A dead man washed up on the beach this week. He’d been out there a long time. It was those big waves, I think. The ones that scare me. And that current, now pulling north and at places out. And those holes in the seabed, hidden from view—step into one of those and you’re suddenly swimming, and the current is pulling, and maybe you’re gone.
I’ve never really been afraid of the sea. Not until now. Not at Humboldt, when I regularly ventured out alone on my surfboard a quarter-mile off Moonstone Beach, to float and bob upon the glossy, opaque, cold surface, rising and falling atop great swells born mid-ocean, enormous lines sent forever forward to assault the earth. Not even at Goleta, where I often went out alone with my mask and fins to skirt the far edges of the great beds of kelp offshore, gliding silent and deep, holding my breath down there by myself at depth, clinging to a sharp rock ledge, with the entire ocean piled above and squeezing me downward and in. Nor even in Japan, a place where everyone is instinctively afraid of the sea, where I sometimes swam alone in summer out to the great typhoon barriers off Mochimune, a giant seawall protecting that shore from the storms marching through the deep waters of Suruga wan; swimming to the great piles of concrete jacks the size of trucks, all jumbled and connected and arranged; sticking up and out of that dangerous sea, forming dark caves and crevasses and a catacomb-like slippery maze to scramble and overcome before I could climb up the side to sit atop a solitary tall pillar; all naked and wet and dripping, perched high upon the weather-side facing out and away, a place looking far, where no one really wants to see.
But now, no more. And thank goodness...
I’m genuinely glad those younger, more reckless days are done. I’ve had my fill of them it seems. Or maybe I’ve instead simply reached some limit. I don’t think I’m afraid of death. But I sure do enjoy being alive! And I’m no longer strong like before. And it’s reckless to keep on tempting fate. I’ll think today, and in future, about that man washed up on the beach, and his family and their loss. And I’ll continue to temper my own exposure and risk, watching and enjoying the sight of younger, bolder men out there in the deep. My own time at depth now seemingly passed.
The Good Life Meditation is my daily recitation and reminder of personal objectives and principles used in pursuit of a purposeful life in spite of a universe of seeming indifference. Learn more about The Good Life at my website GoingAlone.org or by reading my book Going Alone. And visit our Discord at: https://lnkd.in/gFgfGmY6
OBJECTIVES: 1. Be Always Ready to Die 2. Make Good Use of Time and Resources 3. Develop Good and Sound Life Principles 4. Cultivate Good Emotional Reactions 5. Perform Good Actions 6. Recognize True Limits and Opportunity 7. One Thing Slowly
PRINCIPLES: 1. Principle of War 2. Principle of Reason 3. Homunculus 4. Anchorhold 5. Home of Good and Evil 6. Principle of Purpose 7. Atomic Principle 8. Principle of Nature 9. The Pirate Ride 10. Principle of Maturity 11. Social Principle
12. Principle of Family 13. Public Speaking 14. Temperance 15. Life Will Not Go Well 16. The Horror Show 17. That Which Must Be Borne 18. The Feast of Offal 19. Distraction 20. Agency and The Great Indifference 21. The Best Seat in the House 22. The Restless Man 23. The Path of Wildness 24. The Great Life Adventure 25. The Risk of Avoiding Risk 26. Sin and Damnation 27. Complete Oblivion 28. The Season of Philosophy
29. Scriptwriting 30. Bullseye Aim 31. The Uphill Climb 32. Arena and Utility 33. Nothing IS enough 34. The Principle of Fun
My name is Kurt Bell.
You can learn more about The Good Life in my book Going Alone.
Be safe... But not too safe.