We meet up for an impromptu shoot in east London, and before Jeremy has the chance to tell me about the concoctions and herbs he’s putting out on the table, we derail the conversation into his move to Ghana. “Yeah, money is great [here in london] and I’m probably crazy to be leaving my job during this pandemic, but my mental health, wellbeing and quality of life are so much more important than any sort of money.”
Jeremy is giving up a comfortable life that is fairly catered for here in London with the 24-hour society. Instead, he wants to go connect with his roots. He claims it’s a touch scary, but he “ain’t that worried.” Jeremy will be facing a big change of lifestyle in Ghana: earthwork, building ponds, digging wells – all pretty ruthless work. Challenging, maybe, but exciting.
Jeremy is all about building everything in a natural, truly sustainable way, or at least as close as possible with the tools and knowledge that he has. So far, he has used this knowledge to produce organic soaps, tea, tinctures and body balms. He mentions how this will only be a personal project for now to be able to remove himself from the capitalist mindset. To him, more so than anything, it would be about teaching people how to make things for themselves rather than to start his own business. “If you live on the land, work with the land,” he says. This guy genuinely has a pretty philanthropic mindset.
In regards to leaving London behind, he says: “Everything feels dead here, everything we create carries dead energy. It made me realise that it doesn’t give anything back but toxic energy.” The energy of a city can be something vivid and special, but at the same time, overwhelming and destructive. Then again, in terms of being vivid, so is the energy of nature.
“I know that nature serves us, but I’m not necessarily comfortable with nature right now because of what is normalised to me is this world [the polluted heart that is London]”. “I like being in nature, it’s like an interchange, a connection, you know what I mean?”, Jeremy continues, “but we’re disconnected from everything. That’s how I feel, and it’s really getting to me now.”
And although the mosquito bites still hurt and he feels like an outsider in Ghana, Jeremy knows that it is his true direction to go. According to him, for us to be part of the current system, with its digital evolution, we also remove our innate purposes of life. Efficiency and convenience clearly don’t equate to quality of life or sustainability.
We’re all into this together, we were born into this. Everyone in their own way is trying to make sense of it. Especially in a year like this one. “Do what you feel like you need to do,” Jeremy says with optimism, “but for me personally, it’s more of a life and death situation now. More and more, the way I’m seeing it, we’re just lamb led to slaughter. The only true system that continues is nature. The only thing that stands the test of time is nature”. Say no more.