Stop. Breath. Look At What You’re Doing.


I hit my bunk around 5am after hours or writing, talking shit, laughing, and practicing my half Fort Myers, FL, half South London accent. Someone was snoring, and I left my good earphones between the couch cushions at my place 5,000 miles away, and the cheap ones I did bring weren’t good enough to block it out. I counted my breaths, whispered “inhale,” breath, “exhale,” and eventually my mind went elsewhere.

“This is amazing,” I thought. “Take this all in, and enjoy it.”

This is the living I wanted to do when I wasn’t living so much; when I was imagining what life would be like if I could catch up with friends on the other side of the world over plates of garlic baked white fish, plantains, black beans and sweet corn cakes. I move too fast sometimes and I don’t realize what I’m doing until I’ve done it. This bottom bunk is helping me.

In the film, An Affair to Remember, Terry McKay says “winter must be cold for those with no warm memories. We’ve already missed the spring.” I never want to be cold in the winter. I think about this while breathing deeply.

Raquel Tapia just asked, “how do you fund so many amazing trips?” I wanted to save this question for the book Grandville recommended I write, but I’ll go for a bit of it now. I buy one way tickets and figure everything out when I arrive. I believe wholeheartedly, and have yet to be proven wrong, that things work out when you step out there, and nothing awful will happen.

So yeah, I just show up.

“Look at what you’re doing, Darnell,” she said. And I started looking, and I seen it, and it was good, and it was fun, and it was beautiful, and I almost cried, but I got myself together and kept breathing.

Sunday I leave London on a one-way ticket to Marrakech, Morocco. To do what? I’ll figure it out when I get there. It just feels good to be here; in this place I dreamed about 20 years ago. On that bottom bunk listening to that snoring, knowing there will be stories to remember, stories to tell and share. Perhaps I’ll stay a few days, find a boat from Tangiers to Barcelona, or Monaco or something. Maybe I’ll yell “I’m the captain now, Irish!” from the piers. Who knows. Maybe I’ll live there, and write and produce my best works, and give my papers to an archive when I hit 75.

I’m grateful for the humility. The constant belief or thought that I’m not doing enough for the world, and for the people I know, like, love, and such. I’m truly working hard.

This week, my aim is to find a place somewhere in London that will be just mine. A patch of grass overlooking a body of water maybe, and I’ll breath and be thankful for it all.

3 thoughts on “Stop. Breath. Look At What You’re Doing.

  1. Can I be jealous, envious, covetous? This reminds me of my so much from my own life. I will insist to the gods that you DEEPLY experience and retain every morsel. (BTW, Morocco is astonishing, amazing & bewildering.)

  2. Some of my best vacations were planned as I went along rather than ahead of time. When you get to Morroco, you’ll know what to do. You’ll figure it out.

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