Thursday, June 11, 2015

3 Short Paragraphs: Wild

2014,  Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club) -- download

I have had a recurring fantasy over the last few years, which has been dashed by my bad feet. I was going to pack a small bag, shove it full of some clothes and tons of compact food, and walk home. Home, Cape Breton, home. Walk from Toronto to Sydney, Nova Scotia. It would take planning, and some money and time. Its about walking away from all the stresses of adulting, and just narrowly focusing on something for a certain amount of time. I didn't consider how I would get back. Also, a sense of accomplishment when so much of my life has been about avoiding that.

In Wild Cheryl Strayed has pretty much messed up her life. Drugs & infidelity are the primary things. She cannot cope. She hasn't been able to cope since her mother died. So, she plans to walk the Pacific Crest Trail, a few months walk along trails from the border of Mexico to the border of Canada. She needs to walk away from the life she has given herself, into... well, she has no clue. She just needs to walk.

The movie is as much in her head, as it is on the trail. Oh, we get the usual trials of a new hiker -- badly fitting boots, wrong fuel for a camp stove, the nervousness of being alone, out there. But most of the time, Cheryl is flashing back. You know those times when your memories come rushing back, stopping you in your tracks, leaving back in those moments? That. She remembers her mom, abused and always acting positive. She escapes the abuser, and goes back to school. But it's hard, so very hard to raise two kids, go to school and work. Yet she keeps alive, happy... because, she has to. If she doesn't stay happy, what else does she have but her misery? When she dies of cancer, Cheryl is not only left alone with her brother but alone with herself. And she spirals downward, to the bottom. This walk is to pull herself out of that, to be somewhere, someone else when she finishes. It is good she is honest and not sure what or who that will be. But changing sometimes takes small steps, or thousands of them.