Go Simple, Go Solo, Go Now

I’ve just finished reading a great little book called Paddling North by Audrey Sutherland. This is what it’s about:

In a tale remarkable for its unselfconscious self-reliance and acute natural observation, the author begins with her decision, at age 60, to undertake a solo, summerlong voyage along the southeast coast of Alaska in an inflatable kayak. Paddling North is a compilation of Sutherland’s first two (of over 20) such annual trips and her day-by-day travels through the Inside Passage from Ketchikan to Skagway. With maps, illustrations and the author’s recipes.

This book, while not meant to be a “self help” book by any means, was a real kick in the ass. A single passage from it sums up how I’ve been feeling lately. I’m not going to piss and moan because I’ve got it pretty good and really have very little to complain about. I’m just going to share the passage:

I didn’t need to “get away.” I needed to “get to.” To simplicity. I wanted to be lean and hard and sun-browned and kind. Instead I felt fat and soft and white and mean.

Hell yeah. No more feeling sorry for myself. No more fat, no more being soft, no more pale indoor pallor, no more thinking mean thoughts. Time to “get to” before it’s too late.

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