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Counter-Dictionary

Page history last edited by PBworks 13 years, 1 month ago

The Wilderness

 

wilderness: n- a wild and uncultivated area, uninhabited or inhabited only by wild animals (dictionary.com)

 

 

The term contains the root word "wild", which never has favorable connotations attached to it. The word itself is defined as a place only inhabited by wild animals. The wilderness in popular culture has often been depicted as a foreboding place of unknown terror and evil (i.e. the film Deliverance). In film especially, the wilderness often functions as a backdrop for the horror/suspense genre: Blair Witch Project, Cabin Fever, Wrong Turn, ect. The great expanse of the wilderness can often be an intimidating thought, void of all the comforts and amenities of an urban environment.

 

When I was very young, the movies I would watch definately affected me in this way. I was petrified of the woods behind our house in Austin (back when there were still "woods" in the Austin city limit). At the time, I believed venturing too far into the wilderness would lead to a certain vicious death.

 

After my third grade year, my family bought a piece of property along the Pedernales River outside of Johnson City. The cabin would eventually become our permanent home, but for a time it was a weekend house of sorts. With no houses immediately within eyesight, the forest around the cabin proved very intimidating at first.

 

As more of my time was spent outside exploring, I can remember a gradual transition from fear to curiosity about the forest around me. With a limited number of things to do in the house, the wilderness around me became my playground. The inhabitants of the forest were not the wild beasts of the movies, but rather foxes, deer, rabbits, roadrunners, and a slew of other amazing creatures.

 

As an adult now living in Austin, I have a keen appreciation for my family's property and the surrounding area. The wilderness has provided me with many fond memories of camp outs around the fire and canoe trips down the river. The wilderness is now a sanctuary of sorts, an escape from the overwhelming bussle of the city and all it's cement.

 

The word has transformed from it's unfavorable origins to become a "thing" of great appreciation and wonder to me.

 

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