Latest update from Into the Wild
THE WILD PLACES.
There Is a book, called ‘The Wild Places,’ written by Robert Macfarlane. Macfarlane sets out to discover if there are still such wild and remote places left within the British Isles.
His visits to these still wild places are not easy, he chooses to make his visits often during the most inhospitable months of the year, enduring gales, freezing temperatures and hostile rains in the process. He sleeps on top of mountains (sometimes not even able to sleep due to the sheer coldness), in snowy woods and on pilgrim islands
He climbs, walks and swims in frozen rivers, discovering hidden valleys, lochs and mountain ranges which have so far been spared, the fate of so much of our precious landscapes.
Humanity has always had an uneasy relationship with such wild places; The word, ‘wild, ‘carries subtle connotations of unease. From the German ‘wildi,’ and the Old Norse ‘willr,’ referring to disorder and irregularity. Untameable and independent of human direction, self-willed. The self-determination in the movements of its animals, its waters, the growth of its trees and plants, set it aside as outside our influence.
Our inability to tame such areas, perplexes us. We see the wildness as dangerous, a forbidden territory. Mankind views himself as the tamer of nature, placing no value in such ‘wastelands.’ Such places have to be brought under control. Put to ‘good use.’ We place cities where once forests thrived. We see factories and houses which were once bush and savannah. We make concrete and tarmac roads over and through mountains and hills.
Our fear and loathing of wild places though can be known on another level, a deeper level, which strikes at the core of our whole being. Fear and uncertainty, a craving for control come out of our inner insecurities, through the image of ourself as a separate identity. This urgency to tame nature, arises from the primordial desire to tame our own nature.
Living within a seemingly hostile world, we strive to organise our own lives, we attempt to reify the illusions into solidity; we create identities, placing self at the centre of a presumed real universe. Our careers, relationships, and status, covering the cracks. We seek out remedies and cures which we hope can continue to perpetuate our illusion of separation from a wild world
By keeping the wildness or emptiness at bay.
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