Monday, November 15, 2010

Break out of the box!

The book club I'm in recently read The Last American Man, by Eustace Conway. One particular passage has just really stuck with me and I'd like to share it...
I live in nature where everything is connected, circular. The seasons are circular.  The planet is circular, and so is the planet around the sun. The course of water over the earth is circular coming down from the sky and circulating through the world to spread life and then evaporating up again. I live in a circular teepee and build my fire in a circle. The life cycles of plants and animals are circular. I live outside where I can see this.  The ancient people understood that our world is a circle, but we modern people have lost site of that. I don't live inside buildings because buildings are dead places where nothing grows, where water doesn't flow, and where life stops. I don't want to live in a dead place. People say that I don't live in a real world, but it's modern Americans who live in a fake world, because they have stepped outside the natural circle of life.
Do people live in circles today? No. They live in boxes.  They wake up every morning in a box of their bedrooms because a box next to them started making beeping noises to tell them it was time to get up. They eat their breakfast out of a box and then they throw that box away into another box.  Then they leave the box where they live and get into another box with wheels and drive to work, which is just another big box broken into little cubicle boxes where a bunch of people spend their days sitting and staring at the computer boxes in front of them. When the day is over, everyone gets into the box with wheels again and goes home to the house boxes and spends the evening staring at the television boxes for entertainment. They get their music from a box, they get their food from a box, they keep their clothing in a box, they live their lives in a box. Break out of the box! Eustace Conway.
 If only for a number of hours a week running gets me out of that box and for that I am truly grateful. I hope in the future I can break even further out of these boxes!
I highly recommend this book if you have time check it out.

The gang at the start

I wrote a Masochist report last week and somehow it didn't save? long story short it was a great weekend. A pictures worth a thousand words so this should cover it.


  1. Beth,
    I read that book a few years ago. It's a great book and it kind of makes you think - maybe even a bit too much about the complexities of the modern world (at least it did me). I agree with much of what Conway says in the book, but it troubles me how hard it is to put his philosophy into action in our culture. I found it interesting that in the end, he too had to "sell out" to a certain extent to buy the land he wanted and ultimately became nearly as attached to cultural sillyness like insurance et al like the rest of the world to make sure he didn't lose it all if he got sick/sued. I think you're right in saying that running frees you from the boxes of life - if only temporary. We're all trying to swim upstream in a downstream world.
    Good stuff!
    - Adam

  2. AMEN Eustace and Beth... As I told you Beth (I think), when my late father-in-law was reading the book, he came over every morning for coffee and told me about what he read the night before. I have "The Last American Man" on my bookshelf somewhere. Since I did live in a teepee for a time, I'll have to find that wonderful book and "re-read" it (will also help me remember my father-in-laws love for books and storytelling!)

  3. Sounds like a wonderful read. We do live in a box of sorts and running (particularly trail running) takes us for a short time out of that box. We always have such a great time when we get together and pictures do say it all. I do look forward to our next adventure and it will not be too far away. Rest up from an excellent race. You continue to get stronger and stronger.

  4. hey everyone! yoo hoo!!! over here!! she PR'ed by more than an hour!! congrats on a well executed race, beth.. AND the wonderful weekend..:o) tons of trail love vibes flowin'.... that just makes it icing on the cake:o)

    love you girlie! cant wait to see you soon/ run with you! miss you!
    need to stop by your office and see ya!


  5. Jenny, You are so right. She did PR big time and once again I was unable to stay with her!

  6. PR by over an hour? Impressive Beth! I'll take that in the 2011 MMTR.