Book Talk

In Book Experiences on August 2, 2012 at 8:56 pm

Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail by Cheryl Strayed.  It is a memoir of the time she hiked on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) for 100 days, her experience of it, the why of it, her survival of it, the freedom gained during it.  It is a journey where she sheds off pain, emptiness, weight and toenails.

What is there for me is her experience of the death and loss of her mother to cancer and the inevitable and profound impact to her life, a loss so big, so painful that she is left feeling hollow and lost, in despair, bare of everything that was, uncertain of everything that will be and afraid.

The PCT is nothing else but one of the desperate avenues to escape the deep heart ache, fear and anger that death seems to leave us with.  For Cheryl it was an escape back into the human being she once was, only to find herself transformed into the human being she had become: one ready to fight and be alive again.

As I was reading her book some of the lines were brighter than the rest, for no other reason that they spoke to me in a way that I understood and cared about, because I found them rich in their meaning for me and one line in particular because it made me laugh so hard.

  • Fear begets fear.  Power begets power.  I willed myself to beget power.
  • It was my own burden to bear, of my own ludicrous making.
  • I hiked the heat of that day with new determination.  Inspired by Greg’s faith in me, I didn’t give quitting another thought.
  • I had diverged, digressed, wandered and become wild.
  • I didn’t look like a woman who might need twelve condoms.
  • Where was my mother? I wondered.  I’d carried her so long, staggering beneath her weight.  On the other side of the river.  I let myself think.
  • I felt fierce and humble and gathered up inside, like I was safe in this world too.
  • How wild it was to let it be.
  • And there was one where she expresses the desire of not wanting to be a big fat idiot, but instead being a motherfucking hard-ass Amazonian queen… but I lost it and can’t quote it appropriately, but I can relate to the feeling of wanting to be strong and impervious to failure.

This book brings to mind:

If you are interested, you can check out the other books I’ve read

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