Last night while poking through my feed reader I happened upon Cranking by Merlin Mann. I discovered Merlin’s work through twitter a couple of years ago, where he immediately became “that guy who tweets like a poetic gunslinger”.
I spend the majority of my waking moments filled with fear, frustrations, and dreams, and it’s only in the haze of long hikes that I lose a sense of self. The most cherished gift imparted by long solitary walks is not the healthy exercise, the melodic meditative rhythm, or the time to capture and transcribe thoughts into words, it is the unhindered view of the horizon. I can see beyond my own small role, beyond my limited time here. I can feel the sun and rain and seasons sweep away the precious moments of my existence without a defiant scream to stop. The entirety of my life is not even a dot on the totality of time.
At a quarter after five each weekday my wife and I get up and go through our daily morning rituals. When my day job gets busy it swallows nearly all curious or creative energy I can cultivate. The industry from which I earn a living, is not one which supports free associative thinking or building.
It’s easy to give up. It’s human to quit in the face of unimaginable challenge. Reason warns us of the risk and cost of crossing the finish line, begging us to quit. I’m not going to sugar coat the effort, dedication, and sacrifice that is demanded by a decision to succeed. I have witnessed the price of mastery, and it is horrifyingly beautiful.
Why post to Facebook, Twitter, Hacker News or Reddit? Why blog on Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr or Posterous? Why answer questions on Quora? All of these activities can be traced back to social motivation. The desire to share something cool with other folks is a big part of what drives the commercial internet today.
One of the words our dogs frenzy over is adventure. They translate the sound into running around and playing in the (big) backyard. Adventure is second only to bacon when it comes to instigating the critters to action. I have little doubt that the spirit of the word is etched into the strands of their DNA. But what does the word mean to us?