Thursday, October 30, 2014

The Road

He had been on the road for many decades now.
It was a great highway, but there was no rest on it.  
He kept going because he was afraid that, if he exited from it, he wouldn't be able to return to his wayfaring ways.

He did stop a few times, but his eyes were always on the road.  He would only go far from it that the road did not completely disappear from his vision.  He often camped and slept in a tent, but it was always on a light and uncomfortable bed that could be quickly packed .  So that he could be on his way again with ease.
The comfort of a good sleep seemed to him less important than the time and effort it would take him to start his next day on the road.

There wasn't any destination.  The road was it.  To stop and put down roots was fearsome to him.

People warned him of the dangers of the road, of the vagaries of the weather, of never knowing the next bed in which he would sleep, of exhaustion and loneliness, but for him the danger of not being on the road overshadowed all these.

He was afraid not of danger, but of a lack of danger.  While others were busy in arranging their lives to be more predictable, he felt fully alive only when there was unpredictability.

At times he hated this compulsion in himself to seek, but perhaps it was his nature.  Each distinct nature includes, but also precludes, certain immersions.

To accept one's nature might be uncomfortable.  There would be struggles.  But to relinquish it and surrender to comfort was soul-crushing.  

Because while one can, at times even cheerfully, accept the struggles which align with one's heart, the struggles in following a path which is not in keeping with one's nature are always accompanied with despondency and sadness.

And oftentimes he would repeat to himself this passage from Walden Pond:
A living dog is better than a dead lion. Shall a man go and hang himself because he belongs to the race of pygmies, and not be the biggest pygmy that he can? Let every one mind his own business, and endeavor to be what he was made. Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed and in such desperate enterprises? If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.

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