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The Restlessness of the Unexplored

“That’s what makes death so hard – unsatisfied curiosity.” – Beryl Markham, West with the Night

Where does restlessness come from? I believe it comes from that unsatisfied curiosity that Markham references above. What will you regret on your deathbed? The restlessness of the unexplored: unsatisfied curiosity. This phrase from such an accomplished woman, such an adventurous spirit, knocked me back two steps. Because I understand myself more in that pile of words. Don’t you?

Unsatisfied curiosity. I see is in friends buying a bigger sailboat to go farther, to go longer, on their next adventure. In friends collecting mountain summits and filling social media with their seasons of wonder. In family and friends building meaningful businesses and careers out of schemes and dreams. And I see it in myself, writing and searching for more, exploring our history and the world around us. Stretching in new directions and pushing at my own limits.

Unsatisfied curiosity drives progress and growth. Restlessness is a form of being uncomfortable with the limitations we find ourselves living with. The world is out there, should we be bold. Should we leap. And why shouldn’t we? Why be timid and afraid of life? There’s work to be done. Places to go and visions to be realized. Enter Henry:

“Rise free from care before the dawn, and seek adventures.” – Henry David Thoreau

It seems impossible, really, when you think about the leap from the Wright Brother’s first flight in 1903 (itself extraordinary) to Markham becoming the first person to fly solo across the Atlantic Ocean 33 years later, to humans landing on the moon 33 years after that. In our brief time together on this planet, aren’t you curious about what you can accomplish? Bold action satisfies curiosity. What you can see? What can be realized?

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