Artifice

24 04 2008

I’ve recently watched Into the Wild, a movie about a kid who, upon graduation from Emory University in 1992, set out to completely remove himself from society. He burned or cut up all of his identification and cash, donated his life savings to charities, and started tramping across the country with the intention of going into the Alaskan wilderness and surviving as his own man. Anyone who knows me knows how much I both envy and fear his resolve. There’s nothing I’d like to do more than what he did (though I’d never choose Alaska, as you also might know. I mean, it’s cold up there, right?).  Still, I’m sure I’d rather not ditch my savings or my ID. Something about burning bridges I picked up on my journey thus far rings in my head. Anyway, of course I feel largely as he did about our societal structures and feel the same pull to get out from under as many of them as possible. Old news. I just wanted to recommend the movie, as it is extremely well done and has good messages.

In the aftermath, I called Amol and told his voicemail about it, and in my rambling, I ended up talking about my thoughts on attachment. I don’t even know what I said anymore, but it was something along the lines of how attached I was to things I didn’t care for and didn’t really, at the core of it all, even believe in. He voicemailed me back and said this (and I’m paraphrasing):

“Even worse, I think the degree of my attachment is inversely proportional to how much I genuinely care about them. The more important something truly is to me, the less a part of me I generally strive to make it. And the more obvious something is without meaning to me, at its root, the more afraid I am to let it go.”

Spot-on, amigo. And: could it be that we’ve already basically discovered that our societal obligations (our “common” needs and desires and activities) are without true redeem, do not help us learn or enjoy or love more, and we’re now to a point that we realize we have to choose to either be part of a system that we know doesn’t work for us or risk being very lonely on our search for more?

Maybe not so lonely? I know others like us. If we’re all afraid of the same thing, it makes sense that we continue to struggle and worry. Who can think of severing their ties to the only culture they’ve ever been a part of and not (to borrow one of my favorite phrases from across the pond) have the piss taken out of them?

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One response

24 04 2008
red poncho bear

well, if there’s gonna be someone who’d do it, it would be doug. and i commend that. and i don’t know who this “amol” character is, but man is he smart. i guess what he was really trying to say is that sometimes you gotta eat the bear, and sometimes, well, the bear eats you.

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