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I want to be Outside

Discuss your favorite wilderness related books. Share your favorite poetry, quotes and folktales. Here's your chance to showcase your creative side!
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Re: I want to be Outside

Postby markskor » Fri Nov 08, 2013 8:06 pm

There exists a secret language of the mountain…Waiting to be read.
Sometimes strange letters are written outsized on angular cliff faces, sculpted prominently, black lines streaking across and over rust-colored granite.
You sporadically glimpse other mythical figures/symbols, either man or nature-printed, scribed into the bark of many older trees, distinct.

There is more to its language too, all quite prominent… really. Notice the weird and wonderful punctuation racing across azure skies – fleeting figures temporarily revealed in the cumulous. Seldom revealing whole sentences, the verbs (action words) are usually reflected back from the waters, the dancing eddies, purples and browns, golds and silver flecks. Glacier-polished walls provide the framework upon where the words are written. Waterfalls stand out like neon signs, the whites demanding attention. The shadows provide the contrast and the Alpenglow, the moving lines racing up the cliffs at sunset; expose themselves as yet another dialect…yes, there is much to translate. Over time, an experienced woodsman learns to recognize the letters; soon assembles them into words, and finally discovers the complex sentences blatant, once impossible to fathom, now, for a select few, becoming clear - able to be read easily.

A problem arises when new visitors try to read these clues without taking due time…not realizing that it takes years to be able to decipher the subtle letters written…Decades more to learn how to read the text. The mountain tells a long-term tale where individual wants are meaningless, schedules are fleeting, and days are but pointless pauses to a more complex theme.

Many make the mistake of inserting personal agendas into the mountain’s plot line: big mistake. The mountain only dictates the story and seldom listens… to anyone. The mountain cares nothing about egos or individual wants. The mountain writes the story, is the story, and will always be the story, not the other way around. The mountain is the host, sets the rules, and usually gives freely. It makes its own weather, reveals its glories, (sometimes openly, other times begrudgingly), and occasionally takes lives. It is the best of all stories, and sometimes the worst too.
Mountainman who swims with trout



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Re: I want to be Outside

Postby freestone » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:31 am

Markskor wrote,
The mountain writes the story, is the story, and will always be the story, not the other way around. The mountain is the host, sets the rules, and usually gives freely. It makes its own weather, reveals its glories, (sometimes openly, other times begrudgingly), and occasionally takes lives. It the best of all stories, and sometimes the worst too.


So very very true.
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Re: I want to be Outside

Postby Wandering Daisy » Sat Nov 09, 2013 12:11 pm

I get the feeling that some of you "guys" do not like the author of the essay. The essay's subject is not about "listening" to the mountains or not. It is simply an essay on how one young person feels after being on a long through-hike and then it ends. She loves being outside more than having the trappings of civilization. I do not see what is so objectionable to that. A bit naïve? Maybe, but it captures the spirit of a young person. Well, at least I think most PCT hikers are "young" compared to me! We old geezers probably have forgotten about being young. It is not an essay that one of us probably would write, after completing the PCT, if any of us are even capable of doing that any more. This person, who loves being outside, will over time, come to communicate with the mountains as you have described. But that is not the point of this essay at this time.

As for the "I" repetitive component. That is poetry - you use what you need to convey your feelings. Rules need not apply.

I find a lot of the criticism arrogant and elitist. I think it more appropriate if you start another thread on the philosophy of wilderness experiences, if that is what you wish to discuss.
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Re: I want to be Outside

Postby intrek38 » Sat Nov 09, 2013 5:47 pm

To me anyways, this poem explains the feeling “I” get when making the inevitable transition back into society after a long trip. With my longest being only 3 weeks, a long thru hike like the PCT or any of the others would definitely be a rough transition. I personally go out into nature to detox myself from all the spoils of this modern day mess we have created for ourselves, but that's just my take on it all and we have are own opinions. So I guess we all have our own way of reading & writing thing's and can hopefully agree to disagree. It sure would be a boring planet if we all agreed on everything and didn't do things our own way anyways. "I" am going to cook my dinner outside tonight...
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Re: I want to be Outside

Postby rlown » Sat Nov 09, 2013 7:52 pm

(I) Pretty much hope we're done with poetry critique. I Did that in the 11th grade in AP English and, um.. hard to change now.

Anyway, This "poem" expresses a feeling. nice. but, there would be better ways to express that other than the repetitive approach. I does become annoying, regardless of the post-trail sep implications.

I don't think people here are so much elitist. They know what they like and what works, and some actually teach.

I liked the thought but not the delivery.
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Re: I want to be Outside

Postby intrek38 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 8:03 am

If someone takes a photo, why try to change it to ones own liking, accept it for what it is and be thankful.
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Re: I want to be Outside

Postby markskor » Sun Nov 10, 2013 9:41 am

When someone posts a picture, that is one thing, but if someone posts and then asks if you can relate...(see OP)
and you are a long-time teacher who sees this type of writing daily...
Well, WD did request feedback.

Is it that only positive agreement is thus allowed or if not, labeled an Elitist?

Much like, "You know what I mean?", like, like, "You know what I'm saying?
All these are heard daily in the classroom too...young people's idioms...still not good (prose or) Poetry?
Mountainman who swims with trout
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Re: I want to be Outside

Postby intrek38 » Sun Nov 10, 2013 12:55 pm

Sorry Mark, I really don't come here to argue. In my first post, I didn't ask if you can relate, I merely said, (It kinda hit home and I figured some of you could relate). So I must have figured wrong, no big deal. So I'm not a Literate scholar, in fact, I barely made it out of high school. Sorry, I had to go to work early, that's just life, and I learned plenty over the 49+ years on this planet.
I guess I must still be young at heart for my choice in what I perceive is a good read. I'm ok with that because I don't really go for the rules that mainstream society has put on itself. I tend to lean towards accepting everyone the way they are and not the way we should be, no matter what age.
So before we waste any more time pointing out other persons so called short comings, lets just enjoy it for what it is. Or better yet, maybe you could do better?????
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Re: I want to be Outside

Postby Jimr » Mon Nov 11, 2013 10:33 am

While I do not read this type of writing often, I can relate to Mark regarding the overuse of a writing style, verbiage, vernacular, etc. Having to read essay after essay written the same way, I'm sure breeds contempt for certain of the above that makes it difficult to digest yet another.

The writing above doesn't really bother me, but again, see my first line. It doesn't really speak much to me because I rather enjoy getting back to life after a time in the wilderness, but I understand her feelings. I get them several weeks after being back in civilization. After the trail dust, bruises, hot spots and soreness have all disappeared from my body and my memory.

My peeve is how writing has changed in the digital age. Constant misspellings and punctuation errors in a rush to publish. Little if any (perhaps) critiques, re-writes, grammar, spelling and punctuation corrections and so forth that used to go into publications. People just let Microsoft do the correcting and hit the go button. It's not really much of a peeve. More like an annoying observation that seems to jump right out of the page at me.

One thing that did really start to bother me as overused ad nausium was from none other than John Muir. His constant use of diametrically opposed simile started driving me nuts. I'm not sure if there is a proper name for the technique, but an example would be his constant description of fields of grass as forests, forests as meadows and the like for other elements of the Sierra. It got to where every time he started discussing a natural element, I knew this type of simile was on its way. Overused in a very predictable way.
What?!
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