The Gentle Mystery

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I can't think of a better way to start this post than with these startling photos from carninscatola's flickr account. I like the unfinished quality of her photos, like there's something missing, or an untold story behind them. They're like an exercise in gentle mystery.

And that's how I felt when reading Into the Wild. I felt as if the novel promised more than it could deliver, and I don't mean that in a negative way as it was an intelligent and informative read about the life of Christopher McCandless. I just don't think that anybody can explain his intentions and desires, they seem to be locked away in some enigmatic space.

I read this book together with my mother, and I think we both came away from it with polar opposite perspectives. Today, I compared the bits she highlighted and annotated on her copy of the novel, with the passages that I have noted down. One particular passage has my name scribbled on it in big, capital letters:

"Even when we were little," says Carine, who was born three years after Chris, "he was very to himself. He wasn't antisocial - he always had friends, and everybody liked him - but he could go off and entertain himself for hours. He didn't seem to need toys or friends. He could be alone without being lonely."

I asked my mother why she marked this passage with my name, her response was, "it sounds exactly like you." I think my mother read this story with Chris's mother in mind, rather than Chris. But her response made me wonder about the medium that we choose to pursue our desires through. Is it his philosophy that so troubles people, or is it simply the way that it was expressed?

As you can see, this weekend will be filled with writing for me ... happy, thoughtful weekend everyone.