Hemmed in and Itchy

I have been meaning to write a blog post with these images for a while now. I was reading The Glass Castle by Jeannette Walls on a flight I took to Windsor earlier in the spring. I read the quote and immediately felt that i could connect with it, and that I too, felt this way at times. I knew I had to create images inspired by these words.

“He hated all the people who lived in air-conditioned houses with the windows permanently sealed, and drove air-conditioned cars to nine-to-five jobs in air-conditioned office buildings that he said were little more than gussied-up prisons. Just the sight of those people on their way to work made him feel hemmed in and itchy. He began complaining that we were all getting too soft, too dependent on creature comforts, and that we were losing touch with the natural order of the world.”

In the spring and summer I spend my time working outdoors walking through the forest (up here in the north, we call it the bush) collecting data and doing an “inventory” of the forest. I live in remote bush camps with no running water. It can be strenuous at times, and downright depressing (especially waking up to the sounds of rain)! But I get to see things that many people don’t. I travel down old logging roads and walk kilometers through the forest every day and i get to see moose, deer, lynx, wolves, and bears on a regular basis! I get to walk in areas that hardly anyone has walked across before, and I see so much beauty and nature. Plus, i get to spend my evenings fishing (mmmm fish fry!).

Sure I have to walk around in the rain some times, and get eaten by bugs and occasionally stung by wasps. When I think about it though, I am lucky to get to experience so much of what I do. It isn’t natural to me to even think about having a job where I wake up with an alarm every morning to go to a job i don’t really care about behind a desk in an air conditioned space. So many people are in this routine, maybe even you. Sometimes, I think we need to find our way back to nature to find what is truly important in our lives. Taking time away from the television, the internet, and even the cell phone to experience what the world actually has to offer is freeing. It is the time to eliminate distractions, even if only for a couple of hours. I look forward to my season out there, living minimally, and working in nature.

above: “Hemmed in and Itchy”

above: “Renewal”

Model in both images: Bridney Ashlin

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