A few weeks ago I watched this film.
I had already read the book, but this was one of those few occasions when the film some how took the raw material of the words and took them further. Like taking a charcoal drawing and turning it into a canvas laden with rich oil paint, in wonderful colour.
The film tells the real story of a young man from a privileged but dysfunctional background who turns his back on the modern culture, and decides to live a simple life- one of vital experience, deep relationships and particularly, one of absolute one-ness with the world and it’s wild places. He found his way into the Alaskan wilderness, where his ideals were tested to his own destruction, and he perished alone in an abandoned bus miles from anywhere.
This tragic event is somehow recorded in a way that is life enhancing, and beautiful. In his beautiful life, but tragic death, we are fed little slices of hope.
Life is so fragile, but those who really live- who transcend the narrow half lives that many of us fall into- these people, they seem to have found cracks through which has filtered something eternal, and somehow, more real.
Almost as if the Kingdom of God shines like a shaft of sunlight on the opposite side of the valley.
I was speaking to a friend of mine today who is a policeman. We were discussing the case of a missing woman who walked into the hills locally over a year ago now. No trace of her has ever been found. He told me that this is not such a rare thing in Scotland. People walk into the wilderness, perhaps to escape their demons, perhaps to celebrate them. Some perhaps are looking for an end to life, others it comes to as a surprise.
Not so long ago some forestry workers found a tent as they were clearing an area of forest. Inside the tent was the skeleton of a man who had lain there undisturbed for around 10 years.
Life is fragile.
But life is beautiful.
Lets not waste it.