Posts Categorized: Quotes

Simple Voyages

The hardships and poverty of my youth had been a good apprenticeship for this form of travel. I had been brought up to understand that material possessions and physical comfort should never be confused with success, achievement and security.
– Dervla Murphy

Such an important lesson to learn. Not only in your youth, but each day you wakeup.. With a heart swollen with ambition, and the day pregnant with opportunity.

The Void

There’s a lot to be done in the next few weeks, and I’ve been out of the loop in synthesizing my spiels to further cloud my perceptions of order and chaos.

Like everyone else, I always look forward to the silent moments of reflection, away from the noise of hustling through shit that needed to get done yesterday. I’m not sure if I’m subconsciously piling more onto my plate of expectations, because it significantly increases the appeal of being able to look at (lofty) goals from far away and say: I survived, or I gave it my best and I ain’t nothing less, or eff it’s not that important to my life. The goal is to come out of it the wiser man.

Have you ever ridden anything on two wheels? A bicycle? A motorcycle? When you’re on two wheels, you will go exactly where you look. If you stare at the arriving pothole, there your wheels shall cross. To execute a beautiful turn, you need to look out into the curve. When you are unsure, give it some more gas. Look at danger in the eyes. When you are unsure, give it more gas.

The Dalai Lama was asked what surprised him most, he said:

“Man. Because he sacrifices his health in order to make money.
Then he sacrifices money to recuperate his health.
And then he is so anxious about the future that he does not enjoy the present;
the result being that he does not live in the present or the future;
he lives as if he is never going to die,
and then dies having never really lived.”

Agree with the World

“Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations. But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.”
– Siddhartha Gautama

Preoccupied

Indeed the state of all who are preoccupied is wretched, but the most wretched are those who are toiling not even at their own preoccupations, but must regulate their sleep by another’s, and their walk by another’s pace, and obey orders in those freest of all things, loving and hating. If such people want to know how short their lives are, let them reflect how small a portion is their own.

Seneca (On the Shortness of Life pp.31-32)

Just ran into this, via. It’s not everyday that I find, or read things that immediately draw me in. I’m totally getting this book.

A New and Different Sun

I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and being to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun. If you want to get more out of life, Ron, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty.

– Alex McCandless

Downstream

In one of the many fine passages in Hermann Hesse’s Siddhartha, the young brahmin – contemporary of Buddha, the Enlightened One – is sitting on the riverbank. It strikes him that once the measurement of time is waived, the past and the future are ever-present – like the river, which at one and the same moment exists not only where he sees it to be, but also at its source and at its mouth. The water which has yet to pass is tomorrow, but it already exists upstream; and that which has passed is yesterday, but it still exists, elsewhere, downstream.

– Tiziano Terzani

Camera Underground

Canon Canonet QL17 Rangefinder

… he found that if you are stupid enough to bury a camera underground you won’t be taking many pictures with it afterwards. Thus the story has no picture book for the period May 10, 1991 – January 7, 1992. But this is not important. It is the experiences, the memories, the great triumphant joy of living to the fullest extent in which real meaning is found. God it’s great to be alive! Thank you. Thank you.

– Alexander Supertramp

Indulgence

An excerpt from Indulgence, by Hendrick Hertzberg, The New Yorker (Apr 19, 2010 issue).

The Catholic Church is an authoritarian institution, modeled on the political structures of the Roman Empire and medieval Europe. It is better at transmitting instructions downward than at facilitating accountability upward. It is monolithic. It claims the unique legitimacy of a line of succession going back to the apostolic circle of Jesus Christ. Its leaders are protected by a nimbus of mystery, pomp, holiness, and, in the case of the Pope, infallibility-to be sure, only in certain doctrinal matters, not administrative ones, but the aura is not so selective. The hierarchy of such an institution naturally resists admitting to moral turpitude and sees squalid scandal as a mortal threat. Equally important, the government of the Church is entirely male.

It is not “anti-Catholic” to hypothesize that these things may have something to do with the Church’s extraordinary difficulty in coming to terms with clerical sexual abuse. The iniquities now roiling the Catholic Church are more shocking than the ones that so outraged Martin Luther. But the broader society in which the Church is embedded has grown incomparably freer. To the extent that the Church manages to purge itself of its shame – its sins, its crime – it will owe a debt of gratitude to the lawyers, the journalists, and, above all, the victims and families who have had the courage to persevere, against formidable resistance, in holding it to account. Without their efforts, the suffering of tens of thousands of children would still be a secret. Our largely democratic, secularist, liberal, pluralist modern world, against which the Church has so often set its face, turns out to be its best teacher – and the savior, you might say, of its most vulnerable, most trusting communicants.

What does FML mean to you?

And so we’ve been preparing the past few weeks for this weekend’s Unique LA show, with the new display setup and a flurry of button design making from (mostly) Kat and I. Today was the first day.

There was this one girl who seemed really friendly, and genuinely interested in how our setup was made. Magnets, and a little bit of glue gun, I explained, which held the buttons neatly against the varnished plywood sitting on an art easel. Cool, cool. So she goes over our buttons, and points to one on the table and asks, “What does FML mean?”. And so I basically explained that it meant F ck My Life, borne from this website where people write down the story of their life, and everyone else votes if the poster either deserves it, or if his life really does suck. So she nods, and mentions something about it being funny.

And then she said:
“Those are my initials.”

Garfield Day

Kat just sent me a text message:

Today a new boy pulled his pants down and peed on the linoleum with all his glory. I just scrubbed the floor clean Friday

Happy Monday, everyone.

DIY

The familiar adage floating in the VW forums rings true.

If you want it done right, do it yourself

As usual, it applies to the machinery of life as well.
Sigh.