Walking around Bondi with Jesse the day after he’d driven back to Sydney from Splendour made for some good storytelling times and banter. Thanks to all the unknown Bondi-dwellers for letting us borrow your walls, gnomes and gardens. Especially to the lady who had really nice bamboo. Pretty chilled afternoon.


model: Jesse Douglas @ EMG

Tell me a story from Splendour in the Grass.

We were in the Mad Mex stall and everyone was raving in there and this pretty normal-looking dude all of a sudden just dropped down and… became one with the earth. He was rubbing the dirt and throwing it in the air and the crazy thing was that nobody cared they’d just gotten soil thrown all over them and thought it was fantastic. It was pretty symbolic of the full three days… you see like a mentality spectrum and you’d think that Splendour in the Grass would be a person with multiple personality disorder. But going beyond that times a thousand and wondering “what the fuck is actually going on?” with everyone being such full on individuals but creative such a scattered yet community atmosphere and vibrating on the same frequency. It was whack. Whack.

What’s the worst accident you’ve been in?

I am so happy I’m sitting on hard wood right now because – touch wood – I have never broken anything in my life. But in terms of accidents, I’ve been in a full-on car crash where I was t-boned. I was leaving a TV commercial job and vibing so hard thinking “yeah, life!” and as I was turning onto Anzac Parade, the brake stopped working. I basically had to brace myself, couldn’t do anything and just watched this car come. It smashed into the side of me, the window exploded, their car just crumpled. That was pretty heavy. I could still hear and look around but I genuinely thought that I had died and was mangled up because the car was in such a bad way. It wasn’t until someone stuck their head through the window and asked if I was OK that I realised I was actually alive.

What would you say your personal life philosophy is?

I grew up with your average systemised life structure in mind where you finish school, you go to uni, you get a job, etc. I was pretty good at school, but ended up wanting to repeat my HSC because I was so stressed about what my marks would be. And then my body just started rejecting anything stressful – as soon as I’d have an assignment, my body would be like “actually, you feel like going for a walk now”. It’s like my higher consciousness was making me aware that these things were not the most important things and that I should be focussing on positive things that would help me grow as a person. As if the human race was built to go to school and then to uni – we created that construct for ourselves, the government organised that syllabus.

For the last year I’ve been living a freelance lifestyle with no 9-5 job, and I realised that I don’t need to do what everyone else thinks is right, I just need to find happiness in every little moment. For so long I was living for the following month or year, working or saving to do the ‘next thing’ but I wasn’t actually enjoying the present. I stepped back from out of my mind; I am now conscious that I am a being behind thoughts rather than my thoughts consuming me. I guess my biggest thing right now has been realising that I am a spirit currently living through a human experience, rather than a human having a spiritual awakening.

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