Thursday, November 27, 2008

Into the Wild

I liked the soundtrack to this movie, and then Nada offered to lend me the DVD, so I checked it out. I watched it in three installments, which probably didn't help me get caught up in the flow -- the beginning didn't grab me at all, but I was glad I stuck with it. Knowing how it ended didn't make the the last half hour any easier to watch, especially as a parent internalizing the potential for pain when your kids wander.

I was curious enough to do some reading on the background story, which in some ways made it seem more tragic. The review by Katrina Onstad parallels many of my feelings about the film. I was surprised at the impact it had on me -- some of the scenes are beyond beautiful, and I thought the acting was mostly fantastic. Lots of food for thought on contrasts in decisions about how we set up our lives: thankfulness vs restlessness...optimizing your situation vs seeking out new experience...strengthening existing relationships vs developing new ones...independence vs interdependence and community...freedom vs comfort. I'll be stewing on this one for a while, I think.


Garth said...

It is a definitely a movie that makes one reflect on life and death. I enjoyed the book more but thought the movie captured well the sentiment of the book. Here's a quote from the book that continues to inspire me in my life journey:

"So many people live within unhappy circumstances & yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun." - Jon Krakauer in Into The Wild

Jeremy said...

The first part of the quote rings true, but it's almost more interesting if you change the "unhappy" to "happy" and dropping the "yet". For me, happiness and thankfulness have a way of breeding complacency -- conservatism kicks in as a way to try to protect what I already have. I see how we get into ruts of our own choosing, and how they get harder to navigate out of when they're so comfortable. And having kids seems to make that even more acute.

"The very basic core of a man's living spirit is his passion for adventure." The rest of the quote rings less true for me, and I almost hate to admit it, because of course many of us like to think of ourselves as free-spirited adventurers. Although the film did awaken in me the familiar desire to travel and live in different ways (and places), I've also come to value staying put -- to really learn one place well, in all seasons, over a period of know the people of that place and to commit to a shared future with them. To have family close. Somehow I think that those less-exciting things more likely combine to make up the "very basic core of a man's living spirit" for most of us.

Garth said...

I like your thoughts on the quote as well Jer. I guess for me the quote references my need to not be bored with the everyday but actually see the uniqueness of wherever I am. The second part of the quote for me excites & scares me as I'm due for my sabbatical in January 2010. The plan as it stands right now is to travel as a family somewhere on this planet - literally leaving behind the comfort of our home and attempting to create "home" wherever we are.

I've come to realize the value of alone-time but even more so the value of together - but again - I think this can be stretched & strengthened by putting ourselves in new circumstances.

Good to exchange ideas again Jer - I've missed that as of late. As a teacher - I throw out "new" & "old" ideas as bait for discussion but unfortunately the closer one gets to exams - the focus is more on survival than actually thriving.