Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Alone, sick and happy

I sit on my bed in Jakarta on the 19th floor and watch clouds building up. Jakarta sprawls beneath me. I have been sick the last three days but last night was so weak, that I have taken a day off work. I usually feel guilty doing that but today I don’t. I am reading Jon Krakauer’s book, Into the Wild.

It was given to me on Sunday by Bernard, who works as a forester with GTZ. Ann, his pretty Vietnamese wife bubbles with enthusiasm. They are a delightful couple, so natural. Bernard is close to nature. His books exude an intensity of trees, plants, insects and ecosystems, as well as raunchy adventure stories that feed our sense of being the gladiator or the spectator at the Coliseum.

It seems I was destined to be sick as I needed to read this book. Having been to the South and North poles, scaled the heights of the Andes, Tienshans and the Himalayas, I have been living in a comfort zone. It is three years since I spent quality time alone in the wilderness. Between 19 and 22, I spent virtually all my time in the wilderness including 13 months with 3 other people alone in a remote part of Antarctica. One week in every four I would be on fire watch alone from 9 pm to 7a.m. This was the best time in my life. For after ten months, I found a friend. First I had to get to know my biggest enemy, myself, and then befriend and appreciate him. I also realised that a man without a woman, is a man without vanity. I read Thoreau. Walt Whitman, William McGonagal and books of the great polar explorers.

I remember doing winter and spring journeys in -50 oC with Gary Lewis and shudder at the risks we took in Antarctica.. Twenty one and not a care in the world. I planned an expedition to Greenland that winter and charted my life ahead of me. I can identify with Chris McCandless who gives his savings to charity, abandons his car and hitchhikes to Alaska and walks into the wilderness to be alone and figure out the meaning of existence. Four months later his decomposed body is found by a hunter……

On July 2, 1992 McCandlas finished reading Tolstoy’s “Family Happiness,” having marked several passages that moved him.
"I have lived through much and now I think I have found what is needed for happiness. A quiet, secluded life in the country with the possibility of being useful to people..." to who it is easy to do good, and who are not accustomed to have it done to them; and then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one’s neighbour – such is my idea of happiness.. And then, on top of all that, you for a mate, and children, perhaps - what more can the heart of a man desire ?


Unknown said...

It is best to participate in a contest for among the best blogs on the web. I'll recommend this website!
Vigrx, Vimax Pills Enhance VigRX Plus metropathies Male Extra Amp Do Vimax pills really work mastoidal
More Info:
Penis Enlargement|Penis Enlargement Pills|Vimax Pills|Male Extra Pills |VigRX Plus

oakleyses said...

nike free, ray ban sunglasses, oakley sunglasses, michael kors outlet online, michael kors outlet store, tory burch outlet online, coach outlet store online, longchamp handbags, michael kors outlet online sale, polo ralph lauren, michael kors handbags, louis vuitton, prada outlet, ray ban outlet, burberry outlet online, nike air max, coach purses, coach outlet, nike outlet, chanel handbags, true religion outlet, christian louboutin shoes, red bottom shoes, gucci handbags, coach outlet, louis vuitton outlet online, tiffany and co jewelry, michael kors outlet online, oakley vault, cheap oakley sunglasses, louis vuitton handbags, nike air max, prada handbags, true religion, louis vuitton outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, longchamp outlet, louis vuitton outlet, tiffany jewelry, kate spade outlet, burberry outlet online, christian louboutin outlet, jordan shoes, christian louboutin, kate spade outlet online, longchamp outlet online, michael kors outlet

oakleyses said...

air max pas cher, hollister, longchamp pas cher, converse pas cher, ralph lauren, nike air max, air jordan, sac vanessa bruno, abercrombie and fitch, scarpe hogan, sac michael kors, louis vuitton uk, michael kors canada, new balance pas cher, ray ban pas cher, nike roshe, hermes pas cher, true religion outlet, ralph lauren pas cher, tn pas cher, nike free, vans pas cher, north face, nike roshe run, nike air force, nike air max, hollister, sac louis vuitton, burberry pas cher, oakley pas cher, michael kors uk, ray ban uk, mulberry uk, north face pas cher, chaussure louboutin, guess pas cher, louis vuitton, nike blazer pas cher, air max, barbour, lululemon outlet online, lacoste pas cher, timberland, longchamp, louis vuitton pas cher, true religion jeans, nike free pas cher

oakleyses said...

bottega veneta, ugg boots clearance, north face jackets, herve leger, wedding dresses, insanity workout, jimmy choo shoes, soccer jerseys, ugg outlet, mcm handbags, beats headphones, canada goose outlet, chi flat iron, ferragamo shoes, ghd, ugg, canada goose outlet, uggs outlet, asics shoes, giuseppe zanotti, nike trainers, longchamp, soccer shoes, vans outlet, p90x workout, valentino shoes, north face jackets, mac cosmetics, mont blanc pens, nike huarache, babyliss, abercrombie and fitch, replica watches, uggs on sale, celine handbags, new balance outlet, reebok shoes, canada goose outlet, nike roshe, marc jacobs outlet, ugg boots, hollister, ugg outlet, birkin bag, canada goose, lululemon outlet, ugg soldes, instyler ionic styler, nfl jerseys

oakleyses said...

iphone 6 case, timberland shoes, louis vuitton canada, nike air max, moncler outlet, toms outlet, hollister, air max, moncler, canada goose, pandora charms, pandora uk, hollister canada, oakley, louboutin, converse, ralph lauren, wedding dress, ray ban, swarovski jewelry, baseball bats, parajumpers outlet, pandora jewelry, canada goose, gucci, moncler, thomas sabo uk, ugg, montre femme, canada goose pas cher, vans, uggs canada, swarovski uk, juicy couture outlet, canada goose, lancel, converse shoes, hollister clothing, coach outlet, links of london uk, moncler outlet, replica watches, karen millen, moncler, supra shoes, moncler, juicy couture outlet, moncler