12. Across the States in 80 Days: Week Ten – Bloody Sunshine

12th of 13 Videos about my trip, in 80 days from New York to Los Angeles by bicycle, the arrival at Los Angeles.
The music used is from the album « To the end of the world », which was recorded by The Lone John Harps in 2014.

You can download the tracks at: https://thelonejohnharps.bandcamp.com

The text was written during the trip, and reflects the state of mind I was in at that moment.


Week Ten: A cycle come full circle

Sitting on Santa Monica Beach, a few miles from where I miserably slumped down nine months before, faced with the certainty of failure.
The ocean is the same but I’m a different man.
Approaching along Route 66, past a hideous succession of urban sterility that only recently would have made me cry with despair. A whirlwind of emotion and memories sending a tear running down my cheek.
The tears are the same, but these are cried for something else.  
Riding along Hollywood Boulevard with the sun setting, winding my way through the traffic, speeding by the places that had me paralyzed and agonizing in stasis.
The streets are the same but I can use their sidewalks while looking at the stars.
Entering the studio and realizing that we’ve already laid down the foundations. Adding, decorating, flourishing in a burst of creative energy.
The songs are the same, but they resonate with the wanderings of my soul. 
Arriving back in New York for the final departure, the menacing and terrifying reality of the unknown filtered through the prism of a newfound optimism.
The city is the same, but I can see through its facade. 
Returning home, with the satisfaction of knowing there was nothing more I could have done. That whatever didn’t happen only makes the occurred more real.
Reality’s the same, but it matters less.
Setting off into a new adventure full of hope. Not the one repeated like a mantra, that I am willing to become real, but the deeply rooted kind, that stems from knowledge.
That knowledge that had almost slipped my mind. That the world is nothing but what I’ll make of it.
The world is the same but I can sing it once again.

11. Phileas – Across the States in 80 Days: Week Nine – Feed my head

Eleventh of 13 Videos about my trip, in 80 days from New York to Los Angeles by bicycle, the ninth week on the road.
The music used is from the album « To the end of the world », which was recorded by The Lone John Harps in 2014.

You can download the tracks at: https://thelonejohnharps.bandcamp.com

The text was written during the trip, and reflects the state of mind I was in at that moment.

Week Nine: In the wilderness
Here’s the desert.
It’s been a long time coming and all along I could see on the horizon.
There might still be a couple of stops on the way, but eventually there’s no getting around it.
There are many ways to get lost. Get lost in this endless vastness that is desired as much as it is dreaded. To be far gone and not entirely sure there is a way back, to want it this way.
Return differently, leaving something behind there, half-empty but with a life fully lived.
Songs, words and ideas to fill the void around and inside. They’ll get blown away, covered up and drowned out, become repertoire, catchphrase and convictions, but I can live with that.
It’s a fool’s paradise, a castle in the sky, a shelter built on sinking sands but it feels safer than their treacherous grounds full of sinkholes.
It will never be enough against the vast emptiness that is engulfing everything around, but I’d rather have this one glorious sunset than a life-time of shadow dancing.

10. Phileas : Across the States in 80 Days: Week Eight – To the end of the world #2

Tenth of 13 Videos about my trip, in 80 days from New York to Los Angeles by bicycle, the eighth week on the road.
The music used is from the album « To the end of the world », which was recorded by The Lone John Harps in 2014.

You can download the tracks at: https://thelonejohnharps.bandcamp.com

The text was written during the trip, and reflects the state of mind I was in at that moment.

Week Ten : What I want
As I am preparing for the final steps, I’m taking stock. More and more I find myself smiling to myself, incredulous. Unable to grasp it while clinging tightly to it.
I don’t want it to stop. I want sunrises with a horizon, not the walls and the fences.
I want endlessness, not the confinement of stasis.
I want life, not the idea of its perfection.
And at the same time I’m longing for the end.
Every stretch of road is defined by its destination, which I am striving for.
Always projected forwards, towards a reason.
And so I’m yearning for the arrival while I dread it.
I’m waiting for the conclusion, and want to postpone its judgement.
I want vindication, and fear being proven right…

9. Phileas – Across the States in 80 Days : Week Seven – Freedom and its enemies

Ninhth of 13 Videos about my trip, in 80 days from New York to Los Angeles by bicycle, the seventh week on the road.
The music used is from the album « To the end of the world », which was recorded by The Lone John Harps in 2014.

You can download the tracks at: https://thelonejohnharps.bandcamp.com

The text was written during the trip, and reflects the state of mind I was in at that moment.

Week Seven : Ways
We are all on a path.
Not easy to keep one’s bearings.
There are crossroads, turnpikes, switchbacks.
Some of us are on death row, in crowded corridors, clogged arteries, our journey finished before it even started.
Some of us have no way. Blocked and penned in where dead ends meet, unable to find a passage. On the streets, in alleys and aisles, belting out against it.
Some of us are comfortable on main street, serious, thorough, willing to go through with our way, to pay the fare.
Some are on the fast lane, on the highway, seldom resting.
Some have an avenue to themselves, broad boulevards lined with trees, full of propriety.
Some have taken a shortcut, the expressway, the shunpike, have chosen to bypass the difficulties. Some have been blessed, engaged on the high road, the royal road and get away with everything.
Some weather it all because they have a cause to fight for.
Some set out on a trail, track down a different sort of goal, along the corniche, on ridges others wouldn’t dare to tread.
Somewhere in between there is me. Eager to get away from the traffic but taking the freeway, disregarding the paved road, but unwilling to go through the mud, to stick with the dirt path.
On a route, trying to leave my attachments behind, trying to find weightlessness in a world ruled by gravity. In the in between of movement. Always departed and never arrived. Trying to be endlessly alive.

8. Phileas – Across the States in 80 Days: Week Six – Out of the Wild

Eighth of 13 Videos about my trip, in 80 days from New York to Los Angeles by bicycle, the sixth week on the road.
The music used is from the album « To the end of the world », which was recorded by The Lone John Harps in 2014.

You can download the tracks at: https://thelonejohnharps.bandcamp.com

The text was written during the trip, and reflects the state of mind I was in at that moment.

Sixth Week: On the road
I am now right in the middle of this mythical no-man’s land that I have sought out. Right in the middle of that story that I have read and been fed for so long. I would be lying if I didn’t acknowledge my indebtedness to these ramblings. But I would be dishonest if I endorsed them completely.
Of course when I read something like “I was halfway across America, at the dividing line between the East of my youth and the West of my future”, it strikes a chord deep within.
But just like I can’t say “I am alive” without echoing someone who came before, it doesn’t mean that my being alive has to be pure imitation and indiscriminate following.
I always liked the road but not the man who was telling me about it.
He yearned for people “mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved” but in the end his madness was nothing but an excuse for someone too weak to care.
He may have redeemed himself through his writing to some extend, but his life and vision and opinions eventually appeared to me to resemble those that he was railing against.
Just like Rock n’ Roll, and all its bullshit mythology, those who are prone to “burn, burn, burn” usually end up burning everything and everyone around them to the ground.
And if they come out of it alive, often turn into the very people they so vehemently vilified.

7. Phileas – Across the States in 80 Days : Week Five – White Moonshine River

7th of 13 Videos about my trip, in 80 days from New York to Los Angeles by bicycle, depicting the fifth week on the road.
The music used is from the album « To the end of the world », which was recorded by The Lone John Harps in 2014. You can download the tracks at: https://thelonejohnharps.bandcamp.com

The text was written during the trip, and reflects the state of mind I was in at that moment.

Fifth Week – The importance of being honest
The initial excitement of the unknown has given way to routine and habits but without them having yet become too familiar to be boring.
It is also the moment when I’m coming to terms with the fact that this journey is not going to attract the attention I hoped it would.
The spark hasn’t started the wildfire that would help me set my musical career “ablaze”.
But the sympathetic eyes of the few who follow as day after day passes, sure are always worth more than the hollow approval of the masses. I come to doubt it sometimes, but I wouldn’t keep going if I did not believe it.
What I am missing will always be but a means to an end and it doesn’t mean that much in the end.
The end being always to write, play and record new songs and I can feel them coming up on the horizon, like the many sunrises in the endless skies in front of me.