Tuesday, 4 August 2015

Epicurean Travels


In my 35 year long, varied career as a cook, I have occasionally been described by others as an epicurean.  It's a moniker I hated as it brought to mind plump, aged gentlemen feasting on quail stuffed with songbirds and other over constructed dishes. But thanks to reading "Travels with Epicurus" by Daniel Klein, I realise that I am a true follower of Epicurus' philosophy.   My ideal life is lived within my own garden; sharing simple but well cooked food and good conversation with close friends, ignoring as much as possible the politics outside my garden walls.  Which is a pretty good synopsis of how Epicurus lived. He was a man for whom happiness and contentment could be found in simple pleasures.  A true Epicurean could be described as being selfish, but after a lifetime of "good and worthy causes", the campaigning baton has to be passed to the next generation. The American author researched his book on Hydra and he has written a wonderful discourse on why those entering their third age on this island seem to be able to accept and enjoy their maturity rather than trying to prolong middle age with plastic surgery and viagra. It's a lesson we would all do well to note.

"It is not the young man who should be considered fortunate
but the old man who has lived well, because the young man in his prime 
wanders much by chance, vacillating in his beliefs, while the old man 
has docked in the harbour, having safeguarded his true happiness" 

"Not what we have, but what we enjoy, constitutes our abundance"

"He who is not satisfied with a little, is satisfied with nothing" 

"Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not" 

Epicurus  341-270 BC


12 comments:

  1. Well said dearest Annie,I totally agree with you.

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    1. I think you are also living a true Epicurean life, T.

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  2. B to B, I love learning from you these right-on gems from the ancient Greeks. These thoughts from Epicurus are downright anti-capitalist, the essence of which is to always be unsatisfied with what one has. Very nice posting.

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    1. Let's embrace his philosophy all together.

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  3. . . the wisdom of the ancients - how much we have lost in this grasping, possessive so-called society.

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    1. In his age too, he was swimming against the tide.

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  4. Plastic surgery? If only I could afford it! Seriously, my marching days are over too. My memory's not too hot either. Now where did I put that Viagra....

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    1. Well, there's always one. If it has to be you, you are still welcome in my garden.

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  5. Definitely chimes with me! The hardest part to accept is that there is, literally and metaphorically, more 'behind' me now!! Axxx

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    1. A fact to be celebrated, not mourned.

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  6. Beautiful, dear Annie, motto I embrace whole heartedly too, what a gem of a book, I will look out for it, many thanks, cok sevgiler

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  7. I loved this! How nice to learn at my advanced age that I'm a bit of an Epicurean too. :)

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