Thirty years of good and loyal service to our consumer society, living in the Paris area, a career in logistics, wasting my time commuting in the concrete jungle, wearing myself out in the daily grind and stress of my professional obligations. Before losing my soul completely, I wanted to find some reason to my life, to escape my helplessness, to leave this bland and sterile world and savour the spice of adventure, the taste of life.
Thirty years thankfully marked by long trips around the world, to Mont Blanc, across the Atlantic on a yacht, the happiness of having a family, raising two children, all of which I look back with some distance and concern (growing up as they are in a world where man destroys, pollutes and perverts) and who I observe with affection, and for whom I continue to work in the hope of maintaining a sustainable future for them.
Life is a short road towards death, and if we want is to change the world, if we want to raise our consciousness, we need to make the very most of our existence, to live our dreams, to show that other ways are possible, to heal ourselves rather than to put up with it.
Intertwined with existential questions and the need to live by my convictions, I have come to the conclusion that neither material goods nor new technology bring us peace or comfort to the soul; the systematic search for growth as the sole driver of progress will bring us ruin; we are in return subject to norms, to the standard of the lobby group, dependent on the goodwill of the powerful, with no possibility of solving any of humanity’s problems.
Far from the city lights and the folly of men, I have finally found a place to live in the mountains where I alternate my solitary trips with work in the valley. In the mountains I have begun to create a sort of utopia where I can live out my convictions.
Leaving to exile oneself in the wild is not a panacea, however. I do not have the vocation of living as a hermit. This adventure is not conceivable, as far as I am concerned, without maintaining social networks, exchanges, and a cultural hearing - the evocation of an underlying alternative, pluridimensional world.
The access path to my land climbs through the forest is one on which I stride with hands joined, my back bent under the load of construction material or my shopping. This may seem a constraint but I see it as a form of therapy: I cleanse my excesses in sweat and I hunt my demons, with only the occasional deer to interrupt the traffic, rather than the sound of intemperate car horns and other road rage. It is the songs of numerous birds that have come to lead the depths of the surrounding silence.
Difficulties and fear of obstacles do not cause me to turn back, as often behind the wall hides peace, liberty, sharing, the values that I thought I would find in the mountains, with the courage and necessary effort for my personal development. For the value of accomplishment depends on the path followed to reach it; the enjoyment of success is not gained without hard work (whether meditative or frenzied).
Freedom to be, to become, this is the breath that intoxicates me today. A roof, solar panels, a wood stove, or spring water, these suffice for my personal comfort. I cut down trees to make a clearance, to cover the extension or to open up the view; I restore the existing buildings and the dry stone walls, and before starting to till the land, I plant fruit trees which will only bear fruit in the future.
The new dawn, rainy, with mist obscuring the valley, giving me the blues; but then the storm, the song of the wind that comes to search the forest, stirring the wooden giants, after which the radiant sun illuminates my day, gives me the intensity that I need to restore, to build, to find peace, my daily life demands reflection and acceptance –
and I yearn for nothing more than to become part of this sublime wilderness.
and sublime nature sits in a scene that will take me a long time to accomplish.