To be commanded to love God at all, let alone in the wilderness, is like being commanded to be well when we are sick, to sing for joy when we are dying of thirst, to run when our legs are broken. But this is the first and great commandment nonetheless. Even in the wilderness - especially in the wilderness - you shall love him.
Ô, Wanderess, WanderessWhen did you feel your most euphoric kiss? Was I the source of your greatest bliss?
Our lips were for each other and our eyes were full of dreams. We knew nothing of travel and we knew nothing of loss. Ours was a world of eternal spring, until the summer came.
Ô, Muse of the Heart’s Passion,let me relive my Love’s memory,to remember her body, so brave and so free,and the sound of my Dreameress singing to me,and the scent of my Dreameress sleeping by me,Ô, sing, sweet Muse, my soliloquy!
Some of the most memorable, and least regrettable, nights of my own youth were spent in coon hunting with farmers. There is no denying that these activities contributed to the economy of farm households, but a further fact is that they were pleasures; they were wilderness pleasures, not greatly different from the pleasures pursued by conservationists and wilderness lovers. As I was always aware, my friends the coon hunters were not motivated just by the wish to tree coons and listen to hounds and listen to each other, all of which were sufficiently attractive; they were coon hunters also because they wanted to be afoot in the woods at night. Most of the farmers I have known, and certainly the most interesting ones, have had the capacity to ramble about outdoors for the mere happiness of it, alert to the doings of the creatures, amused by the sight of a fox catching grasshoppers, or by the puzzle of wild tracks in the snow.
...William Stegner...coined the term 'the geography of hope,' countering the argument that wilderness preservation served elites with the assertion that wilderness could be a place in which everyone could locate their hopefulness even if few actually entered it.
There, about a dozen times during the day, the wind drives over the sky the swollen clouds, which water the earth copiously, after which the sun shines brightly, as if freshly bathed, and floods with a golden luster the rocks, the river, the trees, and the entire jungle.
One who will not accept solitude, stillness and quiet recurring moments...is caught up in the wilderness of addictions; far removed from an original state of being and awareness. This is 'dis-ease.
Much of human behavior can be explained by watching the wild beasts around us. They are constantly teaching us things about ourselves and the way of the universe, but most people are too blind to watch and listen.
Wilderness gave us knowledge. Wilderness made us human. We came from here. Perhaps that is why so many of us feel a strong bond to this land called Serengeti it is the land of our youth.
But it was Aldo’s pen that became his most forceful tool. He started a newsletter for rangers called the Carson Pine Cone. Aldo used it to “scatter seeds of knowledge, encouragement, and enthusiasm.” Most of the Pine Cone’s articles, poems, jokes, editorials, and drawings were Aldo’s own. His readers soon realized that the forest animals were as important to him as the trees. His goal was to bring back the “flavor of the wilds.
When D's cabin caught fire, D was out of the country. Half the town-Christians and drinkers alike-came out to fight the fire and loot the cabin. There were individual piles of loot, and fights over the piles. That's my pile. The hell it is, it's mine.
To the question: Wilderness, who needs it? Doc would say: Because we like the taste of freedom, comrades. Because we like the smell of danger. But, thought Hayduke, what about the smell of fear, Dad?
In the presence of the storm, thunderbolts, hurricane, rain, darkness, and the lions, which might be concealed but a few paces away, he felt disarmed and helpless.
Amid the stillness of the night, in the depths of the ravine, from the direction in which the corpses lay suddenly resounded a kind of inhuman, frightful laughter in which quivered despair, and joy, and cruelty, and suffering, and pain, and sobbing, and derision; the heart-rending and spasmodic laughter of the insane or condemned.
In the meantime the groans changed into the protracted, thunderous roar by which all living creatures are struck with terror, and the nerves of people, who do not know what fear is, shake, just as the window-panes rattle from distant cannonading.
A thousand times, people may have touched each other, but never ever sensed a single vein of oneness or complicity in the wilderness of their inner world, since obdurate mental impediments have been barricading the road to understanding and propinquity. (“A thousand times”)
You can stretch to your fullest in this land, Emma, and not touch any edges. There's no dream too big for the wilderness. I'd hate to see it tamed and carved up into little fiefdoms.
The old school of thought would have you believe that you'd be a fool to take on nature without arming yourself with every conceivable measure of safety and comfort under the sun. But that isn't what being in nature is all about. Rather, it's about feeling free, unbounded, shedding the distractions and barriers of our civilization—not bringing them with us.
That’s what mountains do, they taunt you, lure you to the freedom of the wilderness, and it is fucking exhilarating.
When you’re in the wild, there’s nothing to hide behind. No bars or credit cards or movie theatres or cell phones or credentials or security. You’re just alone with yourself. You look around and lose yourself in the mountains, rivers, forests or tundra, but you can see nothing except for the chaos in your own mind. It is fucking terrifying and peaceful at the same time.
I was stirred by the dark mystery of mortality. I couldn’t resist stealing up to the edge of doom and peering over the brink (…) That was a very different thing from wanting to die.
Awestruck, Flora stared at the dishevelled sisters with their blazing faces and radiant ragged wings, who smelled of no kin but the wild high air.
Where wilderness can still be found, the ancientness of the land and the nobility of man's struggle emerge. Wilderness is vastly different from the clutter and clatter of much of our civilized world. In wilderness one experiences exhilaration and joy. In freedom and simplicity, in its vitality and immense variety, happiness may not only be pursued; it is ofttimes found.
Chaos,leave me never,keep me wildand keep me freeso that mybrokenness will be,the only beautythe world will see.
Civilized Man says: I am Self, I am Master, all the rest is other--outside, below, underneath, subservient. I own, I use, I explore, I exploit, I control. What I do is what matters. What I want is what matter is for. I am that I am, and the rest is women & wilderness, to be used as I see fit.
A flower's structure leads a bee toward having pollen adhere to its body . . . we don't know of any such reason why beautiful places attract humans.
The question haunted me, and the real answer came, as answers often do, not in the canyon but at an unlikely time and in an unexpected place, flying over the canyon at thirty thousand feet on my way to be a grandmother. My mind on other things, intending only to glance out, the exquisite smallness and delicacy of the river took me completely by surprise. In the hazy light of early morning, the canyon lay shrouded, the river flecked with glints of silver, reduced to a thin line of memory, blurred by a sudden realization that clouded my vision. The astonishing sense of connection with that river and canyon caught me completely unaware, and in a breath I understood the intense, protective loyalty so many people feel for the Colorado River in the Grand Canyon. It has to do with truth and beauty and love of this earth, the artifacts of a lifetime and the descant of a canyon wren at dawn.
We like to romanticize the wild, raw, majestic beauty of nature. But when you take a closer look, nature is really just a giant fuckfest. That beautiful bird chirping? It's a mating call. That pretty little bird is trying to get laid. And why does the peacock have such beautiful feathers? To attract females. Because he's trying to get laid.