After all, we were young. We were fourteen and fifteen, scornful of childhood, remote from the world of stern and ludicrous adults. We were bored, we were restless, we longed to be seized by any whim or passion and follow it to the farthest reaches of our natures. We wanted to live – to die – to burst into flame – to be transformed into angels or explosions. Only the mundane offended us, as if we secretly feared it was our destiny. By late afternoon our muscles ached, our eyelids grew heavy with obscure desires. And so we dreamed and did nothing, for what was there to do, played ping-pong and went to the beach, loafed in backyards, slept late into the morning – and always we craved adventures so extreme we could never imagine them. In the long dusks of summer we walked the suburban streets through scents of maple and cut grass, waiting for something to happen.
― Steven Millhauser, Dangerous Laughter
The secret to so many artists living so long is that every painting is a new adventure. So, you see, they’re always looking ahead to something new and exciting. The secret is not to look back.
― Norman Rockwell
So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure.
Learn to reverence night and to put away the vulgar fear of it, for, with the banishment of night from the experience of man, there vanishes as well a religious emotion, a poetic mood, which gives depth to the adventure of humanity.
—Henry Beston, The Outermost House: A Year of Life on the Great Beach of Cape Cod
We are earthbound creatures, Maggie had thought. No matter how tempting the sky. No matter how beautiful the stars. No matter how deep the dream of flight. We are creatures of the earth. Born with legs, not wings, legs that root us to the earth, and hands that allow us to build our homes, hands that bind us to our loved ones within those homes. The glamour, the adrenaline rush, the true adventure, is here, within these homes. The wars, the detente, the coups, the peace treaties, the celebrations, the mournings, the hunger, the sating, all here.
They thought that it would be a disgrace to go forth as a group. Each entered the forest at a point that he himself had chosen, where it was darkest and there was no path. If there is a path it is someone else’s path and you are not on the adventure.
I don’t know what any individual should do about crossing her own borders. I only know that I live a happier, more adventurous life by crossing borders. Of course, the crossings are always painful, as well. In most ways, I think border crossing is a very selfish, individualistic act. I’ve come to the point in my life where I encourage young Native Americans to become much more selfish about their personal needs and wants.