I’ve never done anything but dream. This, and this alone, has been the meaning of my life. My only real concern has been my inner life. FERNANDO PESSOA

Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Into The Wild

One of my favourite programmes on Radio 4 is Something Understood which is broadcast every Sunday at 6.05 then repeated at 23.30. Last Sunday the theme, explored in music, poetry and prose, was Wilderness. The presenter, journalist and writer Madeleine Bunting, described our relationship with The Wild as a complex one - wilderness can be "something to fear, to escape" but also "something compelling, even redemptive". She said that "wilderness is first and foremost in our head." Among other snippets there was a reading from Jon Krakauer's book Into the Wild (1996) and a poem by Wendell Berry called The Peace of Wild Things; an atmospheric composition by Norwegian jazz/New Age saxophonist Jan Garbarek and a song about John Muir by the Scottish folk singer Dick Gaughan. It's all well worth a listen and can be replayed on the BBC website till the end of the week.

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