We watched ‘Into the wild’ last night. I’ve been listening to the sound track by Eddie Vedder since it came out & loved the moving magical warm freedom they evoked… cruel Eddie had been lulling me into a false feel-good sing-a-long there.
I don’t read reviews & do my research much on films I just wanted to watch it as I imagined it was something about a journey & freedom, the poetic if naive perceptions of youth. That wanderlust is something I relate to, though I am old now & rooted to my comfort zone, I once had very itchy feet & needed to run. Of course life has taught me you can’t stand still if you want to, the winds of events will buffer & batter regardless.
I never really did live the road movie, but I touched it, I guess the resposibility of young children at a young age kept pulling me back to earth. Now I don’t want to run, I just wish it would stand still for a minute!
Why did the film have such an effect ? because it was beautifully made? because Emile Hirst with his crazy hair & boys beard reminded me of my son before he left? because someone elseI love has been living rough? because its about a parents loss, the not knowing , the fears, the guilt, that pain that only a parent can feel ? because of my own younger selfs’ need to escape, to run, to declutter & de materialise my life. Us grown ups know that ” happiness is only real if it is shared” but sometimes its a long journey to understand this.
at 20 I put up my art college degree show, announcing on the day the marks came out to shocked tutors that I was expecting my second baby. gave away all my bedsit furniture, My landlord was putting up the rent, coincidence that I wouldn’t go out to ‘dinner’ with him ? I gave my notice; packed the morris traveller I’d bought with maternity benefits; stole some builders plastic sheeting & headed to Rosyln Glen, now famous from ‘the da vinci code’. There were some ‘druid’ friends of mine camped there for the solstice, I built a crude shelter & lived there a couple of weeks with my toddler son, after that I headed into perthshire & lived in a hut far off the road, then a 6 week road tour of Brittanys stone circles.. and so on… Like Chris McCandless in the film, I felt that society was all wrong, all materialistic, greed, war, pressure to conform, I felt it crush me, I needed to find something simple that made sense, like the trees, tides, rocks & the sky.
In later years hanging out with ‘hippies’, ‘travellers’, ‘dropouts’ etc going on the road as often as possible, I realised they weren’t creating something new, it was the same old crap, only more chaotic, violent & unstable, mere survival gave no room for creativity, & I needed to create. So I settled, lost all these transient hypocritical ‘friends’ & raised my kids as best I could. That was a long time ago now.
One day I’ll weave these stories into another story, the deaths, the madness, the laughter, the adventures the badness & goodness of other people. But right now I need to shake off the emotional aftermath of that film, hug my loved ones, & get on with work. Tonight I vote we watch something up-beat, with exploding helicopters.