it is a curious thing. often we set off to find one thing, only to realise later that the very thing we sought was never really what we wanted or what we were meant to find. sometimes, it is something on the journey, or even the journey itself which was the prize.
i was searching through some information on my computer today and quite by chance stumbled upon a quote which i’d saved in a file for ‘safe-keeping’. it is by sterling hayden, and comes from his book wanderer. it goes like this:
To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise, you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen who play with their boats at sea… “cruising” it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.
“I’ve always wanted to sail to the south seas, but I can’t afford it.” What these men can’t afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of “security.” And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the wheels of routine – and before we know it our lives are gone.
What does a man need – really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all – in the material sense, and we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention for the sheer idiocy of the charade.
The years thunder by, The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.
Where, then, lies the answer?
Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?
Dont know about you, but I find that quote very challenging and inspiring at the same time.