I have entered the blogosphere. This is just as well, I suppose, because my thoughts are somewhat cumbersome at times. I seem to tell the same people the same things over and over, but maybe this new (to me) genre might get my thoughts out to someone else, some random person in the far reaches of this computer universe. Now the usual people who are subject to my rambling tirades will have a little breathing room.
So, a purposeful life. What is this all about? Thoreau said that "The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation." I try to consider myself outside this mass. Sure, there's a desperation element in my life, as there probably is for everyone, but my desperation seems anything but quiet. Whether it's outside at a climbing area, where a number of people are cheering me on during a redpoint attempt, or on a trail run, where you'd think it would be quiet, but it's actually very loud as my heartbeat pulses in my head and my breath is on the verge of wheezing. Moments of quiet repose seem few in my life, and I think I'm okay with that.
I rather like Whitman's "barbaric yawp," his sense of forcing himself on those around him. Maybe that's what this blog is, my yawp. Maybe that's what I do for a living, standing in front of a class, talking to a captive audience. Maybe sticking that crux move and letting out some sort of primal scream ("man, where did that come from?") is my yawp.
Going back to desperation. I think purpose and desperation are at odds with each other. Goals, it's all about goals, but not in that cheesy inspirational poster kind of way. I think it's about working toward something and realizing that it's the working, the striving, that makes the whole pursuit worthwhile. The goal is either met or not met, but its sure that there's no boredom. When training, boredom is replaced with recovery. When really living a purposeful life, desperation seems to lessen a bit, as the next redpoint, the next paper, the next long run, is your Walden, your tunnel through the mountain, your mini-yawp.