Borrowed Wisdom

I love finding treasure troves at random.

A week ago Saturday I was at the local branch of my public library to pick up a Dummies book on ice hockey.  (Yes, I’m making yet another attempt to grow an interest in the NHL.  So far this one is sticking a little bit.)  While I was there, I reached over and grabbed The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Backpacking and Hiking.  I thought it would be vaguely interesting, and it was.  But while I was in that section, my eyes just happened to fall upon another book.  I picked it up, glanced at the cover and the dust jacket text, and put it in the pile to check out.  I’ve plowed through all three books in 10 days, and this one will someday rest on my personal bookshelf.

I just had to share these excerpts from my favorite book of 2011 (so far):

Perhaps, at the time, in our hearts, we do have an inkling that we’re only just beginning, but we don’t want to admit it.  We can’t.  To admit that would be to admit you don’t know what you’re doing, which would be to admit, that you have a long way to go, which would make the journey appear so daunting as to stymie even starting out.  Better to believe you know what you’re doing and keep doing it until you do.

Heh.  Been there and done that, brother.

But better than that is this.  This is, IMHO, some damn good writing.

Adulthood is an insidious process of accretion.  If you’re not vigilant, you begin to grow a shell, a carapace that you are expected to carry lightly:  the rigid, high-stress hull of security, status, status quo.  The thicker the better, right up until it crushes you.  On the inside, whether you can still feel it or not, your soul is trying to claw its way out.

Uh:  yep.  That’s some scary truth right there.  I’m trying to teach myself to shed as much of that carapace as is healthy.  But damn, it’s hard stuff, and it runs counter to most of what we’re taught (or, more likely, absorb by osmosis) as kids.

I highly recommend the book, folks.  It’s called The Hard Way:  Stories of Danger, Survival, and the Soul of Adventure by Mark Jenkins, an avid climber and outdoor writer.  My penis-equipped friends will especially appreciate it, methinks.

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4 Responses

  1. IMHO, that’s very dude-oriented advice (although very, very good). I personally couldn’t give a damn about status, and don’t mind admitting that I don’t know what I’m doing at life at all.

    Still, glad you found it, and glad you found it useful.

  2. Whoa. Deep, dude.

  3. As usual, I have something different to take away from the entry…

    YAY! HOCKEY!!! 😀

  4. I’ll have to check out that book–some profound stuff there!

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