Archive for the ‘worth reading’ Category

Jimmy’s Gems

January 12, 2009

A Pirate Looks At FiftyI was given Jimmy Buffet’s “A Pirate Looks at Fifty” book and had a chance to read it, and many others, over the holidays.  Most would know Jimmy Buffet the song writer/performer but this was more about the man and his journey in life up to his fiftieth birthday (in 1997).  He is a very accomplished sailor and pilot and a great example of living a snowflake life IMHO.  A good read as well.

It was quite a trip for me reading this book actually.  My Sirius/XM satellite radio still works down here in Costa Rica and with the merger of XM and Sirius satellite radio I was able to tune in Jimmy Buffet’s music channel while reading his book. 

And so there I am, blissfully reading it in the early morning last week, anchored in Bahia Ballena Costa Rica with my daughter Lia, fiancé Brian, and our respective dogs, Piglet and Ruby all sleeping below with Jimmy’s music and words channeling their way to my awakening brain.  I flip the page and guess I’m reading?  Jimmy’s explanation of landing his plane (quite the pilot, surfer and fly fisher is he) on the airstrip in Tambor which is 1km from where I’m floating in Ballena.  And directly ahead of me as I look up from the book, in comes a plane to land! I don’t think Jimmy was on it but you never know!   Serendipity and synchronicity still amaze me after all these years of using them daily to lead my life.

Anyway, here are a couple of the eclectic mix of quotes and sources that stood out to me, and apparently Jimmy too, as he used them in the book:

 “Only if we understand …. can we conceive of the seemingly paradoxical phenomenon that people who are afraid of living are also especially frightened of death” 

                                               Medard Boss from “The Meaning and Content of Sexual Perversions”

Really resonates with me.  For me, I don’t fear death, I fear not living while alive.

And then this one from Lord Richard Buckley:

“Humor is the absence of terror, and terror is the absence of humor.”

And finally, this one from George Herbert, English clergyman & metaphysical poet (1593 – 1633)

“Living well is the best revenge”

Not big on revenge but I AM big on living well and doing my best to do just that every day.  Hope you are too!? 

Happy 2009 everyone.


Bankruptcy of Purse of Bankruptcy of Life?

January 7, 2009


SterlingHayden-Wanderer During some of my reading over the holiday I ran across the following quote of actor, author and fellow sailor, Sterling Hayden from his autobiography Wanderer.  It really resonated and stuck with me.  Partly because I am a “wanderer of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in” myself, and partly because it matched many of my sentiments as I reflected upon 2008.  I was struck by how especially relevant these observations are right now so I wanted to share them with you.


To be truly challenging, a voyage, like a life, must rest on a firm foundation of financial unrest. Otherwise you are doomed to a routine traverse, the kind known to yachtsmen, who play with their boats at sea-"cruising," it is called. Voyaging belongs to seamen, and to the wanderers of the world who cannot, or will not, fit in. If you are contemplating a voyage and you have the means, abandon the venture until your fortunes change. Only then will you know what the sea is all about.

"I’ve always wanted to sail the South Seas, but I can’t afford it." What these men can’t afford is not to go. They are enmeshed in the cancerous discipline of "security." And in the worship of security we fling our lives beneath the routine of routine – and before we know it our lives are gone.

What does a man need – really need? A few pounds of food each day, heat and shelter, six feet to lie down in – and some form of working activity that will yield a sense of accomplishment. That’s all – in the material sense. And we know it. But we are brainwashed by our economic system until we end up in a tomb beneath a pyramid of time payments, mortgages, preposterous gadgetry, playthings that divert our attention from the sheer idiocy of the charade.

The years thunder by. The dreams of youth grow dim where they lie caked in dust on the shelves of patience. Before we know it, the tomb is sealed.

Where, then, lies the answer? In choice. Which shall it be: bankruptcy of purse or bankruptcy of life?

                                              Sterling Hayden  1916-1986

One of the many benefits of being a snowflake is that if you truly practice being a unique individual I think you will get closer and closer to finding out what you really need and much more clearly seeing the “idiocy of the charade” that comes from conforming, fitting in, being “average” and like the rest. All very unsnowflake like!

So as we wander into 2009 it is my fondest hope that we all work harder and succeed at bringing out the unique snowflake in all of us and by so doing, make the world a much richer world for all of us to live in.