The Heroic Life

The Wind of Fate

Image by Celeste

“While I do not know where my purpose lies, I know it lies in something bigger than me, bigger than a class room, bigger than a university and its diplomas. There’s this force in me that just wants to explore, and where I cannot explore with eyes unclouded, I suffocate.”

That’s a quote from Antoine, a reader of mine. In my novella, Lúnasa Days, I write about what I call the Wind of Fate. Antoine has perfectly summed it up here.

It is also, I believe, a sentiment that drives those who follow heroic ideals and seek to live a life of excellence. Antoine talks not only about pursuing a sense of purpose, but about pursuing it on the grandest scale possible. It is that exact ambition—the ambition to do great things—that can, I believe, lead a person to excel at their art and reach for a higher ideal.

That is the Wind of Fate, a wind that can be captured in the sail, propelling you forward; or simply to be weathered like a storm.

How do you catch your wind?

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Adventure, Heroism, The Heroic Life

At the Edge of Something Greater

Sometimes, you have to want it.

I’ve never been a hero. Never. And I might spend a whole life adventuring and never reach that state. I don’t really care.

What matters to me is the power that heroism has over my own heart. If it wasn’t for the stories of great heroes I heard growing up, I wouldn’t be out here adventuring today.

And that’s the beauty: I may not be a hero, but I’m definitely an adventurer. The thrill of exploration is a song I hear on the wind.

Some smart people have told me that the ancient myths were not real value systems, because the average warrior can’t be Achilles. To me that’s missing the point. The myths are powerful proscriptions because the average warrior can love Achilles. They can yearn to be like him, and while only a few succeed, tens of thousands improve the world (and their happiness) by trying.

A heroic faith then has very little to do with becoming a hero, and everything to do with the inspiration that heroes give us. For me that inspiration is so powerful that it’s brought me to the edge of everything I love. I have given it all up to be here. I own a knife, a hatchet, and a pack full of tools: I surrendered everything.

And I never second guessed it, because for the first time in my life things felt right.

It can make you believe in fate, this feeling. What else can it be, when everything in your soul is yearning toward one end?

It’s a journeyman’s quest. It’s the love of my art that pulls me forward. I’m not even sure I can name what that art is, though to say writing would come close. I just know here is a tremendous spirit inside of me that’s waiting to be let out, a story that I’m supposed to tell. I don’t know what the story is yet, but it’s waiting to be told and I am the one to tell it.

There’s beauty in chasing your purpose. Like an illusionist, it has you cheering for something you don’t understand. But like a lover from the other world it has a plan for you and you’re eager to be complicit.

Life is precious, my friends. Minutes are expensive. Please, put them toward the things you truly love.

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