Just as I spent a portion of my life wishing I could be someone else, there was a large part of my life spent wanting to be elsewhere. Perhaps it started innocently enough; the coffee table books about Africa in my great-grandmother's house that sits on one of my shelves to this very day, or her artifacts from China. I've always been a sucker for documentaries, even and especially about nature, so the far-flung locals that were featured captivated me. There was also the steady diet of sci-fi, fantasy, and comic books growing up, feeding an active-overactive?-imagination.
The bullying made somewhere, anywhere, a better option. Of course, one cannot outrun their monsters, and anyone who would try to tell you different is either daft or trying to sell something. Still, being an aberration, I've often felt like a bit of an outsider, which can be more bothersome than you might imagine. So, the idea of finding an elsewhere that it didn't matter how curious I was held its sway.
Whilst never possessed of the gypsy mojo of some of the cats I've known, that subconscious search was constant. It's perhaps the reason some teenage boy's ranting to a Led Zeppelin song when I was seventeen made such a lasting impression. The myth and magic of Kashmir. I had something to find.
You would think, having that feeling of outsiderishness, it would have been grand that I fell in with vampires for a bit. Not so much. As with any social caste, there is the strata, and with castes like the vampires or punks or artist-types or pagans or metalheads, there are the degrees of how alienated you've been to close ranks with whatever group. Whether you're just a tourist carousing in someone else's skin for a weekend and a thrill or the one who is so strange that you're alienated amongst the alienated. And, of course, there is the subtext of who keeps it the most real, those who try to give lessons on being the most outsiderie.
Fuck that noise...
I wasn't actively looking for Kashmir when we stumbled upon it. Ain't that always the way? Of course, I was thinking of elsewhere at the time. Sabina and I had extricated ourselves from the vampire caste and were exploring new avenues of things to do and reconnecting with either accidental or intentionally buried aspects of ourselves. The recent life changes made me restless.
To be trite, it was like falling in love; something I knew head, heart, and gut, and no one could tell me otherwise. Suddenly the somewhere else to be had a tangible location. Myth and magic made manifest. We had a goal, and we achieved it.
It's coming up on the anniversary of our taking possession of the House of Owls and Bats. Of coming home. I'd be stating the obvious to say this place still sings to me in esoteric tongues. A human lifetime is not enough to throughly explore the totality of it, which is part of the magic.
A human lifetime...too short. It is why I ache for the lifespan of a star; all the things I want to do might only be accomplished on a cosmic timespan. This is why I have decided not to die. I'm busy.
I no longer desire to be somewhere, anywhere else. Whilst being an aberration, I can still feel like a bit of an outsider, but I'm somewhere populated by other exiles and drop-outs. If there are those who would preen and posture over being more outsiderie than anyone else, and there probably are, I've either not met them, or dismissed them out of hand.
There is still the desire to travel. I still want to see Africa and Tibet. Alaska and Patagonia. Spain and Greece and Australia. Cambodia and Peru. To see whales and perhaps go into orbit, if not step off world to somewhere really alien. The thing is, now I have a basecamp to come back to and be contented to be back home.