Monday, 15 December 2008


Camping is often referred to as getting back to nature. I am not sure if people mean that it represents a communing with the ways of our ancestors, honouring the ancient behaviours of huddling around fires and sleeping in the open or whether it is to do with our proximity to spiders and other bits of nature. Both are accurate and since I started living in a tent I do feel a lot closer to nature in every sense. For some reason this makes me very happy, even tonight on a cold winter evening, surrounded by spiders, I am feeling quite perky.

Through my life I have had a few notable experiences that have immersed me in a feeling of utter joy, chance happenings that have made me feel euphoric, ecstatic beyond reason and utterly overwhelmed with emotion. I am a pretty level headed chap most of the time so these incidents stay in my mind. The catalysts to these states of mind are various but the ones that instantly spring to mind are sexual, musical and natural experiences.

One instant that I will remember to my dying day was when I was about 17 years old, I took my video camera out onto the moors where I lived, it was about 5 in the morning and I intended to film the sunrise. I set up the camera on a tripod, sat back and awaited the appearance of the sun. As it rose I found myself feeling incredibly small and was overwhelmed with the power and majesty of the enormous glowing orb before me. I remember laughing uncontrollably and saying aloud to myself, 'everything is going to be alright.' I knew to my core that no matter what happened in my life that the sun would keep on rising and falling and any trivial fears and aspirations I had meant nothing. The thing that I remember most was the feeling of connectedness, that I was only a tiny part of this huge universe but an important one nonetheless. An eye of nature looking back at itself with love.

Without wishing to get carried away, I have rarely experienced anything so powerful. A few other experiences are comparable, the intimacy that one feels whilst making love to someone you care about, the rippling cheer of an enraptured crowd or a deep immersion into the vibrations of music. These are the things that not only make us feel happy but make us feel fulfilled, connected to the world and all it's beauty.

It can't be bought, it can't be drunk or injected, it can't be given or taken. It is in all of us all of the time and only one thing can make us feel it. Nature. Be it an insight into our own nature or a connection to the earth, it is the realisation that we are all one entity, made out of the same stuff, endlessly feeding back on ourselves to greater levels of complexity. If you accept that, then how could you wish to harm another? When I look back on my life, it has been the sole source of solace in what can seem like a cruel world, the only reason that I have any faith in mankind and the only real way to experience uncomplicated joy.

The reason that I am writing about this is because in the last week whilst I have been on holiday I have felt this connectedness to TLB, my family and friends, the dog, the earth. It has reminded me that despite all of the evil in the world there is an overwhelming power that cannot be taken away by greedy banks and fraudulent governments, it is much bigger than them. That power is the power of Chuck Norris.

Erm, no, sorry, it's not Chuck, it is Love. As Captain Beefheart so sagely sang, 'the stars up above are running on love' and the more people realise it, the less likely we all are to end up, remortgaging our children to pay for our ipods. Life is simple and getting back to nature would do us all a lot of good. Buy a tent, you won't regret it.


Hayden Davis said...

Nicely put mate. If I did. Could I be your Padwan apprentice?

Anonymous said...


Torminalis said...

erm, yeah, sorry about that, but hey, if I am living in a tent I am allowed to get out my inner hippy once in a while. And yes Hayden, you would be most welcome mate.

Anonymous said...

Hello Mr W...loved your nature boy dare you take the name of Chuck in vain though...check out to see why this is a bad idea...this is an actual website before you's hilarious!


Torminalis said...

Dr Al, was thinking of you this morning whilst listening to Radio 4 and yes, I will definitely be honouring HST in due course, you know the Rum Diaries are being filmed soon as well, should be well worth a peek.

So you bastard, when you coming to stay?

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