Pierce Starre: Breaking free: Part 2

An inspirational Pierce Starre travelled for several long weeks on foot, he chose to embark on an unplanned and organic journey that would see him breaking free from the daily rituals and triviality of our modernised lives. Along the way he continued to meet more people, many of whom shared a mutual view how one should be making the most of Mother Nature’s natural treasures that our country provides. Early morning sunrises breaking through heavy mist, the glorious beauty of rolling moors, refreshing swims in clear rivers and musical sounds of rushing waterfalls – all of these delights are described in Pierce’s blog: Born To Birth.

Photo by Pierce Starre

Photo by Pierce Starre

For us to comprehend the experiences Peirce was going through, he kindly agreed to share them with us alongside his journey, one that took him out of society and was an experience for him on all levels.

Hereby the concluding article;

1. As with last time I’ll start with how are you?

I am doing well and am feeling optimistic and positive despite missing my family and my ongoing hayfever and ankle difficulties.

2. Since you started have you encountered mainstream society, if so how was it?

There have been occasional reconnections with society. I took a trip into a supermarket to pick up rations for my journey and the noise was audibly and visually disorientating. It hit me like a brick. I hadn’t experienced that amount of noise for a while. It struck me how systematic everything appeared. The way people walked up and down the aisles in the same direction. The way people queued up to pay for their items, everything seemed really structured. Living life out doors is much more free, you move in the direction you wish to. Conventional life in general is very organised and mundane I think I might find it difficult going back to my systematic life. How I will deal with this remains to be seen.

3. Here is a toughie… You miss your family so much, how have you been coping?

On a trip like this where there are many days of being completely isolated, I tend to think of my family a lot. It is very difficult being away. It definitely brings a different level of appreciation. It’s easy to become complacent when you have your family around you every day but when you are alone and completely detached from them you realise how precious they are and how much more you can do to enjoy the time you have with them when you are around them.

4. You’re now fund raising for CIC, how did that come about?

As a young boy I had enjoyed playing outdoors, it shaped me as an individual. I have many happy memories of being outdoors, climbing trees, building dens, playing with other children and being part of a young community.

During the last couple of weeks on this journey, I have only seen two children playing outdoors. The weather has been glorious in England. It sad to see that children are not out enjoying everything the land/nature has to offer anymore. More and more children are indoors and consumed by the wide range of gadgets they have at a whim.

CIC’s such as Playing Out have useful resources to inspire parents to find ways encourage their children be outdoors and enjoying the spaces around them.

Playing outdoors develops children’s confidence, creativity, trust and social skills; all of which will go onto benefit their adult life. Playing Out also gives children those all important memories of their childhood.

5. You seem to have adjusted well to living simply, opening yourself completely to the raw land and the people in it…. but how have you adjusted coming back into mainstream civilisation?

What I have come to realise is the things that became unimportant to me on my trip are of upmost importance to me now, these are the things that have made me realise how trivial we behave in our systematic existence. The conventional life is confined and clinical. It has very little time for reflection.

Selfie by Pierce Starre

Selfie by Pierce Starre

During my journey I carried an iPhone which I used to update my blog, http://www.borntobirth.tumblr.com. I initially planned to write in a journal and be completely disconnected from my conventional life but after much consideration I decided to create a blog. The reason I decided on the blog was because I am a father. It was the first time I had spent such a long time away from my family home and I didn’t know how my absence would affect my son, The blog enabled him to see me.  Apart from my iPhone I was disconnected, when I say disconnected, I mean from my conventional existence.

My home is a static shell, I know it so well, it’s familiar. I learn very little when I meet the confinement of my walls and materials. When at home I look for means to occupy myself; to engage as I think a lot of us do. More and more of us spend less time outdoors so how do we escape and connect with what’s outside our walls? “The conventional escape” seems to be achieved through media, the things we read or watch but are we actually escaping? Media, whether it be news or social networking has the power to influence the way we see our world but a lot of what we see is what the contributor wants us to see.

When on my journey my abode was the space and the people that existed within it at that given time. The place I rested constantly changed and because of this it meant that I was continuously exploring and absorbing a vast amount of information. I didn’t need technology, I was connected with what I seeing. I felt like what I saw was my power supply, I was alive. I was receiving substance and I found myself reflecting more than ever before and now I am back in a dwelling that is permanent, static and confined by bricks mortar. I feel like my power supply has been removed.

I was unable to wash frequently, my level of cleanliness wasn’t the best. I was eating food with grubby hands, wearing clothes that I had worn for 4 or 5 days on the trot. These things didn’t matter to me, in fact I forgot about them, they became unimportant. I appreciated that I had air in my lungs, I had life and what I was experiencing made me feel complete.

6. Do you think you would turn your journey into a small book?

I realised how reflecting in my Borntobirth became paramount. I aim to use my blog as a pilot/blueprint for ideas I have for future projects I want to develop.

7. Do you think families have too many gadgets? Do we really need a constant stream of technology? Wouldn’t just one in the home suffice?

In truth I think media is disconnecting us from everything that is around us, including our nearest and dearest. It only becomes apparent when you disconnect from media and reconnect with the simple pleasures of life.

Kirsty – You’re quite right there. The evening usually sees Martyn on his smart phone and me in another room on the computer. Or if we’re watching telly, he is on his smart phone… At dinner time he is on his smart phone and the kids are watching the telly. I’ve coax, bribed and threatened my family to try and get dinner times to be just about enjoying our food and catching up with everyone’s day. It is hard for people to give up technology – additive and probably more so than cigarettes!

Pierce – This is the same in our household and probably most households in the UK.

8. Has your trip inspired you to change your household a little?

Definitely, I think my trip enabled me to see how amazing it was to just connect and learn from another human and not a screen.

Thank you for your continued support and shows of kindness which are very much appreciated.

Mr Starre is now progressing back into civilisation, recharging his batteries and recovering from his ailments albeit in very high spirits having completed his journey. He still feels rather overwhelmed with the amount of beauty he experienced and the kindness from people he met along the way.

Sara is now even more determined to turn a dream of hers into a reality due to being inspired by Pierce, to trek across Morocco with her kids in tow whereas Kirsty has arrived at the conclusion that perhaps it is not about being trapped by the routines of life but by our perceptions…. We work overly hard to bring our children gadgetry, and plastic toys when all we want is for them to be happy yet at the same time we are working ourselves far too hard. When perhaps all we need to do is take a trip to the countryside, swim in a river, eat berries straight from the bushes and leave our mobiles and watches at home.

Photo by Pierce Starre.

Photo by Pierce Starre.

“He is richest when he is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature.” – Socrates.

~ SJ (Sara Jae) & Kirsty

(For part 1, click here to read)