Will Ill Gets

Why did Will find fever and illness within a month of walking? It had been nigh on 6 years since he had been ill…

This is his fever-writings, his dreams and understandings from the depth of there:


Ill Will at Plaw Hatch Farm

“Of course, death is certain for all things. It comes, grows up steadily, and will arrive.

But i keep telling myself that it will not come this night. It will not. This re-telling half-helps.

I ache considerably. Yesterday my body responded to prompts, and did what i asked without complaint. Today this memory is a trial, and health, when lost, is a lamentable thing. How was I not grateful for bodily capability? Why did i take it for granted so, as though such a blessing could never go away?

Today i lie abed, and nearly 18 hours have passed since i last saw my comrades. Kidneys, limbs, neck, groin,gut…all throb the dull crescendo. I am made of old wood, shrunken and dissolving, heavy and rotten.

My dreams, through the night and the day, have been of the number 40. I saw a canvas, which was an atlas, and a sea, and a mood, filled with colour and movement and the scent of inner-body, the subtle transgression of internal failiure.

40: A flat plate of dancing bacteria, with the depth of a cauldron in all directions. The complexity of cities on an expanding plain, and all made of such intense voices…

40: it is green, and orange and white, and not-white, and not-black, and purple and brown. It moved magnetically, electronically, biologically, spherically, hysterically and rationally, and i am sure it moves still, somewhere in the neuronic labyrinth.

I twitch, am cold from my edges to my centre, and i sweat in the clothes i am unable to remove. This bed which has been loaned me, for my time of ill, has a pelican teddy-bear dangling from a string at the far end. My eyes drift to it, and I cannot look away. Yet it contains no messages, no secrets, nor does it do anything for me. It is a dead image, a stuffed shell.

Kath comes in every 4 hours to check i am still kicking. I surprise myself with lucid chatter, though where it comes from i do not know. I listen to myself saying chirpy things, “oh yes, fine fine fine, you know…” and i cannot stem the words of reassurance, though they feel as false as the pelican.

But this, all this, is surely only fever dreams. 40 is a cruel number.

After a few days of mending, i tried to make a list of reasons for my getting ill.

Here it is:

1. the poor preparation before leaving to walk

2. the excessive use of ‘mind-over-body’ magic.

3. My leaving of the age of invulnerable childhood.

4. A trial – the first great test of the journey (i wanted to go home…)

5. to remind me of my need for connections – as soon as i told family and friends i was not well, i started to feel better.

6. to teach me afresh God Fear.

7. To tell me how our group needs a healer.

8. Because i catapaulted a pebble at a white deer the day before.

9. Because success on this walk has come too easily so far.

10. As a reminder that song is not just given – it is a gift that can be taken away also.

11. My boastfulness, my inner ego, my self-throning mind.

12. sleeping on the cold ground in wet clothes after getting lost in a storm

13. the pressure of percieved output – the journey’s goals…

14. Destiny – this time was waiting for me.

15. The reward-centred nature of recent singing – recording and busking.

16. a clean-out for better future singing.

17. insufficient warm clothing

18. Putting too much energy into outward song, and leaving insufficient internal reserves.

19. Not wearing protective charms…

These all made sense to me.

And yes, thankyou, i feel now much better…”

One Response to “Will Ill Gets”

  1. Ha! Ha! The best dreams I ever had occurred in a chan temple in China when I was delirious with flu. HOPE YOU’RE ALL BETTER NOW!! I would like to walk with you from the 22nd June for a week (the first week of my wild food year.) Is this possible? Any idea where you’ll all be?
    Love to all.

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