John Muir, the Mountaineer

To be frank with you, John Muir sounds like one of those annoying but endearing types to hang out with, one that pushes you to be a better person and to live life to the fullest even if you just want to relax. But if I slipped and fell while walking, I know he would be one to catch me, and give a loud hearty laugh while doing so.

Anyways.

Muir seems to be a much more active writer than our previous philosophers. Instead of enjoying nature while relaxing, Muir seems to pride himself in the true physical dangers and perils of nature; namely mountain climbing. All of his direct experience is more tailored towards activity instead of complacency, he seems to believe nature requires work to truly experience. This is a fairly radical change from many of the other authors, who all seem to want to be relaxed and safe in nature. Muir laughs in the face of danger, even saying a line such as:”This time it is real- All must die, and where could mountaineer find a more glorious death!” His ability to face fear even in the perils of death makes him a much more interesting person than some of the others. Thoreau wishes he could be as cool as Muir.

Cronon, in my opinion, would be conflicted with Muir. On one hand he is glorifying the nature at home, and only enjoying the free nature in the mountains; on the other hand, however, he is a kindred spirit who doesn’t just believe in the passive enjoyment of nature, instead opting for the rush of danger in exploration and physical labor.

I’ve never been mountain climbing before (for good reason, I would prefer not to die.) so I have no real way of relating to his experience in nature. Even still I enjoyed hearing about it, and I thought it was much more interesting than some of the others. Especially his descriptions of things. He talks as if all is in the natural order, even the rocks are “talking” to him, all is alive in the rush of the dangerous world of nature. This sort of personification of all of the natural world around him gave a fun descriptive tone.

Comments

Ashanti says:

He is like a best buddy to me. He his an outgoing person of nature. I hope that I do not die by falling though! His inspiration is more like trying to befriend you!

Abigail Lasky says:

I love the intro to your blog post! Do you want to hang out with Muir and go hiking? I bet it would be a very interesting trip. Hope you have enough bread to last it! He is very interested in the touristy side of nature which is different from our past authors.

Naana Adusei says:

I love how real you were with this post. I could actually read it in your voice as you kept elements of yourself alive though your writing. I agree with your take on Muir as well and how active and unapologetic he is with nature.

I loved your imagery about your family’s cabin- it was very colorful to read. I also agree that I spend too much time on my devices, and I’m trying to limit myself as well. It would be calming to sit down with a good book or draw for hours like I used to. *big sigh*.

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