Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Into the Wild

This past weekend I rented the Sean Penn directed movie of the great Jon Krakauer book, Into the Wild. And it got me thinking.

What if I chucked everything and moved to the wilds of Alaska? Could I survive? Alone? With only a few favorite books, a puny 22 rifle and pair of galoshes?
Probably not.

Actually, no f’ing way.

Because, although I like my alone time mulling over my stories and thinking my thoughts, I have to be around folks. Not all the time mind you. Just occasionally. And it seems, right now, more occasionally than regularly. It’s a funk for sure – an adolescent phase that I go through multiple times a year. I can be grouchy, my wife tells me. And she’s known me for many moons – she would know.

So, as much as I like my alone time, I’ve got to have the human interaction on some level. We writers like to think of ourselves as an island sometimes – being alone with our thoughts and our words. But in the end, we write stories about people, and we need be around people in order to write about them.

But just occasionally, I’d like to shoot a couple folks with my .22……


G.M. Malliet said...

No way. I'd be lost without cable TV.

As I remember it, the moral of the story in this movie was: If you weren't born and raised in the wild, you've probably got no business being out there.

Sue Ann Jaffarian said...

Okay, Mark, glad I'm thousands of miles away from you at this point. I don't know about shooting people, but there are a few I'd like to slap till my hand hurts.

But I know what you mean. Seems the older I get (or maybe it's the more books I write), the less I like being around tons of people. But when I do get out amongst the living, I thoroughly enjoy myself. Just seems these days I have to force myself more often to do it.

Mark Combes said...

GM, you are right. Just reading a book doesn't make you an expert.

But one of Chris' final entries in his notebook was that happiness should be shared with others. For me, that's the moral of the story. That is, unless they need to be shot with a .22.

And by the way, Hal Holbrook is fantastic in his final (?) role.

G.M. Malliet said...

I sympathized with the character, except for the part where he left his family wondering for so long. I didn't think they deserved that.

I also think he couldn't help himself.