Good evening ladies and gentleman…
Vikings. Bet you’re imagining a big fella with a ponytail and a helmet, astride the longboat rowing, wielding something gargantuan, preparing for battle.
Bare with me though.
Every time a Viking stood aboard one of those longboats, there was never any guarantee he would return. Maybe he had a family, a wife, children even. Yet, he went. Didn’t think about it, didn’t hesitate, climbed aboard the boat and prepared to row. As the drums blasted and the chants rang loud and true, the sea crashing up the sides of the boat, the aquatic monolith doing all it can to keep them away, keep them scared, keep them from the secrets the world had to offer.
On they went. Through the driving rain and high seas, the ink black of the darkness and searing heat, they continued. Through it all, not having a clue what they were going to find on the other side. Could it be good? Sure. Could it be the most wonderful thing they had ever seen? Its not unreasonable… Could it be the worst thing to ever happen and make them wish they’d never left the comfort of their bed that morning? Also possible….
Point being- they went anyway.
Makes me wander about vikings and how that mentality could be intertwined into decisions across different aspects of our lives. The idea of living, aware of the what if, but doing it anyway. The issue to combat in this incidence is the power of the thought, when over done as Allan Watts famously said the “chattering in the skull.”
These chatterings are born from a need to solve a problem, to comprehend an issue that cannot be shook off or looked past. It weights heavy on me, like spending the day walking around carrying an endlessly heavier barbell across my shoulders. There’s going to be a time where i simply cannot take anymore and my legs are going to let go. Then the problem is still as strong as ever and all i have to show for it is a bruised face and dirty knees after dragging myself back up from the floor.
Again and again, you fall. Over and over, day after day. The only way is to find a better way, to take this weight off, the worry of what will happen on the boat, worrying about how that conversation, that dinner might go. Scared of what could happen, or might not happen, of what you want to happen and fear not being handle if it does.
It’s easy to give up, to stop thinking, to allow action to become a figment of imagination, a mere fantasy. There is a certain vapid nothingness to this technique of endlessly surviving life because it involves taking something that has all the potential in the world to be even more exponentially beautiful into a rhythm. A series of motions, the same words, the same conversations with the same people as you crawl back into bed waiting for the gong as the cycle starts over.
It’s a predictable way of being when you know what happens at every moment. No surprises, control the outcome, nothing you can’t handle. Simple. Perfect existence.
I have had this attitude for years now, not needing these risks, these fears as the routine i’ve created gives the patterns of anxiety i’ve become a slave to over the years power to rule the very nature of my being.
Again, again and again I’ve lost hours thinking, worrying, yearning to do more than i thought i could, to be more than i ever thought possible. I’ve wanted to feel like i was actually worth something to the world and that my words mattered, even if only to me.
To realise in a phase of bleary eyed exhaustion how little you know about yourself is an interesting thought to have and quite a difficult one to handle. You realise you are a mere shadow of who you believe yourself to be, living so safely it probably wouldn’t matter if you didn’t bother at all.
So to the learning, in that powerful but subtle art of not having a clue.
Through fear, through anxiety, through a compulsive fear that it might be good, even if you don’t know whats going to happen. Impossible, surely not?
Be sure, I am not saying to go completely the other way and find yourself in a situation blindly lead by a hopeful ignorance it will all turn out OK. This, i remain confident is not the way forward and frankly lacks any form of style or subtlety as far as i can tell.
The Subtle Art of Not Having a Clue is not ignorance, it isn’t knowledge, it isn’t stealth or domination. It’s the idea of just doing, being the most accurate representation of yourself, to yourself. You cannot predict anything, unless you decide to live so safely you might as well not be living at all. You wish to live the perfect existence that’s fine but I can’t anymore, anxious about life is the one way that you can be sure you’re not doing it.
Jump just because, laugh like it’s the last chance you’ll get because you never know it might be. Go out, see people, experience places, it doesn’t matter if its a new restaurant, a new city or a new country just go and be. Be present and be ready for the challenges life throws at you because you are strong enough to handle anything that the universe throws at you.
Life itself has the capacity to be very life affirming, I’m starting to think. Remember the smiles and remember the tears, they’re both just as important. Remember the opportunities you took and be proud you were in the moment to seize it. Be proud you didn’t know what was going to happen, be proud of yourself for getting up when you didn’t know how you were going to carry on. You are still here and it would have been so easy to stop, to fail and live in that failure.
You don’t know what’s going to happen and your going to just do it anyway.
Life is a surprise, and you know what if we try, when you really think about it…it might not be every minute of everyday, but whatever happens- you got this.
Stop underestimating yourself and look how far you’ve come and how far you’re willing to go. It doesn’t matter where you’re going just be on the move.
Dance like nobody’s watching, smile like its a life force that keeps your happiness alive. Cry tears of pain and passion, beauty wander and joy and never ever hide from them. Love like its the one and only time you ever will and kiss like its the last time you’ll ever get to.
Be the architect of your life.
Not even of your life but of your day. And the next day, the next day and the next. One day..you’re sat watching the sunset on a beautiful vista. Next, your lying in bed- eating ice cream and drinking cider.
All of a sudden, the Subtle Art of Not having a Clue doesn’t seem so bad.
Yours, with love as always.