Monthly Archives: April 2012

A Life Of Montaigne, By Sarah Bakewell

Just finished a Non-Fiction book titled “How to live -or- A life of Montaigne” by Sarah Bakewell. The book speaks of the life of a famous writer/philosopher of the 1500’s. Montaigne was born in Bordeaux France and led a life in politics. Apparently his writing finds a home in many souls that read him. To be quiet honest I had never heard of Montaigne.

One cold december sunday upon walking into Barnes and Nobles I saw this book and it spoke to me. So with like any book I picked it up, tucked it under my arm pit and wondered through the store, taking the escalator up a couple of floor wandering around till i could find a comfortable sweet corner and there decided to read a few of the first pages to see if it would keep me interested and in fact if this strange book would be something I would want to devote weeks and my pleasurable valuable time to discovering the hidden messages, stories hidden within the pages of this book. I must say I was intrigued. What first intrigued me was the fact that this wasn’t some self help book preaching how to be a better person. It made it clear that this was not a person saying HOW ONE SHOULD LIVE. But how one LIVES.

Michel de Montaigne was born on Feb 28, 1533.

He lived his life always looking within himself, He wrote all the self observations (which I have not yet read but am eager to start) in a book titled ESSAYS, which was first published in 1580 in his hometown of Bordeaux. His style of writing is said to be all over the place, he was not one who was scared to go off the path in directions unknown, and follow his mind in circles, in paths unknown. Often the title of the chapters of his work are said to have no relations to the actual ideas that is within the framework of the chapter. I love when people are not held in by boundaries or styles but wonder all over the place. They speak what is on they’re mind at all times and don’t suppress it for the simple reason that it doesn’t fit the particular theme they are involved in at the present time. Because lets face it that thought may never enter your mind again and it would be foolish to never write it down only because it didn’t fit in.

Montaigne advised moderation. He would argue that one should never be up or down. You should always follow the Epicurean and Stoics tricks. Imagine looking upon the life from outer space, so that no matter how big it seems at a point in your life, looking at it from outer space you will see how insignificant it is. How insignificant we all are. So don’t get up or get too down. Don’t get lost in any task of life or any one person. Don’t become a fanatic, just enjoy each day, be lazy, take it all in.

” One should be able to accept everything just as it is, willingly, without giving in to the futile longing to change it”.

In my opinion I think that if all people where able to do this, we would fucking all be happy. Now can I do this well, yes. Am I guilty of sometime losing track of this, of course. If we could just except everyone, not judge, not change people.

“Do not seek to have everything that happens happen as you wish, but wish for everything to happen as it actually does happen, and your life will be serene.”

If we could all just accept life as it is and not to change it. I always want control of everything, Always get hurt when something unpredictable happens, always questioning why me. Just fuck it. I remember this opening scene in the movie i think was called “Garden State” anyway the main character in that movie sits in a plane as there is severe turbulence. Everyone is freaking out, lights inside the cabin are flashing, but he has this look of carelessness on his face like nothing matters death or life it is all the same. Whatever happens will happen regardless, so why get uncontrollably excited or get down to the levels of depression. Death is perhaps an enjoyable feeling, more enjoyable then living. Why be scared of it, its a relief.

-Dennis