The Meaning of Life, according to George Mallory

I saw this post on a new favorite site of mine called Adventure Journal.

Nowadays, it seems that every adventurous pursuit must have deeper meaning or purpose— to raise awareness of climate change (note: we’re aware) or generate funds for some worthy charity. Nothing wrong with that. But in 1922, responding to questions about his attempt to climb Mt. Everest, George Mallory put the whole thing in perspective.

“The first question which you will ask and which I must try to answer is this, ‘What is the use of climbing Mount Everest?’ and my answer must at once be, ‘It is no use.’ There is not the slightest prospect of any gain whatsoever. Oh, we may learn a little about the behavior of the human body at high altitudes, and possibly medical men may turn our observation to some account for the purposes of aviation. But otherwise nothing will come of it. We shall not bring back a single bit of gold or silver, not a gem, nor any coal or iron. We shall not find a single foot of earth that can be planted with crops to raise food. It’s no use. So, if you cannot understand that there is something in man which responds to the challenge of this mountain and goes out to meet it, that the struggle is the struggle of life itself upward and forever upward, then you won’t see why we go. What we get from this adventure is just sheer joy. And joy is, after all, the end of life. We do not live to eat and make money. We eat and make money to be able to enjoy life. That is what life means and what life is for.”

A good reminder.

How To Do Everything

I found the blog/podcast How To Do Everything today and it looks like something I could get into! I haven’t listened at this point, but the fact that it’s connected to the NPR show “Wait, Wait…Don’t Tell Me” leads me to believe that this could be full of potential.

In their own words: We’re a new podcast that’s half advice show, half survival guide. If you need to know how to find a date, or how to find water in the desert, we’re here for you. No question is too big or too small.

Give it a whirl.

Hesitate

I recently started a new blog on Tumblr, Hesitate, which will feature less personal writing and more imagery—a virtual scrapbook, if you will. It will be a collection of images that encompasses my aesthetic, which is kind of a mish-mash, a cornucopia of everything I think is cool. There is also a link where you can ask me anything! Stop on over.

Art is fundamentally a survival device of the species. Otherwise it wouldn’t be so persistent.

“… It wouldn’t be in every culture. We wouldn’t know about it… How does art help you survive? It helps us survive by making us attentive. In a simplistic way, when you go past a forest and you look at it and you say, ‘that looks just like Cézanne.’ And you realize Cézanne has made you see the reality of the forest in a way that you never could have seen before. He’s made you attentive. Every work of art that you care about makes us attentive. And if it doesn’t do that it ain’t art.” -Milton Glaser

Reblogged from Frank Chimero

Words for the Weekend

I read this post via INK+WIT today and it really struck a chord with me. Quality.

If power in numbers is a goal for standards, ego, power, or self gratification, it will often fail as it is solely based on one’s desire to attain more and more rather than simplify the goal of an intention or function of a thing. Often, a few friends, a few days, or a singular object can fill our hearts with supreme happiness and gratification. If we keep searching for more and more outside of ourselves and want and want we will look around one day and find nothing but material objects sitting as dead weight taking up space and our thoughts. And empty days passed without knowledge of the true self. But, if we think, choose and spend wisely based on what we really need and can use for self discovery, we will live simply and harmoniously in our life. We will be surrounded by a few things that have an intention, a purpose, and a role. Our company will uplift us not bring us down. Our bills will be in control. We will not keep taking to have more which pollutes the heart and causes us to keep wanting and wanting instead of being still and feeling content with exactly what we have now. Exactly what we might have if our house burned down. Self knowledge and experience. There is a great amount of quality in self knowledge. Self knowledge, as it is revealed to you will eliminate all wants and desires for that which does not serve you. You will live simply in a space that is purified from ego, illusion, and lack of wanting more stuff, notice, fame, name and dwell in a place of ease.  —Tara Hogan

Carpe diem

Found via Frank Chimero.

But here’s the thing. Horace didn’t say that. “Carpe diem” doesn’t mean seize the day—it means something gentler and more sensible. “Carpe diem” means pluck the day.

From Nicholson Baker’s The Anthologist. He continues:

What Horace had in mind was that you should gently pull on the day’s stem, as if it were, say, a wildflower or an olive, holding it with all the practiced care of your thumb and the side of your finger, which knows how to not crush easily crushed things—so that the day’s stalk or stem undergoes increasing tension and draws to a thinness, and a tightness, and then snaps softly away at its weakest point, perhaps leaking a little milky sap, and the flower, or the fruit, is released in your hand. Pluck the cranberry or blueberry of the day tenderly free without damaging it, is what Horace meant—pick the day, harvest the day, reap the day, mow the day, forage the day. Don’t freaking grab the day in your fist like a burger at a fairground and take a big chomping bite out of it. That’s not the kind of man that Horace was.

Reap your bounty.