Kurt Bell

A life of courage, joy and independence.



I go alone to reach the wildness within.


The wild humbles like no human encounter.


I gave up backpacking in my 20’s though I think it’s time to reconsider taking it up. I can think of no other way to penetrate deep into that volcano wilderness.


The very remote places
Remain so
In the mind


Society’s easy
After being alone in the wild
Familiar terms
And circumstance
A common end
After the wild


I went to a place today where the wilderness looks back.


Society is like an insulating blanket
Smothering wildness


I fear wild places more for their immaterial threat. The distance I may never recover. The alien landscape which may become home. And the perpetual silence of irrelevant perspective.


Wildness is found
Wherever courage
Provokes another step


I must go alone into the wilderness
To find the words
Which domestic life hides


Lately, I’m more inclined to stay at home. And let the wilderness come to me.


The Path of Wildness is nothing more than a help out of a stuck. A way to move forward past a decision which can’t seemingly be made. Necessary progress.


Almost went to the wild today. I decided instead to attend to a few domestic life necessities. That’s alright. It’s not like wildness gives a damn if I come to visit. The dead winds howl across the Indifferent badlands, against and over the cold black mountains, through and along silent sand washes, and twist and bend the dry, thorny foliage, with or without my attendant, failing gaze. *


What philosophy, maxim or dogma can withstand the scrutiny of solitude in deep, wild places? In fact, if we linger too long alone then madness may steal the show under the guise of sagacity. Be careful then to first uncover and refine truth within the bustling tumult of everyday life, to then temper what is found in the cold light of empty nowhere. Such understanding then is forged of humanity, hardened of nature and activated of our improved subsequent living. Tell no one what you’ve found, yet answer honestly every pointed inquiry. *


What number of individuals is required to tame the wild? Two. No more are needed, though greater numbers are certainly better to this end. No individual, no matter their will, resolve nor strength, can ever civilize even the humblest blade of grass. Only in company, or better still society, can this great feat be achieved. *


Society bears down with a crushing weight of responsibility, while the wild bears down with the weight of necessity. The consequence of failure in the first circumstance may be destitution and disgrace, while failure in the second punishes with extinction and death. Going alone then into the wild relieves for a moment the first and lesser burden, in exchange for the thrill and challenge of a more base and primal threat. When we return from wild places alive, and mostly intact, our perspective is changed and temporarily revised; for what threat really is any office censure, any mere social disgrace; an embarrassing fumble of etiquette; or even failure in love or enterprise compared with what we’ve just met and mastered? The more consequent danger is now passed, and we move on through the day with a contented grace, having brought back a hidden trophy and prize in the simple fact of our survival. But this peace is perishable, requiring refresh at regular intervals lest we again mistake the civilized challenge of responsibility with the wild threat of necessity. *


* Included in “My Muse is a Corpse”


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