Monday, October 29, 2007

The Outer and Inner Wilds


These pictures are from the top of Mount Osceola in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. As you can tell, the leaves have gone past their prime, particularly this high up (Osceola tops 4000 feet). The views were wonderful, nonetheless, taking in a wide swath of rugged terrain from the Southern White Mountains and the Lake District to the Presidentials to the north, where the highest peaks disappeared into distant clouds. From the picture of Chris and Anne, my fellow hikers, you can also tell that it was cold up there! We were pretty well decked out from the start, but of course the 3+ mile hike up got our furnaces going and we were quite comfortable until we finally stopped got to the top. The fierce winds up there promptly had us grabbing for every article of clothing we had stuffed in our backpacks, and even so, after we finished our peanut butter sandwiches and snickers bars, we didn't linger for very long. Even on the nicest of days, weather in the Whites can be challenging.

On another note, I just watched the movie Grizzly Man. This is a documentary film put together by Werner Herzog from footage shot by Timothy Treadwell over the course of several summers he spent observing and filming grizzly bears in Alaska. Timothy had a unique and very intimate relationship with the bears he spent so much time in close proximity to, and ultimately he was killed and eaten by a bear, along with his girlfriend. I'm still not completely sure what I think or what I want to say about this film, which is certainly some testament to its power. It is a very moving film, and startling as well, bringing out many conflicting feelings and ideas through the course of its hour and 45 minutes. Even as I had to acknowledge that I thought Mr. Treadwell was seriously unbalanced and courting disaster, there were many scenes of uncanny beauty and powerful, genuine displays of emotion and love. Ultimately, as is the case with many Herzog films, this was more a film of the inner wilds of the human mind and heart, here shown through the fierce search and self-deceptions of a very troubled but genuine and kind, if not completely harmless, person. Complexities abound. Highly recommended.

1 comment:

Nicholas said...

Yeah, that was an interesting doc.
Treadwell was so childlike in many ways, a very interesting person.