Seems that we never really know what it was we had until we no longer have it. Things we take for granted can disappear and we’re left without the place, how to get there, and the days become less than necessary. Thoreau said it well with “most men lead lives of quiet desperation…”. What is it about our lives that seem bounded by the same? Is it because we were never stressed or challenged? I keep on thinking of Alexander Supertramp (Into the Wild) and his unsaid things. I think Sean Penn left a lot unsaid in that movie but the real thing that we have to answer I believe is whether we can say we made a difference. Sometimes that difference leads us to places less traveled and often it leads to a place where we are challenged. Perhaps for some it leads to the end. The end is always there though and its carefully masked so we cannot see what hangs in its balance. That’s probably the kindest thing that can be said about living though. At some point we have to ask whether all the things we did made our lives more interesting, provocative and if we ever challenged the status quo. What happens if on a gravemarker the thing that is printed iis: “he died without making a difference”.
Well, that would be sad dear readers. We all need to feel we make a mark even if its on ourselves. Challenge, reaching, stressing. Is all this just me though? Do others even feel or question whether they themselves have made a difference even unto themselves?
I like reading and the books seem to tell me that many people rise to an occasion, find a thing, pursue it, and attain. Others perhaps are marked only by their trying and failing. But even when one fails miserably at a thing there is something to be taken away with it. When I left archeology for other places, I felt I had given it my best shot. On that marker it says, “he tried”. What else could I have done? Archeology is more than career and job. It reaches way down to soul and spirit and makes you feel, see, think. Its a way, a path, a direction. And it colors all of life from today to tomorrow.
So, when your question arises; and it will leave here with no doubt. One will ask whether his or her life was marked with that quiet desperation. I think all of ours are. We all are marked with it and branded with its duration.
In the end, its what you can do after that to make a difference. If its a bus in the Alaskan wilderness, so be it. If its writing a blog and telling your incomplete story, that’s good. We all have our boundaries but sometimes to figure them out we have to stretch beyond them.
I’ll try to get back to Linux next time. I have a blogpost about building a NAS from an existing system for smaller home networks that wish to do this. I’ll give my measurements and system. On Linux, you can do miracles or figure out whey they weren’t 🙂
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