A life of courage, joy and independence.
There’s always greater depth to the desert than I can begin to fathom, and the experience of this immensity has a way of faltering my plans and efforts. This is the blessing of going alone into very wild places, to have our way thwarted by inanimate matter and energy, with no one around to offer us comfort or reassurance ahead of the night. We return then to civilization less troubled by mortal concerns, more adept at measured response when things go badly, and less concerned about our own well-being ahead of the greater good we now see so clear.
This video is the failed start of a longer video I intended to make upon this windy desert ridge. The problem was the location, and the circumstance, which I couldn’t overcome. This spot was atop a low mountain, a day and a half into the Deep Water Wilderness. It was about an hour before nightfall, on the second night of the hike. I’d left most of my gear back at base camp, beside my camera, geology hammer, satellite beacon and a ration of water. Camp was about an hour away, and I was a little worried about the timing for the return hike, and the possibility of getting lost, and the risk of spending a cold winter night exposed in the desert—though I knew the full moon rising just after sunset would provide ample light to guide me back. When I started filming this video, I looked beyond the camera where I could clearly see the dark shadow of the Earth advancing fast from the East. The wind was picking up—as it sometimes does at nightfall here—and I thought about my tent. Did I secure it well? I was wishing I’d brought my heavy jacket, which was on the floor of the tent where I’d used it as a pillow the night before. This same wind sometimes draws sudden dust storms from the area east of the black volcanos, and though I had my goggles with me, I worried the dust would block out the moonlight. Nevertheless, I continued talking, trying to make the video, though after a few minutes I gave up, turned off the camera, and began making my way back down the mountain. After a while the wind stopped, the dust never came, and the moon arrived on cue. None of my fears materialized…as is so often the case. Arriving back at camp, I sat on the ground eating dinner while a brilliant full moon lifted high above a craggy dead volcano. Though I was safe, I didn’t fool myself enough to imagine the universe shared my concerns of the evening, as the moon would as well rise to meet the wondering gaze of a man alone in the wastes, as the blind and empty orbs of a corpse.
My name is Kurt Bell and I am delighted that you have taken some time to share a little of The Good Life with me. I’m available on social media at the links below and can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
My book is available here:
Going Alone is an independent approach to living, uncovering what is real, and making peace with the facts of what is true no matter how the truth makes us feel. I upload at least one video a week for this series on my YouTube channel.
The Good Life is a formulated plan of objectives and principals designed to help us live a more virtuous life in accord with sound reasoning. I upload at least one video a month for this series.
Main Page: https://www.facebook.com/LylesBrother
Journal Page: https://www.facebook.com/Softypapa-337676096304661/