Thursday, April 30
“As to when I shall visit civilization, it will not be soon, I think. I have not tired of the wilderness; rather I enjoy its beauty and the vagrant life I lead, more keenly all the time. I prefer the saddle to the streetcar and star-sprinkled sky to a roof, the obscure and difficult trail, leading in tot he unknown, to any paved highway, and the deep peace of the wild to the discontent bred by cities. Do you blame me then for staying here, where I feel that I belong and am one with the world around me? It is true that I miss intelligent companionship, but there are so few with whom I can share the things that mean so much to me that I have learned to contain myself. It is enough that I am surrounded with beauty …
Even from your scant description, I know that I could not bear the routine and humdrum life that you are forced to lead. I don’t think I could ever settle down. I have known too much of the depth of life already, and I would prefer anything to an anticlimax.”
~Into the Wild, Chapter 9
It seems as though people are really searching for leaders, someone to step up and unify the citizenry.
Journal: Do you see yourself as a leader? How could you work as a leader in the Stilwell community? If you do not consider yourself a leader that’s perfectly fine but you will choose the leaders in the very near future. Explain to me what you are looking for in a leader.
Friday, May 1
“As I came home through the woods with my string of fish, trailing my pole, it being now quite dark, I caught a glimpse of a woodchuck stealing across my path, and felt a strange thrill of savage delight, and was strongly tempted to seize and devour him raw; not that I was hungry them, except for that wildness which he represented. Once or twice, however, while I lived at the pond, I found myself ranging the woods, like a half-starved hound, with a strange abandonment, seeking some kind of venison which I might devour, and no morsel could have been too savage for me. The wildest scenes had become unaccountably familiar. I found in myself, and still find, an instinct toward a higher, or, as it is named, spiritual life, as do most men, and another toward a primitive rank and savage one, and I reverence them both. I love the wild not less than the good.
There is an incessant influx of novelty into the world and yet we tolerate incredible dullness. I need only suggest what kind of sermons are still listened to in the most enlightened countries. There are such words joy and sorrow, but they are only the burden of a psalm, sung with a nasal twang, while we believe in the ordinary and the mean. We think we can change our clothes only. We do not believe that a tide rises and falls behind every man which can float the British empire like a chip, if he should ever harbor it in his mind. Who knows what sort of seventeen-year locust will next come out of the ground? The government of the world I live in was not framed, like that of Britain, in after-dinner conversations over the wine. The life in us is like the water in the river…”
Ten years from now all this will be a faded memory; a story to tell your children.
Journal: Write a letter to your 28 year-old self explaining what we have been through. What is your 28 year old self doing? Where are you living and what are you doing from day to day? Give yourself some advice. What do you want to remember ten years from now?