Saturday, November 10, 2007

Into The Wild



Society-

It's a mystery to me
We have a Greed
With which we have agreed

And you think you have to
Want more than you need
Until you have it all
You won't be Free

Society
Your a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely
Without me

When you want more than you have
You think you need
And when you think more than you want
Your thoughts begin to bleed

I think I need to find a bigger place
Cause when you have
More than you think
You need more space

Society
Crazy Indeed
Hope your not lonely
Without me

There's those thinking more less
Less is more
But if less is more
How you keepin score?

Means for every point you make
Your level drops
Kinda like you're startin from the top
And you can't do that

Society
You're a crazy breed
Hope your not lonely
Without me

Society
Crazy Indeed
Hope you're not lonely
Without me

Society
Have mercy on me
Hope you're not angry
If I disagree

Society
You're a crazy breed
Hope you're not lonely
Without me

-Eddie Vedder

The lyrics above may discribe some of the thoughts that went through Christopher McCandles's head. After graduating from college, Chris decided to give away his $20,000+ savings to charity, burn his identity and live a life on the road, free to explore, and full of adventure. His travels would take him to South Dakota, Arizona, California and even through Mexico before he made the trek north to the last frontier, Alaska. For over 2 years, Chris traveled the US without the essentials that most people rely on to get through their daily lives. His simplistic lifestyle was frowned apon by most, but this was the only way Chris wanted to live. Once Chris arrived in Alaska, he planned on walking into the wild to live off the land and be free from society. For just over 100 days, Christopher would live freely in the Alaskan wilderness before his thoughts changed. Through his journals we would see that Chris wanted to be back in society to share his adventures and stories with others. He wrote, "Happiness not achieved unless shared."
Unfortunetly, do to his lack of planning Chris was unable to leave the wilderness do to environmental changes to to the rise of the water in the river do to the spring snow melt. Once he retreated back to his homebase, he would accidentally poison himself with unedible seeds. Chris would leave this life August 18th 1992. Many people, who crossed paths with Chris during his travels saw this coming. Chris had a lot of guts and alot of courage. Not many people are ready to step outside of the box and live simply. He saw beauty in the little things and found peace in nature. I think that is very respectable.
While doing my apprenticeship in Boston in 1999, I read his story Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer. His story really struck me. I too wanted adventure. I looked back to my highschool years and realized that my biggest concern was the next party, or sitting around drinking a few beers with my friends. My adventures weren't substantial. I felt the need to get away and see the world. I would take off for Alaska, not with the same mindset as Chris, but for me this was my big adventure. I would spend the summer in the Alaskan wilderness at a flyfishing lodge preparing food for guests on their big adventure.
Over the next few years,I would find myself trying to run away. I thought I would find happiness elsewhere, but in the end, I would find my way back to CT. At the time, I didn't think I could be happy in Connecticut. These feelings were felt simply because I was not happy with myself. it would not be until, 2006 when a complete lifestyle change occured that I could feel true peace and happiness with myself. I have never felt so much joy for life as I do right now.
Everybody is on a different path, and journeys will take all sorts of twists and turns. Being at peace with oneself may take years, but I believe we can all find that peace. I have no regrets for my past and realize that it has made me who I am today. I am grateful for Christopher, aka Alexander Supertramp, for having the courage to to set out on the road in search for freedom and adventure. His spirit is still with me.
May we all find peace, happiness, love, and joy. May we be content with ourselves, and know we are the only ones who can make ourselves happy.
Blessings

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