It’s the damnedest thing — I woke up on this chilly April morning with a sentence from Thoreau’s Walden rattling around in my head.
No, it wasn’t the line I paraphrased yesterday — “to live the life which he has imagined.” In fact, as often as I quote Thoreau in my blog posts, I don’t believe I’ve ever shared this one here.
Before I reveal it, I want to talk about the question it prompted unexpectedly — simply, “Why?”
In day-to-day life, I don’t devote much energy to answering that. I’m not big on concocting reasons. I rarely require explanations. What is, is.
Still, as I observe and examine, the “why” naturally creeps in. It’s a tool and nothing more.
And so this morning I caught myself considering two “why” questions. The first is specific to Ubi Libertas Blog — that is, Why do I keep doing this?
It goes beyond motivation and intent, which I’ve discussed before. This is about persistence.
Ubi Libertas Blog doesn’t put a dime in my pocket. Each week it generates an average of 500 views, about 72 a day, along with several dozen “likes” on social media. That’s not a lot, and what little traffic there is doesn’t produce anything. So why do I continue?
Because that’s what I do — chop wood, carry water.
Grateful as I am for readers who find the blog useful, informative or entertaining — and though it’d be cool if there were more — if all of you walked away today I’d post again tomorrow. This is what I do.
The second “why” question that came to me today has to do with The Mountain. Over the last 18 months I’ve found sweet peace in that place, most evident when I sit in solitude near the summit.
Why is that?
After all, I’m the guy who once thrived under pressure, craved a fast professional and personal pace, flew on corporate aircraft, reveled in the tone and texture of urban life — bright lights, exclusive parties, my name on The List. These days, if I found myself in Manhattan or ‘Vegas, Key West or Paris, I’d get the hell out as fast as I could.
At some point, a major switch flipped. I can’t say when, exactly — I’m sure it happened over time. Now, at the midpoint of my seventh decade, I share the preference Thoreau professed in the first pages of Walden:
“I would rather sit on a pumpkin and have it all to myself than be crowded on a velvet cushion.”
That’s what I awoke to this morning. It answers “Why?” with “Because that’s who I am today.”
I’m no longer a runner. I’m a wanderer. With a blog.
(Don’t ask me why.)
Take care of yourselves, Patriots. Stay calm. Stay sharp. Stay free.