Maybe I have watched one too many Dave Gorman shows on youtube but I have started to wonder if it would be a good idea to do something a bit crazy.
Right now it is cold outside and I am snug inside. I have my central heating and over-engineer mattress. I have my teas and my computer, and my chair that always makes make back hurt just a little less when I sit in it.
Even my bathroom is engineered to require less effort to wash and use the loo. To be fair, without that I might not be able to wash and I’d risk getting stuck on the toilet if my back lets me down (as it sometimes does).
Everything is exactly crafted to prop me up. My every limitation and physical weaknesses are mitigated, catered for, and pandered to.
As a result, I have no particular reason to ever leave my home. If it were not for friends and family I’d stay home forever. Even my shopping comes to me.
So what would happen if I gave it all up?
The crazy plan
I already have my crazy life goals but this particular bit of crazy is something else entirely.
A few years ago I was given a bus pass. They give bus passes to pensioners and disabled persons who might otherwise be trapped at home. I’m not a pensioner but I’m far from fully able-bodied. At the time, my bus pass was like being given a whole new life. I was suddenly able to afford to go out.
Then I got thinking.
You see, my bus pass is valid on almost all buses in the country. In theory, I could go anywhere. It would take a long time but I could get pretty much anywhere.
Which was how I came to make the “Lord Matt World Tour” map. On this map, I plotted bus lines and people that I knew who would probably put me up or meet me for a coffee. The first thing I realised is that the people I know are not in any way even distributed.
The second thing I realised is that bus routes are really boring. It turns out that I lack the drive required to make a map of all the bus routes in the UK.
Which led to the conclusion that I was either going to have to just do it or give up the plan.
A revised crazy plan
Fast forward a few years and my condition is worse. The chances are that while I could drift around the UK on public transport, it would cost a lot of pain and discomfort. With that level of physical cost, the goal would have to be worth a bit more than catching up with people I’ve met before.
I need a goal.
What I need is something to achieve – something I could inspire other people to get behind. After all, the only way I could possibly navigate the vagarities of bus lines would be to have local guides every step of the way.
The obvious cause was with me all along. I could raise awareness of people who live with pain.
There are a few possibilities here:
- Do gigs with local poets and almost no planning relying on each gig to introduce me to the next helper, venue, and poetry scene.
- Basically, do the same thing but meet authors and put on writing workshops.
- Some combination of the two
Whichever choice I made I would need to photograph it and blog about it. I’d need people to share things on social media and let the craziness of the attempt carry me forward.
Will I do the crazy thing?
Not without a clear narrative of what I want to do, no. That is the problem with crazy ideas. If you are going to have them, they need to be clear crazy ideas. “I want to do something” is a failure; “I want to do this specific something” can be a success.
If I am going to live out of a suitcase and suffer the pain my back can inflict when I travel too much and sleep in uncomfortable beds, then I need to know why I am doing that.
I will do this crazy thing. I just need to know the “why” and the “what”.
Answers, as they say, on a postcard…