Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Retreat Into the Maine Wilds

For a few years, I have been toying with the idea of writing and attempting to eventually published an act of fiction (book, short story, etc.). In an attempt to spur along this endeavor, I plan to publish a series of blog post that highlight my thoughts, notes and writing related to the project. I am hopeful that this will generate comments, suggestions and feedback to drive my interest and assist in keeping the project going. Ok, enough explanation, here is the first post!

My name is Gus N. Kindle but I remember a happier time in my life when my friends simply called me Gunk. I remember not when or who bestowed upon me the nickname, an obvious perversion of my real name and with the passage of so many years my cares have found other bay unto which to anchor. In those earlier days, it seemed easy to take happiness and joy for granted. To fail to appreciate the simply pleasures of existence and the apparently effortless way a life in the modern world unfolds. Possibly through design, we as a society have worked to eliminate surprise and institute a level of control in our day-to-day activities, as to attempt to remove anything resembling disorder. Is it possible that in our attempt to fight chaos, we have inadvertently allowed ourselves to become complacent? Have we simply become drones or automatons driving forth in our daily routines for no more apparent reason then they are simply habit. Are we so comfortable and unwilling to embrace a life less ordinary that we fear what we do not know and refuse to wander far from our small corner of the world? Like one of those maps you purchase at a gas station, are we afraid to unfold and explore new territory for the fear that we will not be able to put it back together in a manageable stack that will fit neatly back into our glove box?

The fragments of my old life seem strange and far away, like the chapters of a book read long ago, where the characters and plot are distant and practically forgotten. Occasionally, the ghosts of my old life visit my dreams and wake me with their whispers, bathed in sweat and screaming, I curse at them to go away. These vivid memories are meant to torture me least I attempt to forget past indiscretions. While I fear not death, the faded echo of a life near perfection haunts me. I accept my sentence as one might swallow a bitter fowl tasting medication, it must hurt to heal so the old saying goes. Almost twenty years have passed since the accident and only a few less since I abandoned life in the civilized world and retreated deep into the Maine wilderness to find solace, healing and peace in the bosom of the natural world. The shear effort required to stay alive out here, with only the very basic elements of survival, is enough to keep my mind focused on the now, with little time for thoughts to drift to the past. I guess if I am honest with myself, my original plan had been to die out here, to escape the pain of my great loss and put my soul to rest. My decision to continue to draw breath had not been something I had originally relished but it was eventually an idea that I grew to tolerate. Though many years have passed, the anticipation of the day the Reaper visits leaves me anxious, as one might feel about missing a flight to some exotic locale.

Of most, I have little doubt that my retreat into the wilds was viewed as a means of running away from my fears, as turning a blind eye to the problems of civilization, in an act of complete selfishness. Perhaps some were even so cruel, as to see the act barely above the cowardice of suicide. To this rabble, I hold no grudge or ill will, for they understand not the animal that lurks in some men’s souls.


  1. Sounds mysterious and leaves me wanting to know what happened that was so awful as to drive him into solitude. Something that most humans would not choose.

  2. KT,
    I certainly will try to answer all of the questions. Just need to continue to stay focused on the project and motivated. It is one challenge to generate a couple blog posts a week BUT another challenge entirely to write a book!

    Thanks for the comment!

  3. This looks fun! Looking forward to reading more.

    Congrats on your guiding adventures, also!

  4. Casey, Thanks for commenting . . . am going to try and direct more of my time to this "extensive" writing project. Hope to have the next installment written soon!


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