Last Saturday I saw "Into the Wild" down at the Cedar Lee with a very good friend. During my thru-hike this summer, like most other hikers, I read this book. Guess it's kind of a rite of passage. There are varying opinions about Chris McCandless. Some say he was a sort of jack kerouac free spirit that needed to roam....that needed a block of time to find himself. Others say he was a selfish idiot, that put his parents, sister, and those around him through hell, so that he could have some unnecessary long-hair hippy-dippy experience. I've spent the last 4 days thinking about this movie. Whatever you believe about Chris, this movie will change your life. I can't imagine watching this and not coming away with a sense of "life is too short" and "we must live-it" kind of attitude.
I could spend hours talking about this movie...what I liked, how amazing the soundtrack is, analyze it to the bone...But I don't want to do that. While I may not have gone roaming into alaska, I can honestly say that I can empathize with Chris. I know what it means to have to roam, and "breath in the air" as it were. I know that hiking the A.T. is not even close to spending 2 years roaming the country, but at the heart of it, I think I have a small clue as to what he was looking for.
for any of you want to know what that feeling is, I will tell you. There is a scene in the movie about 30 minutes from the end, where Chris climbs to the top of a mountain in Alaska. He stretches out his arms, closes his eyes, and it is right there....at that moment, that you will know what he was looking for. I have felt it, and I think before we leave this earth, we all should.
Please people, you don't need to spend two years roaming in alaska to find it. You just need to recognize it. There is so much unnoticed awe in this world....make time to find it for yourself. It really is worth it.