Into the Wild

I downloaded a song – Rise – from the "Into the Wild" soundtrack today. I haven’t seen the film yet, but I’m already sort of haunted by it. The trailer brings tears to my eyes; the music is as soulful and moving as any I’ve ever heard.

I read the book when I was living in State College. I spent all my time there, at least post-Asia, dreaming of the West, of the mountains. Back then, “West” symbolized “other,” and I thought, by wanting to be a part of the sub-cultures I read about in books like Krakauer’s, that I belonged in those mountain lifestyle shots I studied in Patagonia catalogs and climbing magazines.

In some ways, now, I see it as an illness – that constant gaze to the next horizon, the next peak, the next sport, the next feat of greatness that will propel you toward…what? Just watching the trailer to this movie, I think of my dead friends who perished in ways not unlike that of Chris McCandless.

I say their names in my head and remember my final conversations with them. I wonder now, was it worth it?

Seekers all, young men who would be in their thirties now.

Married? In love? Fathers? Single and climbing and poor? Professionals with houses?

And I can’t pretend to know what takes them all there, to the very end of their ropes. It’s not in my nature. I always say that I’m just a kid from the suburbs. But then, so were they.

Eddie Vedder’s soundtrack to this movie is completely open-hearted and raw. It is the best music I’ve heard in ages. I am shocked by how evocative it is.

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