I watched the movie Into The Wild last night for about the half a dozenth time. If you haven't seen it , I suggest you clear a few hours from your life and do. It tells an incredibly beautiful story of one man's quest for enlightenment by journeying into the unknown in search of a need to fill his life with solitude and the feeling that he could make it on his own beneath the wonder of an Alaskan sky. His story embodies that search many have thought about but so few proceed with.
The film itself is shot beautifully under the able direction of Sean Penn from a script he wrote. For those not familiar with it I won't ruin it. You can read the essence of the story above through the link if you wish. It is, in it's purity, one of the finest studies of the human condition told in a journey through life, taking in and photographing the endearing beauty that the land mass of the United States can offer. What makes it even more outstanding is it is all based on true events. I challenge anyone to view it without wishing that existence, if but for a day.
I remember one Summer's night about ten years ago. Leon and I were sat in deck chairs in his garden. He had talked me into buying two dozen bottles of beer and he had pulled a small fridge from his house and had it placed in the garden to chill the brew. As i sat sipping on mine Leon was quickly in flow and the best description I can muster about the way Leon was drinking them was he was murdering the bottles. As the day drew to an end and the night started to digest the day the stars came into view. Leon commented that there were places in this world where it felt like you could walk but a few miles and then touch the stars, such was the openness of the land.
No such joy here, our view was littered with moss strewn roof tops and lines carrying power into our homes. A place quite ordinary.
I've mentioned before how Leon sometimes became a wanderer himself. Choosing to sell what material things he had gathered and set off into the World, each time giving the indication that perhaps he would not return. He always did.
He offered little in explanation choosing to say his planning was not what it should have been. But, how can one plan when they rise in the morning and are sometimes gone by night. I often wondered what it was he ran from? Was it all the things that had made him a product of his environment? If that was the reason then why did he return at all ?
The hero of the story that is Into The Wild, was a man by the name of Christopher McCandless. Throughout his journey he kept a journal of all his experiences. His reasons for all that he did. But Christopher found, as his journey reached it's end was an entry in his journal that "Life only real when shared".
Perhaps there is a lesson there for us all.