I had to stop to breathe; this mountain was kicking my ass. The slopes at the base of the cliffs were talused, debris-filled, and more resembled sand than soil. Trees […]
(Cover Image: Fred Beckey) Virtually anyone who climbs, has ever picked up a climbing magazine, seen Reel Rock, or any YouTube video on climbing, knows the term “dirtbag”. The general […]
I never pictured myself as a blogger. After graduate school, most of the writing I did, when I did it, revolved around literary criticism. That was the original plan: get […]
Change. Life’s great constant. Humans possess a remarkable ability to shape their circumstances in life. While there is no doubt that there exists a great many factors in life over […]
As a brief note, this article often uses the term climbing in a broad sense to include everything from rock climbing to mountaineering and hiking. As I rediscover climbing in […]
Civilization and its Discontent: Reviewing Michael Finkel’s 2017, The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit
On the other hand, Finkel does not gloss over the more unsavory aspects of this story: the fact the Knight was a terror to the local population of North Pond. Debbie Baker, one of the person’s interviewed for Finkel’s story and quoted at the top of this piece, perfectly highlights the fact that this is not some romantic narrative about one seeking refuge from the monstrousness of civilization. Rather, Knight was the horror. To Baker’s children Knight was the monster in the closet and under the bed, the boogeyman, the thing that goes bump in the night and every other unsavory beast that children dream up in the deep dark of their minds—except he was real. Knight had become the reason children need night lights. Knight himself acknowledged as much after his arrest in 2013.
You don't need the majesty of mountains or the glory of a Californian coastline to reap the benefits of being outside; you just have to get out there. "I'd rather be outside on a rainy day than in the office on a bright and sunny one". Unknown.
But it’s not a cacophony, more a delicate fullness of natural sound that fills the thick air around you. It’s also not the case that these sounds weren’t there before. Rather, because you suddenly lack the ability to see, you gain the ability to listen. The forest converses with itself, and you overhear. Everything is suddenly very present to the mind and ears. You are so in this fucking moment.