Doug Bruns

The sign that something is wrong with you.

In Adventure, Family, Life, Memoir, Travel on April 25, 2012 at 6:00 am

Perhaps you recall a week or so ago my frustration over my collection of notebooks and journals (The Whirlwind About my Head), and that I was going to transcribe them into Evernote. That project is underway and I’ve recovered more than a few old memories and ideas. As you know from reading my postings, I also collect quotes. Emerson disdained this habit, called it lazy and inferred that it is cheap practice. He didn’t want a quote, he wanted original thinking. (Note my restraint from quoting him.) Montaigne, on the other hand, larded his writing with quotations and took pleasure in doing so.

I know I should admire Emerson–and I do. But I can’t read him. I find his writing insufferable, but that is beside the point and is just an excuse to continue my habit of dropping the occasional quote into these pages. Montaigne is my man.

I relate all this as a set-up to a quote and a recovered journal entry.

The quote is from Thornton Wilder. I stumbled across it just last week:

“The test of an adventure is that when you’re in the middle of it, you say to yourself, ‘Oh, now I’ve got myself into an awful mess; I wish I were sitting quietly at home.’ And the sign that something’s wrong with you is when you sit quietly at home wishing you were out having lots of adventure.”

And the journal entry is from November, 2000. I had just returned from an off-the-grid adventure in the Seychelles.

Returning from the Seychelles has found me mixed up and confused. There, I could not think of anything but returning, anything but home and comfort and Carole. Now home all of three weeks and I am growing fitful to set out again. This wanderlust is an awful thing, filling me with thoughts of adventure while home and of home while adventuring.


This time next week I will be in the midst of twenty-four hours of air time, en route to Nepal. Long live the adventure!

  1. These really always help to launch the day! Thanks for sharing.

  2. Good luck with all the transcribing 🙂 Have a great day!

    • Thanks, “writer chick.” Yes, the transcribing–that’s a long-haul, but makes for a good writing warmup. You have a great day too, that’s the goal. (I manage to pull it off better than half the time.) Thanks for reading. D

  3. Yes, “long live the adventure”.

  4. I agree – Emerson is a hard read, even Thoreau to some extent. Long live Montaigne! And quotes are not so lazy, it often is very time consuming to find a quote that suits your needs… Happy Travels..

    • Thanks for stopping in, JR. I appreicate the comment. Emerson is, inndeed, a hard way to go. Thoreau a bit, but not like Ralph. And of course our french friend, Montainge. He began the whole shabang. Emerson though highly of Montaigne, but found him crass. Those New Englanders! Those damn Puritan remants! We are still plagued with their footnotes.

I welcome your comments. Thanks for reading.

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