“Perhaps alone among the animals, we have the capacity to communicate with one another with the use of sentences never before used, to acquire knowledge of complex truths, and to use the knowledge we acquire to act autonomously.  My work has been devoted to explaining the nature and function of these precious gifts, without loosing sight of the fact that we too are animals.”

I thought of this during our week in Umbria.  Particularly during on specific lunch, in a very small village at a very precious osteria.  During the secondi course, we were served an amazing pork roast, with crispy skin the color of caramel, salty, fatty, so succulent it needed nothing to aid in its appeal.  I realized, as I sat there eating slowly, savoring the flavour, the crunch of the skin in my mouth, that my brain was being flooded with endorphins, with pleasure, with the feeling of sexual fantasy.  This primal craving we have for smooth, velvety, luxurious animal fats is pure pleasure, based on pre-historic needs.  The pleasure then wasn’t the same as now — now we can taste it with the idea that it is a luxury, one that is so simple and easy with none of the complication and complexity of truffles.  It was making my brain swell with excitement — it was coating my mouth in fatty goodness, and left me feeling as if I had just made love all night.  My thoughts were muddled, my brain was impaired.  Looking around the room, I saw similar faces, similar thoughts running through the minds of my fellow eaters, my fellow animals, my fellow cravers of pleasure.


I realized recently that, we really have very little time left.  So, making the most of this, making each day count, each moment a realization of something bigger, something greater is all that matters now.
Evenings….these cold fall evenings when the moon shines through the dark air, this is our time.  Our time to talk, think and to know.   

Against Mediocrity

For anyone who has ever questioned their existence. Mediocrity is the epitome of what it means to be unhappy, to willingly not like what it is you are doing, where you live, where your life is headed.

All good is hard. All evil is easy. Dying, losing, cheating, and mediocrity is easy. Stay away from easy.” -Scott Alexander

Easy is the word of the day. Everything we have in this world has been made for our convenience. For gods sake, it is too easy sometimes, and for this easiness we give up our freedom, we give up our ability to chose for ourselves and act as a person who has choices. We give up our ability to be creative engineers of life who are excited by living, who are engaged with the world in a way that isn’t just a glossy surface, following the newest diet craze, looking at celebrities in magazines to understand that they are actually people as well, but to engage the world, our lives, in a way that motivates us to change, to serve ourselves, to be happy and healthy individuals.

Too many times I have been met with people who are angry that they never have time to travel, they never have the money to travel, they can’t leave this or that. There are certain life choices that we each make, and when you make those decisions that will effect your near and distant future there are consequences that come along with that. Fair enough, you have a house, a car, a job, 2 weeks of vacation that you plan to spend at your parents house, or, doing landscaping to your house; these are not bad things. These do not make you a bad person, or, normal. They just make you who you are. You have responsibilities and commitments and that is your chosen path. That is right for you that is not necessarily right for everyone, and most of all it is not right for me.

This is my chance to ask you to realize that I live a difference existence. I have made my choices and these are right for me. I have put my priorities in line and with that comes certain consequences for me. I don’t own a house, and I don’t plan to own one for awhile. I don’t have a car and I don’t need one. I plan my life around places where I don’t need one. I don’t have a steady job, unless you consider traveling and being a student. These are valid things to be doing. I am not married and I have no plan to be in the near future. All of these things give me one thing that the traditional route in life doesn’t — freedom and the ability to chose for myself where I want to be. I am not tied down financially, or emotionally. I have no need for a car, for a mortgage or a dog. I am quite happy with my roundabout way of living, with my ability to change my location in life on a whim. This does not make me a looser. This does not make me a slacker, or a bum or a misfit. This makes me, me. This makes me who I am. I am doing the things that I want to do. Seeing the places I want to see. Taking a broad view to life, checking out various places in the world and making a decision to be on the road, out and about or just gone.

I don’t expect you all to understand. I don’t want pity and I’m tired of hearing “how do you do it”, “how can you afford to travel so much”. I think I’ve explained that. I have no permenant commitments to one location or one person. I have no car and no insurance. These are things I am ok with. I live without them just fine, and without spending all that money on those things, I’m able to satisfy my need to travel–my need to study and explore and learn. I am not judging you for your decisions. I am merely making a statement to say that this is my path, this is my route in life and it is right for me. I know it is, otherwise, I would be doing something else.

Hopefully, your path is right for you. Hopefully, we can each find out what we are meant to be, where we are meant to go and what we are meant to be doing. Whatever path you are on, make sure it is the one you want. Course correction is enevitable, but honestly, I feel so strongly that that is what directly factors into all of those mid-life crisis issues, male and female. Live now! There will never be a better time to break away from the status quo, to end mediocrity in your life and to become who you want, go where you want and do what you want.