One of those rare examples of a book I like to pick up when I'm tired and ready to sleep because I know it won't grab me.
Actually, I loathe it.
Protagonist is a little snot. Priest, contemptuous of the poor, fancies himself a critic and poet.
Now he's teaching Pinochet about Marxism and I'm going to have to go look up the context.
Listening to Strayed on Audio & need a place to keep my thoughts in order as I go along.
The chapter about the mother's death was gut-wrenching.
The bit about packing up her backpack for the first time was hilarious--buying everything she needed, assuming it would fit. Starting the hike in the Mojave Desert in June! Carrying too much weight...man, so many rookie mistakes.
Now heroin? Paul seems like a good guy.
On p. 170 approximately:
This is the book equivalent of squeezing the juice out of a blister. Both satisfying & viscerally disgusting.
Think it's meant to be that way--all of the gross details of hiking mixed with her mistakes, the most shameful thoughts. Wanting to be adopted by a kind couple. Down to sixty cents. Covered in bruises and losing a toenail.
All of the metaphors that come to mind are medical--lancing a sore, squeezing out the pus, sweating out the fever. Like she's expelling a sickness from her system.
Was really hard to like her at the beginning. She just bumbles around and risks her life. Maybe it's still hard to like her. But I'm starting to find the experience she's describing powerful & cathartic.
The scene in the snow where she shouts to the skiiers--"Where are we?" & they shout back "Are you lost?" & she says "No!" was the first truly triumphant moment in the book & really felt earned.
Love her growing comfort on the trail. Camaraderie, competence. Sense of being really enveloped, in a world apart.
page 191 -- "Foot speed was a profoundly different way of moving through the world than my normal modes of travel. Miles weren't things that blazed dully past. They were long, intimate straggles of weeds and clumps of dirt, blades of grass and flowers that bent in the wind, trees that lumbered and screeched. They were the sound of my breath and my feet hitting the trail one step at a time and the click of my ski pole. The PCT had taught me what a mile was. I was humble before each and every one."
True to my experience -- it's the last line that really gets me -- I was humble before each and every one. Yes.
October 28, p. 209: "The universe, I'd learned, was never, ever kidding. It would take whatever it wanted and it would never give it back. I really did have only one boot."