Thursday, August 7, 2008

The 'Web of Happiness'

It's pretty common in the kayaking world to hear boaters yammering on about their kayaking philosophy. We like to talk about Zen and Focus and lots of other such nonsense. And while it's true that kayaking is, in fact, Eudaimonia, it turns out that fact doesn't magically turn those involved in the sport into starry-eyed, silver-tongued philosophers. Well, maybe starry-eyed isn't too far off the mark.

Case and Point: Eric Jackson. Jackson is huge in the world of whitewater kayaking. He is the creator of the Jackson kayak line as well as a whole range of instructional videos. In the videos, he uses his children as actors to show viewers the proper way to complete a variety of kayaking moves. For the average adult kayaker watching these videos, nothing is more frustrating and demoralizing than watching a nine-year-old do moves and stunts with that unnatural child-like finesse and knowing you probably won't achieve that level of skill in your lifetime. Damn kids, grumble grumble.

Anyway, while surfing the kayaking interwebs today, I came across this little philosophy gem from Eric Jackson himself:

“Happiness is as fragile as a spider-web. Left alone it breaks apart one string at a time until it no longer catches the sun’s rays reflecting joy; instead leaving a dusty reminder of better times. Only when building the web of happiness daily, tending to the major strings and then adding to the web, does happiness become the first feeling felt in any thoughts, actions, or conversation.”

Wow, right? I just don't quite know what to say to that. Except that maybe kayakers should stick to what we know and leave the philosophizing to the philosophers and liberal arts students.

See you on the water.


Gordon said...

I am starting to think that you spend more time on the interweb looking up kayaking than I do :-)

Herbal Amanda said...

I hate it when my spider web of joy gets tangled with dead flies of ... ummm... despair and I have to start all over and make a new web... of joy.. ???