Are You a Pillar? – Skate across America Day 56

November 28th, 2010



Total Distance for today: approx. 38 miles
Total Distance for Tour: approx. 503 miles
LOCATION: Henderson, NC
STATUS: En route to Raleigh, NC.

I just watched the movie “Fight Club.” I know, I know, I’m way behind the times, but I finally saw it, and I must say that it is a pretty incredible movie. It’s an entire commentary on modern society, and there’s a lot more going on here than what’s on the surface. It’s not about fighting! It’s about the inner attitude we take toward the world. Anyway, here’s the underlying mindset that I found:

On Communication and how We Speak

First things first, I’m writing this post a bit haphazardly, and it may be a bit difficult to follow. I’m trying to capture the basic emotions that I’m feeling at the moment, so bare with me. I come to this place to capture snippets of what bounces around in an overly active and playful mind. I only wish that what lands here could be as unfiltered and raw as the thoughts that produce it. There is something special about untamed and unrefined thoughts. We think we clarify our thoughts through self-editing and perfecting. We suppose that we tie-up loose ends and connect the key points. We suppose that we make our ideas more tangible for the average observer. This may be true, but I suspect that what is gained in simple clarity is lost in richness and originality.


Do not be afraid to write, to speak, or to contend that which may not presently be understood; what is incomprehensible or too much now may be the genius of the future. Not all misunderstood things are great, but all great things are at some point misunderstood. Refine yourself and pander to who you will when you must, but true courage births insights that do not need an immediate sympathetic audience.

On Solitude and Strength


Carry on with courage and though you may find yourself alone, you will find that your strength is made greater in the fiery desolation of your solitude. When you have no pillar to lean on, you must become your own pillar. Strength is not what you feel when you are at ease with much comfort and many companions; strength is what you feel when you lack all of these but still gaze forward with intent just the same. Pillars of such character were built to support great structures, and you will feel your strength when you see that you stand alone, not because you must, but because you choose to. Then you will find your connection and companionship amongst other pillars, and you will share with them the joy of raising future highways that are still only figments in the imagination of humankind.

On Laughter and Joy


Oh that we could have pillars, strong and new that are scarcely aware of their size and strength. Oh that a strong pillar could find it’s joy, not in the self-adoring awareness that it is a great pillar, but in the joy of doing that which is strong. Oh that every great pillar could throw of the silly grimace of pain or suffering that pillars are so apt to wear when lifting a great load. Would not such pillars love their destinies all the more, if every great and difficult task was a chance for greater laughter and detachment from fear?


Joy is not what you feel, when everything is easy and there is nothing to fear; joy is what you feel when everything is difficult and terrifying, yet your smile and laughter shine all the brighter from a heart that is stronger than any challenge that could beset it. It is brave to solemnly bare a heavy load, but it is heroic to bare such a load with laughter and true joy in your veins. And so the measure of your courage shall be the measure of your laughter when great calamity, pain, and challenges pound on your door. Such strength is of a young heart, but it will find its home in the breasts of the elderly, should they remember that they were once young.

Conclusion: A Braver Way to Face the World


Let the conclusion on the matter be this: Speak your convictions without fear and accept and learn from the consequences. Find your connection and your companionship with those who also seek joy, courage, and strength. Do not admire yourself as a grand or strong pillar; rather, lose yourself in the intoxicating joy of doing that which is strong. Do not show yourself merely solemn in the face of dangers, pains, and challenges; this is merely brave. Go further: show the strength of the hero and learn to venture sport and laughter where others would grimace and recoil in pain and fear. So shall you be strong. So shall you be heroic. So shall you be filled with joy and health. So shall you be free. The greatest obstacle and enemy you will face, oh brave one, will be yourself. If you would be great, you must first overcome yourself.

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