Friday, 11 January 2013

Wild: An Elemental Journey by Jay Griffiths

Book Review

This book is awesome! 75 million stars out of 5!

Jay Griffiths goes on a journey meeting people from indigenous cultures including: people from the Amazon, the Eskimos and those living in West Papau New Guinea.

Her constant theme throughout the book is the call of the wild and the passion aroused by the wilderness. A passion that does not wait on convention or ask for a place to sit. But a firey passion that leaps up and scorches its way through politeness and civility to find the truth. A passion that burns its way to the core of the soul and reveals its depths; with both joys and sorrows.

She talks about the injustices done to indigenous cultures. By the mining corporations, missionaries and the greed of western un-civilisation. She talks about her battles with depression and her searches with shamans to release her from her prison. All written with searing honesty, colourful writing and compassionate understanding. She says "if you are really lost, it is only love that can find you".

Just one thought to gain an eagle eyed view of the territory covered by Jay. Her passion highlights the inhuman way that defenceless indigenous cultures have been treated by western 'progress'. That is invaluable. And yet western civilisation has its part to play in our great Earth drama. If we humans can learn from, and respect each other, across cultural divides, then there are riches to be had.

The last chapter was the best. About comedy, passion and the joker in the pack. Finally, here are my favourite lines from the book:

If you want to play it safe, you should never have come up here, for this is the freedom of rebels and outcasts, the mad and manic and misunderstood, the misfits and artists, anarchists and poets, the metaphysically alone, the suicidal comics and all those who sat at the back of the classroom, tipped back their chairs and blew smoke rings to lasso the teacher who tried to tame them.

So, if you want to play it safe, don't read this book.

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