Goodreads Choice Award · Reviews

“Wild” by Cheryl Strayed

“It was my life – like all lives, mysterious and irrevocable and sacred. So very close, so very present, so very belonging to me.
How wild it was, to let it be.”

It took me over a month to get through this book. That makes it sound like a burden, but it wasn’t – even if I could feel its weight upon my shoulders. I don’t like rushing stories, making them happen before their time, but I have been told I am a fast reader – I believe it has more to do with the easiness with which we blend with words than the act of racing through them. That said, it has been years since I last dedicated so much time to reading one single book. It didn’t feel wrong, the idea of giving up or leaving it be never quite crossed my mind, but there was something particular about it… I just needed more time – and I am glad I took it, I am glad I carried on. I found it interesting though, how this attitude seemed to somewhat reflect what was happening in the book itself.

Wild is not the kind of journey that takes my breath away. It is not the kind of journey that drowns reality. Instead, I found it to be the kind of journey that makes you painfully aware, conscious, of who you are, of where you are, of how you are. It can feel claustrophobic at times, not because of the lack of space, but because of the abundance of it – you have to be yourself everywhere at the same time. There’s no silence, you are, become, it.

Even though we know from the beginning that she has made it through, it’s almost unbelievable how it seems to become irrelevant once you start. Her voice is so honest, so real, her descriptions rich to the point of hurting, of mending… Anything could happen.

I believe the message to be this: life is a journey – no matter how ill-equipped or misinformed we feel, we can do it. There is no shame in asking for help, no shame in wanting to be alone or craving company, no shame in making mistakes. One step and another and another and so on. Take in your surroundings, routine is but a word. Deep breaths. We will get there.

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