“Once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return.”
— Leonardo da Vinci
Longing for my flying days
my travel days
the road never-ending
and the sky going on forever
I tell myself
the familiar tale
of satisfaction the everyday
and that roots enable growth
I’ve raised a life
and a family
and found beauty in
the routineless routine
yet then I see sky
or a patch of the open road
and I remember
the trapped freedom of wingless flight.
— G A Rosenberg
“We have to continually be jumping off cliffs and developing our wings on the way down.”
― Kurt Vonnegut
I dare to move forward without knowing what lies ahead. If I stumble I will get up. No matter what life has thrown at me I have survived and chances are I will survive this next part as well. If I don’t make it then this is as good a time as any other but still I will have made the attempt and I have kept the adventure that is being alive happening. I will endure and I will persist and no matter what happens I will find the humour. For there is little for me that is worse than giving up on life while there is breath in my body and settling for the safe route.
“What I am in search of is not so much the gratification of a curiosity or a passion for worldly life, but something far less conditional. I do not wish to go out into the world with an insurance policy in my pocket guaranteeing my return in the event of a disappointment, like some cautious traveller who would be content with a brief glimpse of the world. On the contrary, I desire that there should be hazards, difficulties and dangers to face; I am hungry for reality, for tasks and deeds, and also for privation and suffering.”
— Hermann Hesse
Things to do when you’re daring (getting out of the comfort zone):
Live in a strange city or country for a time. Extra points if the language spoken there is not your own or one you know
Take any viewpoint that you have held on to whether it is moral, political or religious and try presenting yourself as believing the opposite even to yourself. This will help change your mindset.
Spend time with the elderly if you are young or with teenagers if you are getting up there in years.
Dress in a totally different style then you’re use to and go out. Notice how people react to you. How do you feel different?
Explore your sexuality
Camp out in the woods for a week. Especially if you have never done it before.
Think of the last three people who hurt you badly. Make an active attempt to see where they were coming from.
Think of the worse thing you have ever done in your life and forgive yourself.
Adopt a different culture or social class for a week
Tell someone you love how you feel about them. There are very few times when we’re more open and vulnerable than that.
Remember that life is a banquet with lots to offer and most people only eat from one small area. Try to do one thing every day that you have never done before.
“Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever believed in can hope to escape. ”
― William S. Burroughs
Jump down the rabbit hole.
Climb the beanstalk.
Get blown by the storm.
Enter the wardrobe and follow it through.
Leave home and family as Lovers do.
Empty your bucket.
Free your mind.
Kill all Sacred Khaos.
Set off on the road that has no end with nothing in your pocket.
Open the secret door.
Follow the strange man into the old police box.
Climb aboard the midnight bus.
Enter the Chapel Perilous.
Rescue the Princess.
Take the Chance.
Find the adventure that frees. Don’t give it a second thought. Your life will be wonderful. Your life will be danger filled and frightening. It may even be horrendous at times. Tho the growth opportunities are worth it.
Then spoke the thunder
Datta: what have we given?
— T. S. Eliot
And Now the Prologue… (Points for anyone who gets the reference)
Yesterday we docked in Naples and toured the ruins of Pompeii. Afterwards I went and explored Naples while the rest of my group toured Herculaneum.
Pompeii has a very strange sense of history to it. Parts are very well preserved and you can walk through the (restored) houses, stores, temples and businesses of people who lived close to two thousand years ago.
It is an amazing gift to be on this trip with people I love seeing these sites but for me the most awesome part is walking in places I have only read about and experiencing the people and architecture there. Each city has its own heart beat and if you are open you can feel it. Naples is a city in which I could easily live. It is busy enough to be Metropolitan yet it has that laid back seaport feel.
There is a magic that happens when I find myself in a strange city where there is little English spoken. After passing the beautiful seaport Fortress and several pizza places, I found the beautiful shopping centre that the Pompeii tour guide had mentioned. Turning the corner there were many more stores, most but not all of them international chains. Continuing walking, I found a small art gallery that featured the t painting “The Martyrdom of St Ursula” by Caravaggio (one of my favourite artists) which was the last painting that he had finished (around a month before he died). They had several other painters of that style and that vintage and I spent a wonderful 20 minutes there.
For me, it is finds like that gallery and watching people living their lives as much and maybe even more so than the sites in any particular place that brings me the most enjoyment. Being able to balance the two this trip has been amazing.
“What is that feeling when you’re driving away from people and they recede on the plain till you see their specks dispersing? – it’s the too-huge world vaulting us, and it’s good-bye. But we lean forward to the next crazy venture beneath the skies.”
― Jack Kerouac
New roads and new skies
filled with unseen stars
Where will my journey take me?
The preplanned road never suits
but always there is hope
of a road untravelled.
Gone with the dawn
I move ever closer to home
— G A Rosenberg
“Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry.”
— Jack Kerouac
Have you imagined everything you could ever imagine?
Have you seen everything of beauty there is to see even in your own backyard?
Have you learned everything about yourself there is to learn?
Do you truly know your lover / brothers / sisters / friends / spouse as well as you could?
Have you read every book that can interest you?
Surfed every site you could?
Traveled to every place you could get to?
Have you healed yourself of all wounds both psychic and physical?
Have you sung every song in you to sung?
Have you created everything there is to create?
Have you explored the totality of your relationship to the universe?
There’s so much to experience in life,
how can any of us find time to be bored?
“So we shall let the reader answer this question for himself: who is the happier man, he who has braved the storm of life and lived or he who has stayed securely on shore and merely existed?”
— Hunter S. Thompson
There is a seed of adventure that is planted in the heart of each of us. Some of us water and feed this seed regularly excited at the prospect that just about anything may grow from it. Some even go as far as not letting anything take root besides this seed, worried that anything established in their garden no matter how beautiful or desirable may choke it off and kill off the possibilities that the adventure may offer. When choosing between the known and the unknown, they will always choose the new and different.
Others are more cautious. They will plant things much easier to route and take hold of than a new adventure. They prefer the gardens of their youth and want theirs to look as close as possible to what they have known all their lives. Yet still no matter how they neglect the seed, it will at some point take hold and break out of their staid existence, forcing them to see at least the prospect of something new emerging. Many have been sent screaming to their beds at the mere thought of a flowering adventure. It may be as if they have taken root themselves and will not be moved.
Still adventure flies in on the wind. I will never resist its call for there are many ways to travel and adventures take many forms. I hope yours grow beautifully and bring you where you most need to go.
Click on images to see full-sized:
Satyrday Evening in the Woods by G A Rosenberg
The Stress of Holding on Too Tightly by G A Rosenberg
“Mankind is divided into two basic sorts: those who find the unknown future threatening … and those who find it thrilling. The rupture between those two sides has been responsible for most of the bloodshed in history.”
― Spider Robinson
I love to experience new things. Whether it be food or drink I’ve never tasted, places I’ve never seen, or ideas I’ve never encountered, I embrace them all. I know that I am not unique in this but I also realize that other people experience life much differently. Their mental maps have many unexplored areas marked “Here there be dragons” and they stay away assiduously. Perhaps it is because their lives are so comfortable that they have no desire to risk upsetting the apple cart. On the other hand perhaps it is because their previous encounters with the unknown proved to be upsetting. Perhaps it is for another reason altogether. I prefer to be like James Branch Cabell’s Jurgen who will “taste any drink once” I long to taste the adventure that is life and find some form of adventure in each new day. The best thing about this love of adventuring is that I realize no matter how much I experience in this lifetime, it is but a speck among infinite possibility. Here’s to adventure.