Thursday, December 13, 2007

Nature and the Rest of Time

I wrote on my facebook a comment that holds true every step I take farther along this life path of mine. "I love nature and have no problem abandoning everything to dissappear into it for the rest of time". This is something I so badly want to do and yet the grip of reality has particularly of late been tightening around my wrists, pinning me down, holding me hostage. I don't know what to do about it other than continue to flit from one field job to another, following the life cycles of the birds that are my focus. But these jobs are an escape from rush hour traffic and mind numbing monotony...and growing up. An escape from real life. I don't know where they are leading me and I'm starting to feel that rather they are just trapping me. I can't spend the rest of my life as a drifter. It's not possible. Chris McCandless did it but only to perish in the not-so-wild wilderness. Nonetheless, he is my hero. He followed his heart rather than falling in line with the rest of us human-cattle. He relinquished his position in society for a life as a wanderer. But throughout his travels, he could never truly disappear into nature because even in the wilds of Alaska, he wasn't more than several miles from civilization. Nonetheless, he spent two months, fending for his own life against the harsh wild, and succeeded without the hand of another, without even setting eyes on another. Chris made his escape but, feeling the ache of loneliness, he finally wanted to break out of his hidden utopia and return to that which was familiar. I think it is symbolic that he was not able to; he discovered the river he needed to cross back into civilization had risen, swollen by spring melt and he was stuck. The world he had so completely rid himself of was now neglecting to let him return. It was the products of his hidden utopia that finished him in the end. But what I think was particularly symbolic is that, while he did want to return to society, his timing was off and it wasn't a complete loss. But perhaps it was nature whispering to him "stay a bit longer and you'll never want to leave..." because, really, do you think that this boy could have gone home, gone to whatever prestigious university, entered the society of money driven individuals, and lived the rest of his life? Of course not, he would have always sustained that itch to return and what if he never did? What if his own wrists were cinched? Perhaps the way things turned out was best, in a way. I'm done rambling for now...but I haven't yet reached a conclusion for myself.

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