People who are Alive

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go and do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.”
– Harold Whitman

From “Even Cowgirls get the Blues,” by Tom Robbins

- But plans are one thing and fate another. When they coincide, success results. Yet success mustn’t be considered the absolute. Success can eliminate as many options as failure.
- Do not permit your being to turn stinking inside a shell, but… swirl yourself in the toughness of dreams.
- It takes more than vodka to find magic. It takes risks. It takes EXTREMES.
- One can change things by the manner in which one looks at them.
- A lot of life boils down to the question of whether a person is going to be able to realize his fantasies, or else end up surviving only through compromises he can’t face up to… Heaven and Hell are right here on Earth. Heaven is living in your hopes and hell is living in your fears. It’s up to each individual which one he chooses… every fear is part hope and every hope is part fear.
- Love is something to be passed around freely, not spooned down someone’s throat for their own good by a Jewish mother who cooked it all be herself.
- Why do people fear death so? Because they realize, unconsciously at least, that their lives are mere parodies of what living should be. They ache to quit playing at living and to really live, but, alas, it takes time and trouble to piece the loose ends of their lives together and they are dogged by the notion that time is running out.
- To live fully, one must be free, but to be free one must give up security. Therefore, to live one must be ready to die… that’s why I encourage everyone to take chances, to court danger, to welcome anxiety, to flaunt insecurity, to rock every boat and always cut against the grain. By pushing it, we may speed up the process by which the need for playfulness and liberty becomes stronger than the need for comfort and security.
- New mountains and new islands--- once in a long while, new continents--- are being created and old ones destroyed. New climates are being formed and old ones altered. The whole thing is in flux. Existing arrangements are temporary and constantly in threat of disruption. This whole big city of New York could be sucked into the Earth or quick-frozen or flattened or inundated--- at any second. The Chink says the man who feels smug in an orderly world has never looked down a volcano.
- All a person can do in this life is to gather about him his integrity, his imagination and his individuality--- and this these ever with him, out front and in sharp focus, leap into the dance of experience… the freedom to play freely in the universe.
- It doesn’t matter what activity anyone chooses. If you take any activity, any art, any discipline, any skill, take it and push it as far as it will go, push it to the wildest edge of edges, then you force it into the realm of magic. And it doesn’t matter what it is that you select, because when it has been pushed far enough it contains everything else… taking one thing, however trivial and mundane, to such extremes that you illuminate its relationship to all other things, and then taking it a little bit further--- to that point of cosmic impact where it becomes all other things… magic.
- I take the universal and make it person. The only truly magical and poetic exchanges that occur in this life occur between two people. Sometimes it doesn’t get that far. Often, the true glory of existence is confined to individual consciousness. That’s okay. Let us live for the beauty of our own reality.

Enjoy and love Mama Earth

One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am - a reluctant enthusiast....a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.
- Edward Abbey

NOLS Wilderness Mountaineering quote

As your experience begins to add up, the wilderness and the mountains will begin to come home with you, you'll think about the mountains and eat a little better, so when you next go there you'll have a little more spring in your step. You'll want to train a bit so you can accomplish more in a week-long trip. You'll overcome obstacles and reach heights you never thought you could, returning stronger and more confident. You'll breathe a bit of clean air, burn a few more calories than usual, and raise your heart rate. You'll decide that sort of climbing you like and the kinds of places you like to visit, and you'll develop a climbing style that expresses your personality. But whatever forms of mountaineering you pursue, you just might find that it changes your like and, most important, that the deep wilderness speaks to you.

are you a dreamer?

are you a dreamer?

i haven't seen too many around lately. things have been tough lately for dreamers. they say dreaming is dead - that no one does it anymore. its not dead, its just its been forgotten - removed from our language. no one teaches it, so nobody knows it exists. the dreamer banished to obscurity.

i'm trying to change all that and i hope you are too. by dreaming, every day - dreaming with our hands, and dreaming with our minds. our planet is facing the greatest problems its ever faced, ever. so whatever you do, don't get bored. this is absolutely the most exciting time that we could possibly be alive... and things are just starting.

-- the trainhopper kid in "waking life"


to Tommy

(from Prospect Park in Brooklyn, NY, sunset bike ride)
thanks for the month of shared adventures, laughter, visions, and more


NYC community garden

Dale's place- N. Alabama

I meet Tommy passing through Memphis, TN, on a nocturnal bike ride after playing with bikes at the local bike co-op. I luckily landed in Memphis that Thursday, for I was ousted from the Bankhead Forest (northern AL) from storm warnings and fear of getting flooded out. Luck also helped me hear of the bike co-op; my couchsurfing host volunteered there. It was also chance that Tommy landed in Memphis that day, via his rampant travels. We talk while riding, verbally dreaming of past, present, future travels. We randomly meet up again the next day, once again at the bike co-op, go out biking for a bit, watch the lunar eclipse with a slew of other awesome young folks, then end the evening chomping delicious yams cooked over an indoor campfire. We part ways the next day, going opposite directions: Tommy to Knoxville, TN, me to Forrest City, AR. After 3 days with Steve in AR, I drive the 8 hours back to Knoxville, where I leave my car and most possessions, and begin my adventures with the one and only Tall Tommy. Here, we are at his grandpa, Dale's place in northern Alabama, to prune apple trees, take care of Dale, and just frolic in the woods.


Alive People

(found in Steve's bathroom in Forrest City, AR)

Colorful Narcissus