I’m counting down the hours.
As per our offensively cheery text message from Westnet, our Internet should be connected within 48 hours of…today! I will finally be able to move my computer home, I won’t have to walk four kilometres every morning to use the Internet at my parents house, and best of all, you won’t have to listen to me rant about it any more.
I’ve been ranting about it quite a bit, haven’t I. That’s a little bit embarrassing. I mean, there are far worse things happening in the world than me not having Internet access. Yes, I attend university online and yes, I run an online magazine but really, my world has not collapsed as a result of that little exclamation mark over my service bars.
But that’s life, isn’t it. Especially life in a country like Australia. We are so used to getting our own way that the minute things start to go wrong, we throw our hands up in the air and stamp our feet and swear a lot and head to the nearest pub in disgust.
I was chatting to my Mum and my Aunty the other day about this exact phenomenon. This modern day obsession that people have with controlling every aspect of the world around them. Nothing is really left to chance, everything is planned to the finest detail. Our every day is mapped out hour by hour to ensure maximum efficiency and productivity. And yet, through all this planning and obsessing, we actually have less time, rather than more.
Our conversation meandered around this point for a while, delving into the notion that a lot of the stress, anxiety and depression in the world today is caused by this need to control our lives, and the subsequent disappointment when we are unable to achieve this. At which point my Aunty turned to my Mother and said,
We all need to jump back on the lilo.
Cue laughter. I grinned along inanely for a few seconds before saying, Ummmm, WHAT?
They proceeded to tell me, amidst much confusion and vagueness, about some guy who got on a lilo and paddled down the longest river in New Zealand, or something like that. I can’t remember what his name was or what the river was called, but it had something to do with letting life take you on its journey without trying to control it.
Huka Falls on the Waikato River
Naturally, I began delving into practical matters. Where would he sleep? What would he do if the lilo popped? How would he go down the white water rapids? People have been KILLED doing that, you know!
As you can imagine, they had no idea of any specifics. Which is when I realised that I had completely missed the point of the story. The amazing thing was not HOW he did it, but that he did it at all.
The gentleman in question is Jimi Hunt, and he did in fact paddle the entire length of the Waikato River in the North Island of New Zealand on a $7.00 lilo. He did it as part of his recovery from depression and to raise awareness for the mental illness. According to Google the aim was to place himself into a situation in which he was forced to ask for help; for accommodation, for food, for tows across the lakes etc. thus metaphorically asking for help to overcome depression.
White water on the Waikato River
I haven’t yet read the book, which is catchily entitled Lilo the Waikato, but it is on my list of books to look out for. There isn’t a great deal of information about it online, but you can find his webpage here.
Anyway, the more I thought about it, the more I liked my Aunty’s initial suggestion that we get back on the lilo. Compare it to a kayak. In a kayak, you paddle like mad to get somewhere. Half the time, you end up in a different place to where you wanted to go, which is endlessly frustrating. You end up with sore arms. You end up with a sore butt. Sometimes, you fall out.
On a lilo, you hold on for dear life. You’re not trying to get anywhere, so anywhere you end up is an achievement. You’re floating on air. You’re endlessly comfortable. And unless you go over white water, you are very unlikely to fall off.
The Waikato River
I’m not trying to suggest that we should have no goals, aims or structure in our lives. I guess I’m more trying to suggest that we would be happier and less stressed if we got on our metaphorical lilo every once in a while.
I liken it to this blog, and The Paperbook Collective. I had no real goals or structures in mind when I began this blog back in May. And when The Paperbook Collective emerged from the blog, I had no real aims in mind as to where it would go. Which means that everything that has happened or will happen with the blog and the magazine feel like an incredible achievement. I have no timelines, regulations or strict rules that I force myself to follow, (apart from the deadline which I have failed this month!).
The magazine only became a Zine for the simple fact that I was surfing the net one evening and saw the call out for stallholders at the Bunbury Zine Fair. The deadline for stallholders was the 1st of September, but I applied anyway. Low and behold, I got a stall. Which led to me meet the girls who run Aunty Mabel’s Zine Distro in Perth, which led me to apply for a stall at their Zine Fair. And so on. I guess you get the picture.
But the point I am trying (somewhat convolutedly) to make, is that it has all happened like this because I didn’t plan it. So many people comment on here about my motivation and energy, but to tell you the truth, it has just worked out by chance rather than my determination to succeed. But I think that is why I spend so much time working on The Paperbook Collective. It’s because the lack of aim, structure and control makes it super fun. Much like paddling down river on a lilo.
Some quick notes for Paperbook People:
Contributors, please check your inbox for an email from me regarding the Zine. I need confirmation from you as to whether you’re happy to have your work distributed in the Zine format of the magazine. I have heard from most people already, but if you haven’t yet replied, or haven’t received the email, please let me know as soon as you can!
Please keep those submissions coming in for Issue Four, due to be released on the 1st of November! I am accepting submissions up until the 20th of October, so get them in! Have faith in me, I will get the magazine back to its original release schedule, despite the massive curve balls that September kept throwing at me.
For those of you who are new to the blog and The Paperbook Collective, jump over and like us on Facebook. Click on the icon below. I post daily updates and pictures over there, it is a handy way to keep in touch!
Letters to the Editor:
I am still seeking Letters to the Editor for future issues of The Paperbook Collective. If you loved something in a previous issue and want to let the contributor know, send it in! If you want to talk about your own projects, send it in! If you have any suggestions or feedback for the magazine, send it in!
That’s about all from me folks. An unusual post today but I’m going to jump on the lilo and go with it. I hope you do too.