I’ve been quietly reading Skywritings now for a month or so. I can’t remember where I originally came across the link, I think it might have been Kevin. But it’s real quality stuff. Bloggers tend to have various talents, but one of the rare talents is being a truly superb writer. One of the things that draws me to Skywritings is the quality of the writing style, and the well chosen photo captions. You also have to love a redhead who enjoys shooting! I’ll point to one of her recent posts as an example:
One of those things that kills us in the wilderness, in nature, is we don’t understand the forces we engage. The environment we have grown up in the US to expect is one of peace and sustenance. For the lucky ones, food appears often and in abundance. There’s medical care for those of us lucky to have a job that provides it, and there’s plenty of light and oxygen. It is like we are in big safe pen, a domestic den of civilization. Then we go into nature and the playing field is leveled and we are tested in ways that life or TV do not prepare you for.
Most of us sleep through the test and we come in and out of the experience never really knowing what we did or didn’t do to survive yet someone believing that we are hardy, knowledgeable adventurers. As pilots say “been there – done that”. It’s smoke and mirrors.
Author Jon Krakauer wrote about mountaineer guide Scott Fisher, the one who encouraged him to climb Mt. Everest. “We got the ‘big E’ figured out” he told him” “We’ve got it totally wired”. Fisher died up there. The psychology of oblivion is not a new science.. Making someone into a believer, coming to terms with the unfamiliar forces of nature is hard. For we live in North America, where for the most part and thanks to many – soldiers, and law enforcement officers, intelligence analysts and fireman, we are for the most part safe. Few of us believe in our own mortality until we’re faced with it, and then, even then, after the threat passes, we forget. So we have no way to prepare for what seems too removed a possibility. As Christopher Burney, who was a prisoner of war at Buchenwald said “Death is a word which presents no real target to the minds eyes”.
I almost feel guilty for excerpting it. Read the whole thing. It’s high time to add Skywriting to the blogroll.