"Not all those who wander are lost."

J R R Tolkien

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23 January 2012

Ok. What are your thoughts on this

"I've always wanted to sail to the south seas [live on the water], 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? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life? ”
― Sterling Hayden, Wanderer 

This really strikes a chord with me. Come to think of it, I pretty much have done this all my life, putting security first, and when our children came, they definitely always came first. Now I am 60 and I feel a real urgency to do something about it before it's too late. Problem is: I am not entirely sure what the "do something about it" is.

This quote came from the book "Wanderer" by Strling Hayden.. This is what they say about it.

Since its publication in 1963, Sterling Hayden's autobiography, Wanderer, has been surrounded by controversy. The author was at the peak of his earning power as a movie star when he suddenly quit. He walked out on Hollywood, walked out of a shattered marriage, defied the courts, broke as an outlaw, set sail with his four children in the schooner Wanderer-bound for the South Seas. His attempt to escape launched his autobiography. It is the candid, sometimes painfully revealing confession of a man who scrutinized his every self-defeat and self-betrayal in the unblinking light of conscience.


  1. GO

    My Dad at 74 has just come back from a horse riding trek in South America, last time he went abroad was his honeymoon.

  2. Fortunately I was able to see ahead in my late teens. The fields & forests of my youth in England were fast dissapearing. I could have stayed & inherited our family home, a large 18th century farm house, but I longed for adventure & freedom. So I came to Australia. Best move I ever made!
    It is never too late.
    Regards, Keith.

  3. Thoreau made a comment about not wanting to die realizing that he had never lived. Take it for what it's worth.

  4. interesting post joel- i don't think that means you have to leave all you have and go do something- i think it's more about finding out who you really are and being that person- and it's never too late for that.

  5. Too true! We get stuck in a rut, and the only difference between a rut and a grave is the length.

  6. i think the important thing is to never lose your sense of wonder- a lot of people, when they have kids, automatically let that go and become a slave to "security". thankfully, with us it was the opposite. when our son was born, we sort of woke up and gained back that sense of wonder we had lost when we became "adults". our goal now is to nourish that sense of wonder in our children- to always adventure together... we don't have a lot of money to travel the world with or anything like that, but i think adventure is something that happens in your heart, and with a spirit of wonder, anything is possible..

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  8. I personally think it´s all in the reasons. If you want to do it to complete your life, you might as well forget about it. Also, it´s not that you should do it because you fear you have missed something. But that is no reason you could not have it... if you really want to, there´s no reason you should actually leave it be. And as you said: You have paid all your dues already, those that matter, that is. And, what the heck, you do not have to leave everything behind you and live like a hermit. Many of those things you already do are of the same stamp already-your professional knifemaking, canoe guiding and all that stuff. Get out into the wild, and really, really take it in. Live any moment as if it were your first and your last at the same time, and even your hometown will look all the different. You can travel as much as you like, nothing will save you from death. But it can save you from living a living death. Personally to me it is all in the way you see things. Even a humble flower can bear all the meaning in the universe, all sense and all beauty there is to see. But to really savour it, you neede to take your time. I have to think about Ernst Wiechert´s novel "The simple life" (1939), where a similar question is asked. You might want to read it...

    I wish you all the best!