“Somewhere in the archives of crudest instinct is recorded the truth that it is better to be endangered and free than captive and comfortable.”
This quote struck a chord with me when I first read it in 2000 in Tom Robbins’ book, Another Roadside Attraction. It was the kind of struck chord where you are relaxing on the couch, pleasantly reading along, and suddenly you find yourself frantically digging through your desk for a scrap of paper and a pen as if the book is going to vanish forever. Maybe this doesn’t happen to you…
This quote has stuck with me ever since, and recently, I’ve been working on embracing it a little more.
A round-the-world trip is something Daryle and I have both dreamed of from the time we were old enough to dream. But dreaming and doing – are two very different things. A quote is nice, and a dream is nice. Putting action to the dream, embracing the quote, giving up the comfort of the familiar – exciting and terrifying.
But one of my worst fears is indeed allowing myself to be held captive by comfort and missing life in the process. I’ve been feeling for some time that it’s time for a little adventure.
I expect this trip to be an amazing life-changing experience, but I don’t expect to be comfortable very often. We don’t leave for almost 3 months, and I’m certainly not feeling comfortable right now, but I haven’t felt this excited in a long time either.
About the endangered part, I think we are all endangered but mostly fail to recognize it. Life is short and unpredictable, regardless of how hard we try to control it. So I’m acknowledging that truth and taking my risks while pursuing a dream.
You don’t have to travel around the world to pursue a dream. That’s just ours. That might sound awful to you. Your dream might have to do with relationships, careers, new things you want to try, or habits you want to build. It could be anything, but it probably won’t happen without change and discomfort.
What is it that you really want in your life?
What would make you wake up excited every day?
Are you giving up a chance to really connect with who you are and become who you want to be by making a choice to stay comfortable?
The Summer Day
By Mary Oliver
Who made the world?
Who made the swan, and the black bear?
Who made the grasshopper?
This grasshopper, I mean-
the one who has flung herself out of the grass,
the one who is eating sugar out of my hand,
who is moving her jaws back and forth instead of up and down-
who is gazing around with her enormous and complicated eyes.
Now she lifts her pale forearms and thoroughly washes her face.
Now she snaps her wings open, and floats away.
I don’t know exactly what a prayer is.
I do know how to pay attention, how to fall down
into the grass, how to kneel down in the grass,
how to be idle and blessed, how to stroll through the fields,
which is what I have been doing all day.
Tell me, what else should I have done?
Doesn’t everything die at last, and too soon?
Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?
Check out a video we made that was not comfortable at all.