A year alone on an island in Patagonia

Author Bob Kull seems to be a jerk.

It’s not easy to argue with one review I read – Unfocused drivel by an unlikable author.

On the other hand, his diary kept me going. The philosophical ramblings were circular — and I ended up learning nothing.

But the day-to-day physical challenges were interesting. The technology he used fascinating.

This was actually Ph.D.  research. And he defended his dissertation in 2005 at UBC.

Years after losing his lower right leg in a motorcycle crash, Robert Kull traveled to a remote island in Patagonia’s coastal wilderness with equipment and supplies to live alone for a year.

He sought to explore the effects of deep solitude on the body and mind and to find the spiritual answers he’d been seeking all his life.

With only a cat and his thoughts as companions, he wrestled with inner storms while the wild forces of nature raged around him. The physical challenges were immense, but the struggles of mind and spirit pushed him even further.

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Ben Franklin by Walter Isaacson

Isaacson is a bit of a genius himself.

Recently he’s written biographies. I enjoyed his biography of Leonardo da Vinci (2017). And loved his biography of Steve Jobs (2011).

Benjamin Franklin: An American Life is good too. But not as good.

Ben’s life story was simply not as controversial as either Jobs or Leonardo da Vinci. As a result I found Isaacson repetitive regarding his few faults.

Ben Franklin regarded himself as a working class man. A printer. Yet became one of the most glamorous and famous people of his time. (1706-1790)

I admire him as an American polymath and one of the Founding Fathers of the United States. A leading author, printer, political theorist, politician, freemason, postmaster, scientist, inventor, civic activist, statesman, and diplomat. 

He founded many civic organizations, including the Library CompanyPhiladelphia‘s first fire department and the University of Pennsylvania.

Like Gandhi, his real goal was to make life better for as many as possible.

Franklin was foundational in defining the American ethos as a marriage of the practical values of thrift, hard work, education, community spirit, self-governing institutions, and opposition to authoritarianism  …

He’d be horrified by the GOP and their toddler President in 2018.

Santiago Cemetery

2.5 million people were laid to rest in the Santiago Cemetery.

It’s an evocative place.

I was there on an excellent group tour. Our guide made the place come to life.

Catholic families visit their dead relatives often: birthdays, death days, holidays, Christmas. They leave gifts behind.

Rich families, companies and social groups have huge memorials.

Some are tacky.

This is my favourite photo from the visit.

If you get a chance to spend eternity here, ride in style.

Life is short. Enjoy it while you still have it.