Chris McCandless Into the Wild

I have not been touched by a movie lately as that of the true life story of a young man called Chris McCandless. The movie was based on a novel, I think, by his younger sister. Anyway, except for the images I checked on google, I didn’t want to read any criticism about the life story, else my perception might be affected. There was, I think a proposition not to talk about Chris any longer.

But why not?

I was able to relate with Chris.

Chris was a man in search of his self, his being. He yearned to feel joy and happiness that couldn’t be gratified by the existence he was in.

Chris comes from a rich family. He went to college and graduated. He was an adorable lad, someone you would like for a son, someone you would like for a brother, someone you would like for a boyfriend.

Somewhere in his childhood though, he realized that he has two warring parents. Somewhere in his adolescence, he discovered he has an older brother whom his father never acknowledged as his son by another woman.

Chris breezed through life the protective brother, the ideal student, the traveler. He loved going on adventures.

Right after graduation from college, he did just that. He turned down the gift of a new car, gave his law school money to charity, and disappeared into the highways and byways by a different name: Alexander Supertrump.

Destination: Alaska. A rover wandering in search of a meaning.

Along the way, Chris met a few people. He was the congenial, most likely a gregarious company one would love to spend hours working with or just have a conversation with, or just keep quiet with.

He enjoyed the experiences as if he was born to be free, not trapped in a rich family, business or politics. Those things he resent, without offending anyone.

And when he reached Alaska, the wild area, he found a rusty bus that he turned into his shelter, his abode. And he discovered his happiness. He was overjoyed by the view of the majestic scenes on the horizon, overwhelmed by his becoming a hunter. It was the hermit existence. And he loved it. He was born for it.

And one thing with Chris, he reads and writes.

He loved Leo Tolstoi and Jack London. Perhaps that was the reason. He felt his self fed up with society’s hypocrisy. He felt his self invited into the wild. None most satisfying. To be free.

Did it occur to him that solitary existence could be fatal? Yes. But it was a life’s adventure to take that risk.

In the end, Chris died of starvation, because he couldn’t cross back the river, and he couldn’t hunt for food. Even the berries that he ate turned out poisonous.

A tragic story of a brave soul. Given the strength and vivaciousness, I would probably device my own adventure. For what could be more compelling to know that one could be attuned with the great creation, in the brightest of days, the darkest and coldest of nights,to admire the beauty of snow caps, smell the freshness of the trees, hear the music of the wilds, the sound of silence, and inhale the marvelous scents and exhales into the greatness of the earth and the heavens.

If Chris survived, he could have put into words a story of love. But it was not meant to be. Chris story is a lesson for us, to be true with our selves, to find beauty and joy and happiness. It was his regret, because albeit he felt happiness, it would have been real if he had shared it.

Find your peace, Chris, you already have shared your happiness. My turn to say Thank you, you are worth knowing.

Regarding the Bible…

The Bible never hurts. The Bible is an anthology of the greatest books ever written, and that includes the greatest story ever told, the supreme sacrifice our Lord has offered to save us.

Indeed, the Bible is the history of our salvation, the salvation from the original sin, from which also sprung the first sin on earth, brother killing brother. The Bible is a story of one hurt after another, and it shows how greed and envy, gluttony and lust, anger, sloth and pride consume us. 

Our stories are nothing compared to the intensity of grief experienced by the characters in the Bible. That means, we only have to read and know their stories, and we can discern and make good decisions for our own lives.

Problem is, people put down reading the Bible: one, because of its immensity, and two, many others boast about having read it and sort of condescend others who have not, making the others feel insecure.

i suggest, for those who have not read the Bible, to open to the books of the familiar stories, such as Adam and Eve. Cain and Abel, Abraham, Noah, Moses, David and Goliath, David and Jonathan, David and Saul, Ruth, Esther, Susanna, Judith, and just read on. It is easy to get hooked. I will postpone reading Job for a later time, because of the intensity of pain in the story. Get to Daniel and the Lions, Samson and Delilah, Jonas and the Whale, and the Jericho story, and Gideon. Breeze through the Proverbs and learn much about maxims of life, you can memorize them if you like.

Then go to the Gospel, which we actually know already, because we hear it all the time. I will begin reading with the gospel according to St. Luke, because he presented to gospel like a telenovela. And he wrote the Acts of the Apostles, a continuation of the telenovela.

Have fun reading. The Bible is not a scary stuff. The Bible does not mean to make you feel like a sinner in repentance all the time. The Bible is God’s stories for us, and we must enjoy reading His stories.