Not next tuesday but the tuesday after that (November 21st), a very special person will be giving a talk at the Vancouver Public Library. I have been a fan of her writings since my parents gave me “Cabin at Singing River” while I was still in highschool (I believe as a Christmas present). Since then I have also read “Diary of a Wilderness Dweller” and am now reading “Life of a Wilderness Dweller”. Chris chooses to live in the vast expanses of wilderness rather than the city. In order to make such an existence financially sustainable, she now sells her own brand of ‘eco-tourism’, and for a fee welcomes guests throughout the year to her neck of the woods, 20 miles from nowhere in the Chilcoten. As well as being a convincing writer, she has developed into quite a photographer, and her photo essays are certainly worth a look (try http://www.nuktessli.ca/journal/winter06-3-snow.html , but click around; there’s lots there).
The thing that interests me most about Chris is the way she has, in a common sense way and in everyday language, attuned herself to nature. It seems no matter how much more I study the essence of being and the rootlessness of the west, and it’s relation to the hypocracy of man’s relation of nature today, I can know little more than is plainly apparent to Chris. Her thought bears a lucidity that is seemingly in contradiction with her desire to spend such a large portion of her life outside not only the city, but outside the public sphere entirely (outside the polis, the agoria – alone). Perhaps this is an example of authenticity – when one is no longer bound up in the everyday cares and concerns of others, much more time is left to think (a lesson that I do not claim to have learned myself).
More details on this talk and others can be found on my talks blog: http://vancouvertalks.blogspot.com/ , which can now be subscribed to as a google calender.