Into the Wild

“Into the Wild”, based on a true story is a film adaptation of a book by Jon Krakauer with the same title that revolves around a bright college graduate Christopher McCandless, who defies society’s conventions by secluding himself in the extreme weather conditions of Alaska in order to achieve inner satisfaction and to find the meaning of life, freeing himself from the incarceration of the civilization.

The film is a cinematic beauty with an uncanny feel to it, from the beauty of ‘aerial shots’ of the Alaskan landscape, travel hodge-podge to the alluring melodies of Eddie Vedder’s solos. The effect is somewhat mystical like it’s some kind of a 60s’ hippie movie.

In this thought-provoking film, director Sean Penn has portrayed the protagonist as a man who rejects what he sees as materialism in a modern world, by leaving his upper-middle-class suburban lifestyle, abandoning his car and other belongings and setting off on an adventure in search of ‘real’ happiness and freedom.

He abandons the society in search of ultimate truth, to fill the hollow chasm in his heart with joy and to unravel the mysteries of mother-nature but realizes the hard way that “Happiness is only real when shared.” it is not in seclusion, nor is it in living-the-moment but is found in the process of achieving something bigger in life, it is in not in the cars or the clothes that you buy, it is in that pleasure of being capable of ‘giving’.

On his journey of self-discovery, this young nomad changes into a figure of heroism for many people who find comfort in the wilderness. But it is for you to decide after watching the movie if Christopher McCandless was a fearless nomad, a young idealist, or a cynical man who lacked motivation in his life. 

Advertisements

“The Skinny Love Conundrum”

A couple of years ago I was rummaging through YouTube channels in search of ‘new music’ for my somewhat profound-growing-self, exploring new music to feed this curious soul of mine. I was going through a phase of an existential crisis, questioning my motives of living. There was an unending feud going on within me from questions to confusions and life decisions, it was then that I stumbled upon a few songs including Bon Iver’s “Skinny Love” which was a completely different genre for me back then when I was a dedicated ‘Metal’ fan. Indie Folk was a whole new world for me, from the profound meanings behind the songs, the thought provoking lyrics, idyllically inexplicable album art and the amazingly ‘eargasmic’ tunes.

“Skinny Love” came out in 2007 as a single from Bon Iver’s debut album For Emma, Forever Ago. There had been many assumptions since then on what the song is about, trying to clarify the meaning behind it but music is a not your typical math problem, it is a form of art that can be interpreted in a thousand ways.

Justin Vernon, who also wrote the lyrics of the song, has an unparalleled euphonious voice that is an elixir to your ears and soul. He has a rather sugary Irish touch in his voice that keeps you enthralled throughout the song.

The song centers on how the ghosts of the past can be haunting for the future, you are somewhat stuck in a limbo of fear and uncertainties to fall in love all over again. Vernon seems unable to move forward after going through the misery of love. However it can also be derived from the lyrics “I tell my love to wreck it all/Cut out all the ropes and let me fall” that this is a song about desolation in love yet Vernon is yearning for affection, wishing to live in the moment and let himself fall all over again in the bittersweet taste of love.

The title itself interprets that the lovers/friends are tied by a knot that is too frail to last long and the love they share is too ‘skinny’ to survive and is on the verge of dying. The line “Come on, skinny love, just last the year/Pour a little salt you were never here” defines that the relationship between these two people is fading away but they are still trying hard to figure a way out, to make it last forever.

Skinny Love for me was not a just another song but an epiphany that made me realize there’s more to life than just surviving it. It gave me a different perspective on life when I was torn between the world of illusions and reality.

I recommend this song to all the oddly beautiful souls out there who are always petrified to start anew and live in the fear of making the same mistakes again and again. 

Wilderness.


Have you ever wondered how monotonous our lives are, the dreary nine-to-five jobs that we don’t even like? Don’t you ever feel like running away from all this monotony? Don’t you?
Most of us would surrender to this monotony, live a life that is well thought-out and keep on doing the same things we do every day. We get so used to this lifestyle that we think we have achieved everything in life.

We are all victims of bigotry, Ignorance, gender discrimination, religious wars, racism, sexism and all the ills of the society that we gradually accept these as part of our lives, we do not fight against them we don’t even budge to make a difference.

Between work-life troubles, family issues and the thirst of getting good grades, we tend to forget to live our lives. We tend to forget that there is a whole universe out there, from tiny exotic plants to the ravenous beasts, from the beauty of a delicate jellyfish to the enormity of massive mountains and from the immaculate beauty of the moon to the shimmering void of the stars.

If we look at our lives we feel like it is an incarceration with endless restrictions. We are controlled by the norms of the society, we have religious and ethnic restrictions, and we are controlled by our own emotions and trapped in our own egotism.

In order to perform our social ‘responsibilities’, we grow out of our dreams and the irresistible impulse to wander off in the wilderness eventually fades away. Even if we are not satisfied with our tedious lives we still go on because taking risks seem like a draconian task and not a passion, we get so used to the conformity that we never try to explore ourselves.

Now is the time, go look for ‘yourself’ in the wilderness, discern the unheard stories of the forest, and unravel the mysteries of the world!

 

Note: The picture was taken in Astore, North Pakistan. (June, 2016)