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STOIC POETRY | Life in the open

Updated: Sep 4, 2021

September 23, 2019

Dear Eric,

You were never one to hide... But then you were so young you perhaps had little idea what there was to hide from.

What price fearful security? What does it really cost... To hide under the blankets?

It costs nothing really to hide... Nothing at all. Not in any absolute sense at least. So, go on...bury yourself under the sheets...wait out this terrible thing of life in a dark and seemingly secure huddle. Maybe you'll find some companions in there? Some others with whom to share the stale air and quite small horizon. Maybe someone among you - perhaps someone in the past - will have made up and shared a story of origins beneath the sheets; a tale of how this all got started, and why it's good to bury deep and forget what we first spied out there in the open. And then we'll truly find comfort...we'll surely know peace...and maybe live forever - at least that's what we keep telling ourselves. We'll live forever, together, forever and always; but just us, just those who we know found their way under the sheets with us and who know the sacred ritual of understanding and acceptance. Those others...well, they are not worthy and they will pay for their sins. They'll pay forever, somewhere else, just like now, somewhere else, they'll pay for their dear sins. How dare they not join us beneath the sheets.

But beyond the sheets there's starlight bright, and nights cold, and wind that comes from somewhere in mystery and blows to another mystery. The wind - that desert wind - they say always blows somewhere deep, into some part of the desert where we could never go; being too far and too cold at night or too hot during day, but always too far, further than we could survive if we tried - but maybe someday...maybe one day one of us will try?

The life of starlight and wind.

The tribe beyond the sheets shiver in the cold. They prefer the cold. They'd rather be here where there is so much indistinct and uncertain, and so few around who pretend to know; though there are some here with us - less companions than fellow travelers - comparing notes and tales and scars. These people don't often embellish what they say with fanciful dreams or vision or concocted myth lending unwarranted certitude or any sense of final answer. They just share the facts mostly, perhaps with a sometimes flourish of emotion as memory recalls the delicious fear or thrill of the unknown which they'd met alone in the wastes. And then these travelers part ways in the desert and go to their own horizon; maybe to meet again someday or may never to see anyone else ever, perhaps going to their doom today - a welcome end - accepted and warranted not of resignation, but instead of the satisfaction of a day and life very well spent. A life ending in oblivion. With no hope of final reunion, reconciliation or justice. A life without even a backwards glance at what was, or a wistful longing for what might be. A balanced acceptance only of whatever their life, in fact, was, is and seemingly will never be.


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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