The Broom of God

4. You must test your ideas. Ideas often emerge while sitting, but it is not through further sitting that one tests them. I once took my ideas to Patagonia on a bicycle. I once took them to Colombia and considered them in another language. I took them with me to mountaintops and into deserts. I exposed them to cold and rain and snow and heat. One tests his ideas by shocking them. One risks himself, his life even, to find out if there is something to them. The results can be unexpected.

5. To live comfortably with one’s ideas in the small room in which they were born can bring only modest surprises. Verily, ideas, like men, long for comfort. In comfort they grow and become entangled and whatever was false in them becomes established. For an honest and courageous man to achieve a greatness he must go into the world in search of what is least comfortable. It is through risk and danger and challenge that he may identify and prune away what is false in his thinking.

19. Later they will say it was all written while sitting. Yes, it was composed alone in a room, seated at a desk. But the ideas themselves were made on the Patagonian steppe, tested in the rigor of a wind they call la escoba de Dios (The broom of God), in a land empty of birds and trees and other men. 

1 comment:

  1. Would that the broom of God have swept this world clean.


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