feminine, hungering for more, living on rationed love. I’ve kept a few close and thought they would be there ‘in the end’, and others whom I shared the idle hours of night, never to be seen again. Tramp love I used to call it, nothing really substantial or of spiritual depth, and  those allies that have stayed to prove their honor are few. I’ve been wrecked and ruined, tied to the tracks of a broken heart more than once, seen good women turn cold, and well, haven’t always been adequate myself. I’ve seen that love is so new to our kind, and we are not actually fully able to handle it, so the easiest thing to do is manipulate it in a way where there is less harm. It can not be given, or taken, it is like a cool breeze midday in the desert, or a baltic gust on a winter plain. Sometimes pleasant, sometimes a vice.

If the road is the inspiration, then the community service is the fuel. Being able to offer ones skills for comfortable lodgings and three square hearkens an older time period founded on trade and ability over the dollar. It is realistically possible to travel cheaply from country to country, and volunteer with hosts far different than yourself, and form a symbiotic relationship that works, while making production on a sustainable way of life, and expounding your own self reliance from skill forging, and integration in other cultures. If one wants to meet people from other parts of the planet, they can not simply rely on multi-cultural mega cities, he or she should be comfortable in spending time at the source, being culturally sensitive to other persons will always offer new angled perspectives on who you are.

The lynchpin of nomadism is sacrifice, but it does not entail struggle, not necessarily. I have been able to thrive in harsh conditions, without money, without food, using primitive technology to make shelter, or modern luxuries such as the internet to find free lodging, and dynamic living situations in dream locations. Eventually the body does tire, and needs the primal rest stop in its evolution, it feels the need to settle, and redevelop the indigenous home where one is king is his own habitat. This is why I like to think these 1000+ plus days around the sun have actually been forming a kind of sacred pilgrimage back to my ur-home. It is if I need to visit and integrate in foreign cultures to discover, and strengthen the fibrous roots with my own. I am north conscious, I know my dwelling will be in Scandinavian lands, where I will not only survive, but thrive, and those that share the mutual experience of life with my weave will as well. There is a gift in comaraderie that is priceless, that is timeless, that is simply transcendent. I can relate to anyone in the world, I am sure, but these people will more often than not be only vaguely integral to my own personal bond forming. There are those I can consume with, take a night in the city to indulge, spend something, receive something, but at the end of the day, these are insubstantial to forming lasting relationships, because they are built on sand. There is no firm substance to the making of the friendship. Think of a pine forest that topples because the dirt erodes beneath it. The tree, or the relationship is not built on strength and honor, it was built out of money spending. I know a home base, and a lifetime woman is out there for me, and every breath of air I take brings me closer to that ultimate. Like the primal masculine dream, he seeks for land, a wife, sustainable power, and legacy. Each instance in my event horizon of the now, is another sentence in my personal mythology, cultivated through struggle, triumph, adventure, embrace, virtue, ability, and will.

Shetlandic

These are dark and humbles journeys into the mine of the self. John Trudell said “Protect your spirit, because you are in the place where spirits get eaten”. Such sentiments passed along from this grandfather are taken to heart every day. So few can walk the talk, charlatanism may get you an article in the newspaper and you will never be heard from again. The slower and methodical method cultures the spirit with strong instinct. One is confronted with the immediate reality of the experience, when each horizon of the day is as new as the last. To be a nomad is to become the wilderness, the weather chills the body like it freezes the sap in the trees, the sun burns the skins as it scorches the open plains, and the water comes as a treasure for parched tongues, and wilted plants. One becomes the forest, when he has spent the luna’s cycle sleeping on the ground. His blood becomes salinated, bathed in irish fog from a coastal fen, the promise of water in the mirage of the desert tunes the sun baked soul away from all mundane distractions.
“We are a spirit, we are a natural part of the earth, and all of our ancestors, all of our relations who have gone to the spirit world, they are here with us. That’s power. They will help us. They will help us to see if we are willing to look. We are not separated from them because there’s no place to go — we stay here.

 

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