Paulo Coelho The Hippie, a Book Review

I bought The Hippie from the airport bookstore to read during the flight to Colorado. I was dating a hippie at the time and I like Coelho so I thought it would pass the time in a good way. It was July when I started and November when I finished; I got distracted along the way. 

As he writes about the Magic Bus and the people he meets I find that I’m drawn into all their stories. I was reading it more for the people and learning about them, and not so much about finding a life philosophy. As I read I’m constantly referring to maps to figure out where they are and understand the physical journey. 

The main take-away from this book is learning about the character’s urgings to see the world. I enjoyed reading the stories of men and women who want to take every opportunity to see the world. They are full of hope and want to change the world while having amazing experiences. They start their journey in Amsterdam, stopping in Istanbul as they make their way to Kathmandu. 

Paulo learns from everyone and finally he meets a white-haired man while taking a risk walking into a building. Paulo is in search of knowledge and wisdom. And my favorite quote from the book: 

“A man in search of spirituality knows little, because he reads of it and tries to fill his intellect with what he judges wise. Trade your books for madness and wonder—then you will be a bit closer to what you seek. Books bring us opinions and studies, analyses and comparisons, while the sacred flame of madness brings us to the truth.”

Other quotes I like:
“Salute the sun. Allow it to fill your soul – knowledge is an illusion, ecstacy is the true reality.”

Paulo is in search of dancing and learning the ways of the Sufi. It’s not until I re-read sections to really understand what he is looking for. I like this quote so much.

“Then seek the Truth. Seek always to be on its side, even when it brings you pain. There are times when the Truth goes quiet for long stretches, or when it doesn’t tell you what you want to hear. That’s Sufism.”

“‘The Truth is what makes us free. You will know the Truth and the Truth shall set you free,’ Jesus said.”

“He had entered a state of complete emptiness, and this emptiness, though its inherent contradiction, filled everything.”

Why are there so many acorns, hiking Winant Park

Walking in the woods at Winant Park on Sunday I hear all kinds of sounds. As we enter the trails near the church on Pleasant Street there is a loud ripping sound. I look up and see the top of a tree come crashing to the ground. I half expect to see some sort of bobcat or mountain lion run away, like it is high up on a tree limb and its weight causes the tree to crumble. Winnie runs toward the sound, not a great thing in case there is a wild animal but no animal runs away and we continue on our hike. 

Black flies are still hovering which is obnoxious for this time of year. Geez. Go away. I swat the flies as I hobble over the thousands of acorns that litter the trail this year. I don’t remember so many on the trails and roads compared to last year at this time. We hiked as much last year as this year and I simple don’t remember them. And I definitely don’t remember the sounds from them falling in the woods.

The sound of the acorns falling is so loud for such a small nut. 

When you live in the same place for several seasons you start to see patterns such as the sun rising in a different spot or the trail start to be less socked in when the trees lose their leaves. When I lived in Killington, Vermont I watched and recorded how spring changed into summer and then later into fall. I noticed everything, wrote about every detail from hiking the same trail, Trail 17, every day with my yellow lab Abbey. Later when I lived in Granby, Colorado I watched the seasons change from hiking the same mountain trail behind my house for seven years with Abbey and Daisy. All the details never seemed changed from year to year.

The only reason I can guess that I didn’t notice the acorns last year is age; I’m getting older and don’t remember as much. 

That’s why I will now take my journal with me on every hike and take detailed notes again. I don’t want to miss a thing.

West of 98, What Are You Reading

The best mornings start out with reading and then writing.

I’m re-reading West of 98, Living and Writing the New American West.

The best part of reading this book again is that it reminds of all the amazing places I’ve lived and explored in Colorado and Arizona. It gives me fodder for all the stories I want to write.

Truly belonging to this place would mean embracing it as vastly layered and infinitely complex. Wilderness as primal blessing, forever being born and forever dying.” – Gary Ferguson, from the essay in West of 98: Wolf and Coyote and Kumbaya

Leadville Pacer Planning

I’m in Colorado, and today I meet with my Pacers and Crew to discuss race day planning. But first a short run at 5,500 feet in Littleton. The picture above is me stretching after a run, looking into that gorgeous blue Colorado sky.

Here’s my hope for pacing on August 17:

Pacers as of July 13. Please Roger, say yes!

Today, Mary and I head to Manitou Springs to check out Garden on the Gods and Cliff Dwellings. A little more acclimation training for me and tomorrow – Pikes Peak to bag a 14’er.