Monday, March 5, 2012

Concept of the Wild

My dear hubby got me this book a few years ago after we watched the movie, and for some reason I put off reading it. I wasn't sure what to expect - if the novel would be a tear-jerker, or how it would pan out. I really wasn't quite sure how I would emotionally respond to this story. I recall the movie being pretty powerful at the time. All in all, a really good read. A blend of non-fiction, some storytelling elements as the life of Chris McCandless is exposed, and then part tale of an adventuring spirit lured by the idea of the wild, and the wilderness of Alaska. This is not a tear jerker, and in some ways, it is like a socratic argument in the sense that you return to the beginning again by the end of the story but with a slightly different sense of appreciation. Krakauer is a good writer, and he understands the lure of wild places. The idea of "wilderness" is one that has intrigued me over the years. The idea of "heading west" that would have lured our forefathers out to the west coast, getting away from it all, and of heading in to the bush. It is ironic to note how close Chris was to being able to save himself, and he took himself off of the grid by throwing away his map. I have been struck in the past of how our footprints are everywhere. If you seek out the wilderness, isolated places, it is truly hard to get away - planes fly overhead, you find litter, you come to a clearing in a bush and the half-buried tracks of an old logging road. It is hard to get away - I do believe we need wild places - places where everything is not paved over. We need wild places, our kids need to know and embrace nature. Our kids need to get dirty!Hence, it never surprises me when I take my kids for a walk and let them splash around in puddles, and the dog walkers are always thrilled I let my kids be kids. Hell - I can throw them in the shower and wash their clothes... there is nothing like jumping and splashing in puddles and coming home to warm up! Long live inner kids!!!

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