Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The Vigorous Life

I had a great hike with my dog, Faith, this morning. At the University of the South, a Perimeter Trail offers some outstanding bluff views above valleys to the north and west. At Green's View, an up and down hike leads through Skake Rag Hollow and a foot bridge to the northeast leads to the Piney Point path which skirts Saint Andrew's-Sewanee School. It was a morning hike where in some places only the deer had traveled since the recent snows. The following excerpt from TR's Autobiography often revisits me when I'm in the midst of a vigorous challenge. I thought you might like it:

"I once made a speech to which I gave the title 'The Strenuous Life.' Afterwards I published a volume of essays with this for a title. There were two translations of it which always especially pleased me. One was by a Japanese officer who knew English well, and who had carried the essay all through the Manchurian campaign, and later translated it for the benefit of his countrymen. The other was by an Italian lady, whose brother, an officer in the Italian army who had died on duty in a foreign land, had also greatly liked the article and carried it round with him. In translating the title the lady rendered it in Italian as Vigor di Vita. I thought this translation a great improvement on the original, and have always wished that I had myself used 'The Vigor of Life' as a heading to indicate what I was trying to preach, instead of the heading I actually did use."

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