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STOIC POETRY | Die alive

Updated: Sep 4, 2021

October 7, 2019

Dear Eric,

Every genuine adventure ends in a new life. How many lives can be lived in a lifetime? One is long as we die alive.

I realized tonight that The Path of Wildness has many points of egress yet just a single point of ending. For this reason, I'll walk a little slower tonight, though I know that neither haste nor restraint will make much difference in the end.

Death will take me in any condition. For death is the single point of ending of every life story and the doorway is always open. But you can't fit through the door. None of us can. We must leave everything behind, including ourselves. Death only accepts nothing. Death only waits for nothing. Death is nothing.

With nothing ahead and everything on hand why not choose the story of adventure while we have a chance? Every next footstep then is a potential start... Every decision a worthy point of departure. What story will it be told in these next moments? What story will we live and share and tell and show our kids? What story will death take from us to fade like the afterglow of embers in life's wake?

The adventures of youth may differ from those of older age. Gross impulse and stimulation giving way to measured exercise and restraint - a very different kind of impulse and reward. Experience matters most when we are young, until we've had enough of the novelty and excess of living and turn to discover the more meaningful adventure of discipline and self-control. And then the fun begins, though our face might only rarely belie this sage endeavor. The best times are when the adventures of youth are passed, and when the hard lessons of middle-age are largely complete, and when the final series of options are before us and we recognize our sober opportunity of self-discipline and measured restraint. And we choose then to die well when the time comes so sooner than we'd thought. We choose then, to die alive.


My name is Kurt Bell.

You can learn more about The Good Life in my book Going Alone.

Be safe... But not too safe.

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