Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Having everything and nothing at all.

I have watched a documentary on PBS (sad to say) maybe 3 times now... I can't help it. I get sucked in every time. It's the true story of Richard Proenneke. He left society and moved to the Twin Lakes in Alaska. One Man's Wilderness is the name if you ever want to see it. The interesting thing is, he used a movie camera (this could have been 4 decades ago now, not sure...) and filmed himself doing everything. It's the voice of the narrator that draws me in and what Richard does that keeps me there. He shows himself building his own cabin and an underground refrigerator to keep the meat he hunts cool and safe from beasts. My favorite thing he does (don't ask me why) is when he makes his own wooden spoon to ladle pancake batter with. He was just a wiry old dude, but you sit in awe of his gifts and strength.

One thing runs through my mind the whole time the shows on. What happened? How did he end up separate from all humanity... from his family... friends... all alone. I mean a lot of people love nature. When I was a kid, my dad used to take me fishing and it is hands down, one of my favorite memories. He loved that I loved what he loved. We had found common ground. He was kind enough to put the worm on the hook for me... ha! And the best time, was when we were all done and he was cleaning up. I dipped my hook down in the water, no bait, and he looked at me and said, "You'll never catch anything like that!" As if God Himself were on my side, a tiny fish came up out of the water, dangling from my hook. We laughed... together. Good times.

But this man Richard, would have none of that. He would experience highs and lows... alone. What happened?! He was through crying, laughing, dancing, making love and touching any other human being. All alone. That breaks my heart. But sometimes... I get it. It's a messy thing, getting involved with people. I can't tell you how many times I've imagined the same scenario: A cabin in the mountains. A gun for safety. A garden for food. A little canoe. Books to read. Prayers and the Bible. Just hiding where no one can hurt you. Where your life is your own and feel owned by nothing. But the trade off... the trade off.

So I keep coming back... I hope you do too. It is the story of mankind... to love, hurt and to be hurt, to forgive and forget... seems like the later is the hardest part. I cannot not look at any ones motives. Only God can judge a heart. I must accept what people say at face value and not search for deeper truths. So take me as I am, friend. I will do my best to do the same, lest we all find a nook in the world and hide in it.


  1. I really liked this one mom! Very deep.
    We are part of a community.... a covenantal community. Abraham Kuper was big on this notion. He headed up a church in one of the most impoverished and welfare dependent communities around. And because of his efforts, the church took the place of the government to where the welfare system became totally unnecessary in about a year's time. The church at the core, families and neighbors working together. One for all and all for one. I love it!

  2. Most preachers say Christianity is communal. But what does that hold for the loner, I sometimes wonder. Must everyone be the same? It's a thinker.