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The Madness Spark

Listen along to this article with additional commentary by author John Rauðúlfr 

Right now I wouldn’t blame you for calling me insane. As I type this I’m sitting in a small city in the south of Brazil. The other side of the equator, thousands of miles from my home country. In the midst of the Covidian age, nonetheless. I suppose the first question you’re asking is simply: 

Why? 

You mad bastard.

It’s not unheard of in history and myth for men to come up against precarious odds for the purpose or pursuit of love. Right now, I’m one of those men.  My loved one is a local; while she is out at school, I’m drinking some of the best coffee I’ve ever drank as I give all of you some insight as to how I got where I am. More importantly, what it means in the grander scheme.

They say fortune favors the bold. Men and women throughout history who have decided to take risks rather than retreat into the comfort of certainty. This brings to mind the seafarers of the distant past. Those who set out across vast, unforgiving oceans in order to seek new lands or plunder on the other side.

Many choose to play it safe, and there is something to be said for that. I myself am guilty of this as well. Considering current world events, this course of action is understandable. However, for crazy bastards like myself, and many other foolhardy men, that often just doesn’t cut it. 

Movement is growth. The lack of movement is stagnation. Several of my compatriots have touched on this key idea. We can apply this to any aspect of our lives. Movement through self development, or movement in the literal sense of traversing the mortal plane in search of our own way. 

Certain movements in our own Wyrd can drive us towards places in the corporeal or incorporeal realms which we never thought we’d find ourselves in. I can tell you I never thought for one minute I’d ever end up in Brazil, but here I am. 

The way certain events manifest act as the metaphorical meat grinder. A cacophonous event which blows our cards around on the table. This is necessary. It’s an event which can push us out of our comfort zone. In uncomfortable situations like this, the difficulty itself is what makes us take that next step.

It is a beautiful insanity. 

A spark of Madness. 

As the web of wyrd that winds and turns with every move we make, sometimes a bold move is needed. Certain things that despite everything and everybody telling us we shouldn’t, we know it must be done. It’s a feeling that you get when you know something seems completely bat shit crazy. 

But yet you do it anyway. The voice in your gut tells you must. The thread grows restless in your hands. Turn it. 

I see fate as presenting itself in branching segments. Junctions where the threads of our lives branch into different sections of the web. Opportunities, or chances to make a move will likely present themselves. These may be split second instinctual movements, or a major deviation. 

“Midway, upon the journey of our life 

I found myself within a forest dark, 

For the straightforward pathway had been lost.

Ah me! how hard a thing it is to say

What was this forest savage, rough, and stern,

Which in the very thought renews the fear.

So bitter is it, death is little more;

But of the good to treat, which there I found,

Speak will I of the other things I saw there.

I cannot well repeat how there I entered,

So full was I of slumber at the moment

In which I had abandoned the true way.

But after I had reached a mountain’s foot, 

At that point where the valley terminated, 

Which had with consternation pierced my heart,

Upward I looked, and I beheld its shoulders”

-Dante Alighieri, Inferno, Canto I.

It is when our lives seem to have wandered from the straight and narrow that we may find ourselves in need of such a movement. I can speak purely for myself here. In many ways where I find myself right now spawned from this feeling. The feeling of my life in a state of non-motion, and in need of a swift push.

If you found yourself in a period of life where your day to day is ridden with monotony. Where that magic that makes life worth living has disappeared. If you were approached by a notion to take a foolhardy leap to the unknown. To laugh in the face of whatever danger you might face, puff up your chest and try…

Wouldn’t you be ready to do it?

Is it possible that you may fail? Absolutely it is. Risk is risk and always carries the chance that the move you made may not be for your best. However, choosing to remain motionless and you’ll never know what could have been, and that to me is tragic.

I’ve talked about fear before, and one of the most prevalent in our human condition is fear of the unknown. I won’t lie, my nerves were firing as I prepared my things to make the journey to South America last week. But, that little spark of madness won over. That necessary unravelling of logic into a bold leap into the arms of fate. 

Rather than play it safe next time, think about it. Is that really what you want to do? 

Are you okay with knowing you may have missed out on a key branch in your path?

Alas, that’s entirely your choice. Meanwhile, I need to go hit up a local gym now, then spend the evening with my woman, and let me tell you what…

I’m fucking chuffed about it.  

Well worth the risk, man. 

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