22 December 2014


The movie Wild  is not about redemption but about acceptance. I do not believe that we are ever saved; perhaps we are found even when we did not know that we were lost. I think that in acceptance is redemption. Cheryl says about her life, “What if I wanted to sleep with all those men; what if I learned something from taking
heroin . . .” What were once thought of as mistakes, measures of bad judgment were just her life and life only. And acceptance means to have no regrets; to acknowledge that everything that happened had to happen because what happens derives from who at the moment we at the moment are. . Acceptance means that whatever action we have undertaken at the moment derives from who we are at that moment even if we consider that the action is our of character and not representative of the me in whom we have false belief.
It was not her mother’s death that turned Cheryl to sex and to drugs. Cheryl turned to sex and drugs because that was behaviors that at that moment Cheryl sought out; she could ascribe the behaviors later to her mother’s death and to her own grief. But along the trail I think she learned what her mother taught her at the beginning: that she drew her power from the same place as her weakness. That her weakness and power were equal energies that were Cheryl, and that the same drive that led her to sex and drugs also led her to the trail and her effort there. Cheryl was not redeemed by her work on the trail; Cheryl accepted Cheryl on her 1000-mile struggle.
Along the trail Cheryl for the most part remains alone with Cheryl and arrives at the bridge to acknowledge her responsibility for her own life, and perhaps in the writing of the journey can begin to accept the choices she will make in the future: in some part for her decision to again marry and have children.
The land through which she walks is not beautiful though it contains beauty; is not traversed with any ease, but her effort becomes easier as she literally and emotionally lightens her grossly overweight and overstuffed back pack. And along the way she meets others hiking the trail each for his or her own reasons Some of those she meets are helpful and some are not; some are no different than was she: and behave with equal cruelty as had she. Others are as vulnerable and others as wounded. suffering from his own unnamed problems yet sings for Cheryl “Red River Valley” Cheryl’s greatest demons derive not from others but from her own doubts of her own strength: but her power derived from the same place as her weakness. The movie is about acceptance and not redemption. Cheryl is not redeemed nor saved; Cheryl crosses the bridge at the end and is Cheryl.


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