French Toast (Pt. 1 of 2)

 Her absence was like the sky, spread over everything. She hasn’t been around for a while now, and her distance has been felt and experienced day in and day out now for a little over a month. Waking to the thought of her plastered across my mind. Looking across my now empty bed that seems colder that it’s lost her warmth and smile. We enjoyed the seconds together as they ticked on by whilst she was still here. For a second with her was more sublime then a whole year of adventure without her.

But I’m getting ahead of myself. Her name is Jade. A beautiful little French thing with thick black hair and blue eyes that could cut right through any man, and leave him disarmed and hopeless for days to come. But her eyes are one of the many things that make her who she is. With a sense of humor that is goofy and quick, although perhaps sometimes accidental and unintentional, but it only adds to the charm. Kind and caring, although a bit stressed out at times, but she keeps it well balanced in her eternal tug of war.

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I remember the first time I laid eyes on her. Well past a year ago now, in this very same house in Ireland. I’d been in Europe for eleven days at that point. Been in two countries, with Ireland being my third and most sacred, Crossing thousands of miles to arrive to the kitchen in which I first laid eyes on her. Every single mile seemed to gain a purpose, and each trial and tragedy of the road got washed away in her warm radiant light. She sat there making apple crumble, leaving me speechless in the doorway, not knowing what the hell my move was. And that’s where it began.

Over the course of that summer I fell hopelessly for her, even if I didn’t try, it was an act that couldn’t be avoided. Which killed me and my sad soul for a majority of the summer for I didn’t have a hope that she’d ever love me back in my young foolishness. Although twists of fate and reality can be a bit unpredictable at times.

A week before she left a night came when I couldn’t contain myself after a night out with her. Nights out at that point had just become a thing of torture. Sure I could dig on the town, and enjoy myself enough, but with Jade around my soul ached and yearned for more. It knew it wasn’t at it’s full potential, and that to learn her mind and make it apart of me would only make me a better man. So I bent ever bit of my will toward that girl and hoped for the best. Later that night it worked out, she had feelings for me as well. Thus our love affair began in the light, while my heart took a deep breath.

As I said though this was a week before she was due to leave, and neither of us had the faintest clue of when our paths might cross again, so love seemed hopeless at that point. And what do you have when love is hopeless? How can a being accept that, move on, and live as if it were never tasted? For living in the shadow of a passion is to much weight for my soul to bear. Everything becomes less sweet after, and you linger on, searching for a fix to fill you up to the man you once were.

So summer 2013 ended, and so did our love for a brief time. Although at the back of our heads we still yearned for each other and kept the spark alive enough to make it on through to next summer, where neither of us knew what was to come.

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Fires, Music, and Adventure

I’m still having trouble wrapping my head around some thoughts. Like if I were back home in the states I’d be starting college in a few short days, and as a result the summer is quickly winding down to a close. Or even that I’ll be away from home for the next year, doing something different from the other avenues that I’ve been walking down my whole life. It can be a little intimidating and frightening at first. You feel the knots in your stomach begin to twist and turn. But really at the end of the day it’s a breath of fresh air, and the promise of adventure. Adventure that’s lurking all around you, just waiting to be had and found.

Needless to say these last few weeks have not been devoid of adventure in the slightest. I’ve been enjoying one of my favorite batches of people who I’ve encountered in a long time. People who bring passion and flavor from all around the world, from Belgium to Argentina. It’s a group of travelers through and through. People who are mad for life, always wanting and willing to make the next night better than the one before. Never tiring, or never giving in to some of lives simpler demands.

Jamming has become a regiment of our nightly routine. Martin, our Argentinian man who has soul pouring off of him in every form and fashion dances around the neck of his guitar, making it howl and sing into the night, while the djembe has begun to infect my soul with a new passion. An instrument I’ve always longed to play, but never had the proper chance to has finally found its way into my hands and heart. Oh and what a pair we’ve made with Martin. Him leading the way with his melodies and blues on into the night, never relenting and always shoveling more and more wonder into you.

A few nights ago we even got to add a few people in on the festivities. A trio of french hitchhiker had found their way onto our land and pitched their tent in some far off corner, but managed to find their way to our company before our nightly processions had begun. A welcome addition as well, for what is love and passion if it is not shared? They seemed grateful and happy to be there as much as we were. They stomped and bobbed into the night with us, everyone looking like fools with grins plastered across their faces, digging each others souls. But like the summers wind they had come and gone, leaving us with the memory of their sweet company blown across our cheeks.

But the adventures have not been limited to music and long conversations on the mind and the world. There has also been fire. Fire that burned brightly into the night, refusing to relinquish its power. Fire that threatened to burn down a whole field if not respected and stoked and loved. Fire that burned into all of us and brought us closer together while it illuminated our faces with its red romantic glow. Fire that we had started and in the night, but smoked and held on through the next three days to come. Through rain, wind, shine, and its own eternal heat, a reminder of what was had and gone.

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The night had started off simple enough. Food, a couple of drinks, and a rumor of a bonfire that was impending later in our night. Although none of us except for Juan knew the magnitude of this rumor. We figured this fire would be like any other and on our time schedule, not the other way around. But as we had gotten to the spot where the wood and other materials were stacked, and the flames started to grow we saw that we were wrong. But we were not sorry or sad for it. We had good company, a little brew to keep our spirits going, and each other to share in the flames with.

As we all burned on music was eventually brought out, and once the fire was contained and no longer needing much attention the conversation and stories began to flow. We talked and drank and grooved into the night. Fire dancing in our eyes, as it can only dance in the mountains in Ireland, where the air is fuller and where the mountains enchant your very being. But as all nights must it had to end. But the spot is still scorched in the earth for a little while longer. A memento of a night come and gone.

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These are just a couple of the adventures had over the last month, with only a handful of people I’ve experienced them with. As I haven’t even breached into the times Sonny and I have had, which will be a whole post or two on its own. But the adventures, memories, and life we’ve been living keeps me going, keeps me happy, and keeps me burning bright. I still can’t wrap my head around the thought that this will be my life for the next year, or that one day it will have to end.

Nomstock and Apologies

I feel like I’ve let myself down slightly since I’ve been over here. I’ve been writing a lot in my journal, I’ve been recording adventures. Yet for some reason I haven’t been sharing them on here. I’m not sure why either is the worst part. I could chalk it up to laziness, or ever being to tired at the end of a long day of work. Although at the end of the day there isn’t a great excuse.

That being said however I’m going to do my best to get an adventure on here a week, as I have a day off a week so it only makes sense. So without further adieu we shall begin.

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We rolled over the hill with the sun of a long days work at out back. Now don’t get me wrong, this wasn’t a hard days work. A long day and a hard day are two very different things. Anyways, a six pack of cold Guinness pressed gently to my back, stemming the heat off just enough to make the last rays of the sun bearable.

It was a six pack we’d won earlier, on the same quad we rolled in on. We’d raced around the knee high grassy field earlier that day like mad men in a desperate battle to win our now coveted prize that was cooling my sweat. Looking at us you wouldn’t have known we were working.

I didn’t realize that the time was already passed 8 and our guests, Laura and Maura, had arrived. The two girls were casually leaned against the porch as we pulled up to a stop. Before that point I was ready to arrive home and eat some dinner and drink one of our cold brews, fate however had a different idea in mind. Maura was introduced before Laura and before Sonny shooed us off to go get a shower and get ready for the nights proceeds.

I grabbed a shower beer to get me prepared for whatever was about to come. Twenty minutes later, after a more proper introduction and a bit more acquainting we left six strong for the festival. Ready to dig whatever was to come.

More clumsy awkward talk was had, as new friends do, on the way to the venue. Although we were all only in each others lives for going on 30 minutes at that point it was nice to have new faces around. Faces that were just as mad on life, and capable of making the most out of things as you were. Who were ready to live and love and be happy. The sort of people I always cherish to meet, as it always feels like an “at last reunion”, almost like meeting fellow kin.

While the sound of the band was being checked Juan and I wondered off to go see if we couldn’t track down some beer, or any sort of social lubricant. We found ourselves in a granola organic little cafe, with some sort of clever name. Only to find however that the festival was bring your own beer due to some ridiculous Irish law.  Which only made me feel all the more the fool, as I was the one who had forgotten to grab out brew bag.

The band finally got their tunes going and Laura and Maura showed back up to join the group after an unknown little venture. They suggested that we retire for a bit to a little park that was just over the hill, and we eagerly agreed. Adventure was on all our minds.

Swings added nostalgia for the moment in time while we began to reminisce. We explored past teenage feuds and lamented on how terrifying it was that all our teenage friends all seemed to be having kids or getting married. A strange phenomenon that we didn’t understand. All the while we realized that our teenage years seemed like an altogether different life then the one we now resided in. Strange how realizations are had.

The hungry midges finally decided to come out though, as the sun relinquished her fiery grip on their air. So we decided to move our little pow wow back to the lights and the music, an area those damn bugs still hadn’t discovered.

We were greeted by a groovy, more soul filled rendition of “That’s all right” by the king, and we swung into the dusk. Juan and I danced and when the song had finished Laura made the move to ask what I thought of it.

“Makes me want to move, and fills my soul with a groove.” Her warm smile cut through me. Some how, with music as our conduit, we arrived on her recent hobby of the ukulele. I revealed that I played as well and so our friendship grew. As all new friends do we agreed to meet again soon and jam.

Our time had grown to an end though as Meg and Sonny were ready to go. So a hug was given to the new friends, and a hope born to meet again as we departed from one another. On the way back home my head buzzed with regret and wonder. If only I’d stayed. Why the hell didn’t I stay? The answer was simple, a long day of work for both that day and the following day. Although I know in the future I’ll just remember the regret and not the four hours of extra sleep I got in exchange.

 

Verses from the Road

Mindset and inspiration are two of the most difficult things for me to acquire. I’ve spent my whole entire life in one of two places for the most part. Wyoming and Arkansas, and when one is in the same place for an extended period of time sometimes they have a way of falling into routine, which can be a killer of inspiration and mindset. These are a part of the reasons why I am always looking to break free of those things, for mindset and inspiration are beautiful things capable of re-imbuing one with new strength, energy, and outlook. 

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During this European trip, starting in Amsterdam and ending up here in Ireland I’ve gotten my fair share of new inspiration. But the things about inspiration is one never knows when it’ll strike. It’s almost like love, it seems to be waiting around every corner, eager to spring out and knock you off your feet. Which fair to say I’ve been knocked silly a few times this trip. But you must be as prepared for this sort of thing as possible. For if growth and knowledge aren’t reaped from inspiration then it’s inspiration wasted and tasted in vein.

It’s for this reason I always have my journal or a notepad on my phone ready to go. To capture the beauty and highlights of travel and life. Because time has a way of washing those things away if effort isn’t made to preserve them.

That being said here are a few verses from the road that have been derived from inspiration here and there that I’ve managed to capture. They are in no particular order, and some thoughts may turn into more expanded posts in the future, but enjoy…

 

“I hate looking through trip photos while on that same trip. It’s a sad reminder of what is to come. That in whatever amount of time that photo album will come to a close and be finished. The entire trip becoming a phantom of the past.”

“To dream without direction is a dangerous thing. No mater how contradictory that seems. For to dream in to chase an unknown. A pursuit of a rare and elusive thing. A hunt that’ll take many unknown turns, and that may seem altogether lost at times. But to do this without direction, without an end goal is killing the beauty of your dream before it’s captured. Don’t chase something down for the greedy thrill of it. For if you do capture it, and don’t know what the hell you are to do with it, in your unfamiliar and trembling hands, then you failed your dream. But to pursue with purpose and an end goal ensures the cultivation of your dream once it is caught. To be able to incorporate it into your life and live with it, rather then against it or with it haunting your foolishness.

“Living in the shadow of passion is almost to much weight for a soul to bear. It starts cracking at the foundations and structural flaws begin to show true. Everything becomes less sweet, and you seem to be a lesser version of your then complete self. Trying to find a fix becomes a daily occurrence. Always nagging at the back of your mind and is the driving force behind the tips of your fingers. Your body becomes a slave to your hearts whims, and failure becomes a word that must be disguised to avoid madness. So such veils as “learning” and “progress” soon begin to stem failures all to familiar sting.”

“I lived in the land where the drunken man sang and the sad man intoxicated his soul. Where the land never ceased to roll out before you, just like the time that were had and gone. I met friends and allies and killed nights with talks of war and tragedy and plagued our minds with visions asunder. Old castles served as abodes to ghosts to conjure up to scare out children our of wrong doings again and again and again, while we were afraid of doing wrong ourselves again and again and again. It was in the land of the emerald, the black Guinness and the blood that stains the gypsies fists that I was born again and again and again. Baptized by the love from a foreign tongue, transformed by the beauty that spills from the mountain tops where the sheep bleat their lives away.”

“The present is a funny thing. Always full of surprises that the future never seemed to have on offer. Events intertwine and give birth to new possibilities, while in a months time the whole course of your life can change from where it was three months before. Where you were three professions different then what the present seems to hold.”

“I long for the moments when my thoughts are more beautiful then any music that could fill the air. When the company of a warm conversation is more real and true then any fix could satisfy. When my love rests at peace in my arms and the rest of the world fades away.”

 

I’ll leave you with this. A little album of photos from adventures had so far on this trip across the pond, I just hope this album doesn’t close anytime soon…

 

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The Paranormal of Travel

I’ve come to miss London again already, quite terribly actually. It’s was nice to go back to a fondly thought of city,except this time more familiar and inept in my travel. Perhaps one of the smaller, more easily missed things in London that I grew fond of was the sights and sounds of the tube. Couples that were able to turn off the hundreds of eyes around them, and live in each others arms, a thing of beauty. I long to be consumed by a love like that again.

Then there was the business class, flipping their leather phone faces to get at their digital world, obtaining their social fix through the heads of their thumbs, while neglecting all the possible conversations around them. But is there a difference between a man who carries a phone, and a man who carries a paper? Do they not both serve as social blocks and barriers? A sign, regardless of the medium, that screams to its viewer, “Don’t bother me, I’m busy here!”. Either way I suppose conversation is killed and possible friendships aborted.

Yet one of the most dangerous creatures of the underground are the phantoms. The lovely ladies that catch the eye in a passing window, or in a seat down the carriage. Those phantoms who leave their mark on the rest of your day, plaguing your thoughts and mind with images of grandeur and love. A taste of what it might be to have her in your arms in some nameless park, where your blanket is the only patch of land that matters to you in that sea of acreage. To chase the feeling of the phantom, of what it might be like to run your hand down her smooth curved side, while you both feast off the sun and one an others love. But then the stop has come, or the window has passed. The phantom leaving you with nothing but a lesser version of yourself. Slightly sapped and dazed by your beautiful stranger.

Besides phantoms there is one other entity that haunts me when it comes to travel. Those are the ghosts. Remnants of memories long gone that are awakened when you reencounter the feelings which created them. You see, travel is one of the most haunting experiences I’ve ever had to deal with. Haunting in so many aspects. It’ll leave you breathless, not believing the things you saw, and leave you wanting more. But then it’ll also weigh heavy on your mind, body, and soul. A deadly combo. Always at the fringes of your thoughts, and eating at your romanticism. Your trip becomes full of last sights and lost loves.

The thing about ghosts is you never know when they’ll creep up. As you’re still largely unfamiliar with the cities and places you’ll be traveling to. But the good news is if it’s your first time being somewhere you have no dead and gone experiences to haunt you. You need not to worry about the unpredictable market corners that will spring out at you, knocking you silly. The spectres of memory that infuse you with longing and nostalgia. A whirlwind of past dampened and distant feelings and senses rush upon you. Glimpses at now long gone street performers give you one last encore in the minds eye, while the silent countless faceless of other ghosts clap around you. Sometimes the ghost is that of a taste that once enriched your then ignorant taste buds. Your eyes may move on, but your mouth remembers and waters in protest, as a piece of you is lost at that crossroad of unexpected paranormal.

Yet these ghosts and phantoms should not be feared or dreaded. as they gain no pleasure in your suffering. They serve as reminders of the beautiful, and are the bastions of the good. Welcome them, and in the process open up you and your heart. It’ll allow you to feel all the more. Make ghosts wherever you go. Little reminders of your former self in time, because who you were at that moment in time will always be somewhere in you, even if it did burrow itself in you deeper then you’d have liked.

To experience these phenomenons is to know your living to the fullest. As you’d miss them any other way. It becomes a nice sort of circle of the cerebrum. Memories and experience bring out the ghosts of old, and open your heart to be hit harder by the phantoms of love. Which in turn adds to your complexity and experience. Allowing you to create more vivid ghosts for tomorrow.

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A Night in Waiting

I’m not sure how to come to grips with tomorrow yet. So many different feeling are drifting around inside of me, that’s it’s awfully difficult to nail it down to exactly which one if most present. There is fear sailing high on it’s impregnable ship, crushing lesser feelings that get in it’s way ,like anticipation and worry. While there are a few other juggernauts along for the ride. Love perhaps being the biggest of all, with excitement somehow tailing close behind in it’s wake.

But I don’t really want to nail tomorrow down to a certain feeling either. Nothing should be that simple, or one tract. We’re people, and people are complicated and complex. Capable of feeling many things at once. Like a deep worry of fear in the pits. Not knowing if this spontaneously thrown together last minute trip is such a good idea. Perhaps it would have been better to stay in the states and work all summer instead, along with all my other friends. When it comes down to it I honestly don’t know if I’m making the right decision in going. It’s the age old battle between the head and the heart. At the end of the day I have to go. If anything for love.

Love for travel, love for a country, love for friends, love for adventure. I’d rather feel all through love then not at all. To let her guide me with her gentle hands, then be ruled by reason alone. Of course I leave room for rationalization, as like I said, we’re complex beings, capable of more then just a base and singular feeling.

Yet, I can’t help but be overwhelmed on this night though. Packing and knowing that my return will not be had for a couple months. As few possessions go into a bag I think of the faces I will see that I was afraid I might not again. To think of the Tsiopani family and their home Eclipse. Things I wasn’t sure that I’d get to experience again when they last escaped my vision, and other surroundings replaced their familiar embrace. It’s a wild feeling to know that those things are on their way in the not to distant future. To know they’ll once again consume my world and re-imbue my soul with a deep burning love and romanticism. As it can’t be helped when your surrounded by so much beauty.

Then there’s one of my best friends Ian. A friend of old who I’m going to get to live and travel with for almost two weeks. To experience foreign and new things with a familiar and fun fellow by my side. To get to adventure with him, after already having done so much by his side. These things all weigh down on me until I can hardly breath because of their weight tonight. The excitement, fear, and love are all heavy feeling to bear at times.

I can’t wait to read future writings after new life is lived. I can’t wait to examine growth after another summer has come and gone. I can’t wait to laugh with familiar smiles. I can’t wait to eat like a king every night again. It’s a future I welcome with open arms and heart.

But, I’ll miss this place as well. My home. Where love was first discovered, and who I am built. But I’ll carry that with me as I leave it behind for a brief spell. I’ll miss the experiences lost here, and the family left behind. And to them, I bid them a very heavy adieu. With the promise of return soon though. A return full of new stories, and new life. So, until next time America, I bid you a fond fare well. And I shall see you tomorrow Europe. As for now though, goodnight world.

 

P.S If you’d like to follow along more with the adventure follow me on instagram @jeremystormsky, or click on the pictures off to the left. I’ll be taking and sharing lots of pictures of the journey along the way. I welcome all to come along for the ride.

Life Update!

First off, two apologies.

1. For not posting as often since summer has begun.

2. That I will probably continue not to post as regularly as summer continues, or at least until late July.

Why? Because I’m heading to Europe in two days on the 28th. It’s official, ticket is bought and hostels are booked. And I’ll be there until late July, early August. I’ll be traveling with my friend Ian Shrum from the 28th until the 10th of June. We’ll be starting our journey in Amsterdam, where we’ll spend a spell. After which we’ll head to London for a briefer time, and kill a few days there. And we’ll end our trip in Dublin, where he’ll fly out the 10th, and I’ll head down to southern Ireland to Kenmare where I’ll be spending most of the rest of the summer at the Eclipse Center again. The same location that I spent a majority of last summer at. And great news about that is most of the main gang from last year will be there again this year, so it’ll be a lovely summer reunited with old and dear friends. Something that I simply cannot wait for. Especially after have getting to travel with one of my best mates for almost two weeks. It’s going to be a wild ride of a summer.

That being said however, my internet capabilities will be spotty at best while over there, so blog posts will not be as frequent. Although I’ll try to post as often as I can. But good news is upon my return at the end of it all I’ll have a load of fresh stories to tell, as well as several other exciting new developments that are in the works as we speak now. Once I get back I’ll be beefing up the blog with loads of new content and features that will make this more than just a travel blog. But these developments are still in their infancy so I will not say much more than that. But be on the lookout for them come the end of summer.

Anyways, got to go pack and make final arrangements before departure, just wanted to give everyone a quick life update! I’ll see everyone on the other side, and my next post will be from across the big blue! Until then!