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STOIC POETRY | The season of philosophy

Updated: Sep 4, 2021

As a young man, my ideas resembled the ideas of others, and my writing was an imperfect transcription of what I'd learned. My time then was better spent putting these ideas into practice; like an athlete rehearsing the instruction of their coach, making the teaching their own through the training of body and mind in order to gain the necessary strength, resilience, tone, and muscle memory to engage the world with wise instinct—the lesson of the teacher having then become the natural practice of the one who has been taught.

We each possess a bottle And some paper And a pencil stub; And a strong arm For hurling into the sea

And so, with time, the practiced lessons of youth become the mature character of the aged; taking on some qualities of self and the hue and tint of the life we have lived; the things we learned when we were young then becoming our own through the course of living. We gain in this way, not only our own way of being, but something perhaps to say... Something to share about life. Something which is not just the copied idea of another—a reflection and imperfect transcript of what we'd heard—but our own distillation of learned and lived principles which have become our own.

As an older man, my ideas now resemble the life which I have lived. And my writing is an imperfect transcript of principles collected and refined and distilled and made rare through deliberate life, and deliberate thought, and the deliberate wish to improve—these things becoming my own, by way of possession and use, and the very fact of deliberate days on end, and perhaps soon to be ending.

And so, I'll scratch some words on this bit of paper. And toss them within a bottle into the sea. My own words... My own deliberated impression of life, to float away upon the sea.


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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