The Wilderness of Thought

I live in a national forest near the edge of the San Gorgonio Wilderness Area. In my four-day weekend over Valentine’s Day, I chose to explore hikes around the area near the SGWA. Moseying toward a 7800′ “hill” with a fantastic view of San Gorgonio, my mind meandered through a train of thought that began nearly 2.5 years ago. (Thanks, Environmental Philosophy.)

We talk about “wilderness,” but what is it? The definition and connotations used by the US legal system since the 1964 Wilderness Act surely aren’t the same meant by Biblical scholar-translators of Jesus’s temptations in the wilderness. Cheryl Strayed’s book Wild captures a different meaning than Jon Krakauer’s description of Christopher McCandless in Into the Wild. I have been collecting how various people use “wild” and its derivatives, in particular “wilderness” in order to collect my thoughts on what kind of wilderness I value.

The post working through those thoughts is in the works, coming soon. In the meantime, please spend time in the wilderness of your thoughts with the questions: what do you perceive as wilderness? How does wilderness change with the setting? How can an urban area support wilderness? How can an urban life need wilderness? Where do you find wilderness in your life, and how do you use that wilderness?

San Gorgonio in winter!

San Gorgonio in winter!


About landje03

A passionate outdoor educator, I hold a degree in anthropology. While not a salaried academic, I pursue various thoughts stemming from my experiences and their intersections with others' experiences. I also love to start conversations, so comment if anything tickles your fancy.
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