There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
There is society, where none intrudes,
By the deep sea, and music in its roar:
I love not man the less, but Nature more,
From these our interviews, in which I steal
From all I may be, or have been before,
To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.
-- Lord Byron
If you haven't seen Into the Wild already, I highly recommend it, but settle in for a long film.
So, this boy gives away all his college money and disappears into the wilds of Arizona, California, and, eventually, Alaska. He has very few possessions, the most important of which are his books.
It is difficult for me to put into words the things i felt and the ideas that roamed through my head and my heart as I watched Alex Supertramp walk in and out of people's lives and through the wilds and, ultimately, die alone in the wilds of Alaska.
The idea of walking away, of walking into the unknown exhilarates me. Stepping out of mainstream society to live a life more dangerous, more exciting and more meaningful is what I desperately long to do, but I haven't the slightest idea of how to do it or of even where to begin.
For Alex it was about leaving home, it was walking away from his family and from money and creature comforts.... and it looked noble. It seemed like a difficult thing to do, but in the end (actually towards the middle of the film) I realized that he, in fact, was a coward. He was selfish. He ran from his problems at home. Abandoned his sister.
When Alex met people on the road he connected with them. They loved him... and for what? He left them, too. The old man in the dessert. He should have stayed with him. I loved what he said, "To forgive is to love, and to love is to have the God shine upon you." (Or something like that.)
But then I guess he would never have found what he was looking for. He discovered that happiness must be shared.
"For it is not good for man to be alone."
What does this mean for me? Well, to begin with, I signed up for ebay and have started selling my stuff. I'm so over having so much stuff everywhere.... especially the designer stuff. I am going to pay off my credit card and then I'll go where the wind (or, rather, God) takes me.
I'm not going to be disappearing into the wilderness anytime soon (hello, I love good cheese and hot showers), but maybe I'll head to India finally. Or maybe back to Thailand. Or maybe the beaches of LA.