If you’re a following of this journal, you know I’ve been writing about my forays into hiking. I’ve gathered some gear and hiked several trails in proximity to where I live. My inspirations for this are many, though the latest is the work of travel writer, Robyn Davidson, and especially her memoir, Tracks (see my review of her book here). I have long admired people who can experience enlightenment and then write about it. When that enlightenment comes from a journey, or other challenging endeavor, so much the better. It’s like a pilgrim seeking insight and then sharing what they find with the world.
I recently watched the 2013 movie version of Tracks. I did enjoy it, and thought it captured the spirit of Ms Davidson’s book pretty well. It suffered from the constraint of trying to express the fullness of the book within two hours. I give it 4 stars for trying, though. It did show the grittiness of the 1700 mile Australian desert journey. I thought it expressed well Ms Davidson’s relationship to the photographer, Rick Smolan. It was brief on her two years learning about camel-handling, but it did touch on the highlights—the psychopath who taught her the basics, the old Afghan who finished her education, her strained relation with her father, and how her uncertainty about life was reflected in her uncertainty about Rick. I did like the scenes between her and the old Aborigine, Mr. Eddy, and I thought the filmmaker was wise to quote Ms Davidson’s words at points. Overall, it was a good movie, but I think it’s better appreciated if you’ve read the book.
So that’s some background to my baby-steps at hiking. I’ve planned out a few more hikes that I hope to be prelude to some camping and, later, some backpacking.
All-the-while, I’m still working on my Power of the Ancients novel. I have a plan for finishing that manuscript and getting it published by the end of this year. I’ve presented excerpts to my writing group and gotten some helpful feedback. I’m also entering a blurb and page from it in a contest sponsored by my old correspondence school, the Long Ridge Writer’s Group. I’ll let you know if anything comes of that.
I know there’s much happening in the news, but I’ve found it hard to follow it like I used to. It’s just too depressing. For instance, this week’s crash of the Egyptian airliner into the Mediterranean is being described as a “terrorist” act. I take it, that the crash was from an explosion, likely from a bomb, but to describe it as a “terrorist” act is meaningless. If it was a planted bomb, of course it was an act of terror. The question is, by whom and why. There’ll be plenty of spinning commentary and ad nausem coverage, but little information provided. That’s how I saw it this week from the dentist’s chair, anyway.
Finding enlightenment has always been done under the pall of politics and the ambitions of madmen, but these days, it’s also done under the pall of geoengineering. Nature’s inspirations are dulled when viewed through an atmosphere saturated with particulates of coal ash, aluminum, barium, and strontium (and spirits-only-know what else). I did find a guy doing some good work on pointing out the weather-control captured in GOES satellite photos. A good example of his work is here.
I’ve almost finished watching the four seasons of Prison Break on Netflix. It’s an outstanding series with some very good writing that deserves more attention that it apparently received. It’s a 2008 series, so it’s not all that old, but I think it must have found it’s audience via streaming since a sequel series is planned for release in 2017. The series is unique in that it almost describes the reality of the world. As the title suggests, the plot centers around a break out of prison by two brothers. Normally, a series like this would not last beyond the prison break of the first season, but this one evolved and maintained the suspense and development of the characters through three more. The characters are 3 dimensional and nuanced. And the world described is a soup of moral ambiguities where justice is very hard to find. I highly recommend this one.
OK. I had to get all that off my chest. Thanks for indulging me and I hope I’ve offered you some food for thought. Now, let’s get back to it.