Monday, July 07, 2008

Chasing the bear

I'm working on the book at the moment. Big Weather is its name, and severe weather is its game. While it lends a hand up, a shoulder to sit on to survey the landscape of the genre of severe weather and those who seek it out, it lent an unexpected gaze into my own desire to chase. My own original longing to battle the wilderness, anything wild, since my days playing war games on the Air Force base with other military children, and since exploring the uncharted neighborhoods on my bike, and since getting up before dawn to run the length of the military base with no one around save for an occasional MP.

The dream of absolute knowledge may not have been fulfilled, but the fear of its arrival is consonant with the anxiety of a vanishing wilderness. And while no place on earth may now properly be called wild, there is one thing in nature that we as a culture seem to have reclaimed, and now celebrate as "wild," and that thing is the weather, especially severe weather. Indeed, violent storms give the lie to the Laplacean fantasy of control, revealing the boundlessness of nature, its sheer unpredictability, its daunting scale. (Big Weather, 91)

For as long as I can remember, I have always wanted to hunt the bear, the elk, the lion. I have always wanted to battle the very essence of the wilderness. And win. I don't know why, just that I have.


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