Thursday, August 14, 2014


"I'm a slow walker, but I never walk back." - Abraham Lincoln
So, it wasn't a particularly quotable kind of book, at least not for me. And, I'll be honest, I was annoyed by circling words and ideas, that at the right moment might have been profound, but often left me to ponder the real point, especially when the same literary technique got used two or three times too often.
"She (my mother) seemed to come at me know, the full perfect and imperfect force of her humanity, as if her life was an intricately painted mural and I could finally see the whole thing.  Who she'd been to me and who she hadn't.  How it was she belonged to me profoundly, and also how she didn't."

Nonetheless, it was a great adventure and I, true to character, found quotes that took greater meaning and form as I read. Like the difference between conceptualizing and really doing something hard.
And the reality of not being able to hold onto love and relationships - we each have a free will to choose to stay or go.  What led up to divorce was my own personal lesson. It hurt. A lot.  And now I can finally agree with the last line.
On accepting life, whether we like what's on our plate or not.
And, a call to courage.
Reading the fluid text of Wild made me suffer the PCT (the Pacific Coast Trail) along with Cheryl.

There were lots of preposterous details for me as a reader, such as an author changing her surname. Cheryl Strayed. Strayed? Granted, this is something possible in America, but nearly impossible and unthinkable in Spain, as it would certainly alter the following of lineage, history and efficiency as recorded in the centuries old Book of the Family, the official registry in Madrid, where my own name can finally be found.

Regardless, Cheryl made me think constantly about her travel, but honestly, mostly her hurting feet (her too tight boots, her swollen toes, blackened and then lost toenails, blisters and more).
And though I vacillated with liking and  identifying with her as a protagonist, I couldn't help live out her moments
and in particular, mourn her mother's death,
"I was twenty-two, the same age she was when she'd been pregnant with me. She was going to leave my life at the same moment that I came into hers, I thought" 

share in her grief over the following years,
understand her need to escape,
"The thing about hiking the Pacific Coast Trail, the thing that was so profound to me that summer - and yet also, like most things, so very simple - was how few choices I had and how often I had to do the thing I least wanted to do.  How there was no escape or denial. " 

acknowledging the disadvantages and advantages of growing up poor, and knowing how to make do with less (the entirety of page 280 is great,)

and of course, reading to champion her along every step of her 1100+ mile journey.
"But, no one laughed. No one would.  The universe, I'd learned, was never, ever kidding.  It would take whatever it wanted and it would never give it back.  I really did have only one boot."  

Finally, it was shear magic to share her awe of Crater Lake right after Enrique and I just got to see that amazing spectacle of nature earlier this month.
"This was once Mazama, I kept reminding myself. This was once a mountain that stood nearly 12,000 feet tall and then had its heart removed.  This was once a wasteland of lava and pumice and ash.  This was once an empty bowl that took hundreds of years to fill.  But hard as I tried, i couldn't see them in my mind's eye.  Not the mountain or the wasteland or the empty bowl.  They simply were not there anymore.  There was only the stillness and silence of that water:  what a mountain and a wasteland and an empty bowl turned into after the healing began."
Wild needed to fly from Spain with Ryan when he left yesterday, back to Sacramento, California to Risa to enjoy the read.  So, I raced to the end, careful not to miss details. It was good, really good. Thanks Kathy, for lending it to me and my own truth-seeking, world traveling girls. They are on their own kind of wild trip, a month-long sister cycling adventure from Grants Pass to San Diego, Oregon down Hwy 1.
Here's to life and living in an exuberant way the most important things; understanding the brevity of life in general and learning the greatness of love.
My own challenge?  I hope I learn to love God and others wildly and with abandon the days and adventures that are left me. Anyone else?

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