Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Party of One

I mentioned a couple of days ago that I had finished a book that really got my brain churning. The book is A Pearl in the Storm, by Tori Murden McClure, the first woman to row solo across the Atlantic. This is non-fiction, and Tori is from Louisville, so I followed her story when it was in progress ten years ago. Loved the book... and I'll be shocked if it is not made into a movie. In fact, how many books actually have a movie trailer?? On Amazon, there is a snippet of some of the video she recorded when she thought she might not make it home..

The book is not about her successful trip across the Atlantic, it is more about her first attempt, which was not successful. She was battered by a hurricane until her body and boat were not safe on the water anymore. For some reason, this story just fascinates me. Aside from the fact that I am not a boat person, would I have what it takes to do something like that?

But in the process of thinking about her journey and the "aloneness" during that time, I realized something.

One of my favorite movies is "Castaway" with Tom Hanks.... it's about a guy who is stranded on an island for several years after a plane crash.

One of my favorite books is "Into the Wild" (also a movie, but I loved the book better)'s about a guy who becomes stranded in Alaska after some bad weather.

One of my favorite artists is Walter Anderson, who often left his family, took his little boat and some art supplies, and stayed alone on a little island painting.

Are we seeing a theme here? Is there something wrong with me? Part of me likes the idea of being stranded somewhere and trying to make something out of nothing. I love how Tom Hanks made a fishing net out of a fancy dress skirt. I'd like to think that if I were ever on the Survivor TV show, I'd come home with a fabulous handmade book that I made out of leaves and vines!

I also wonder about the artist who goes off to paint. I think we all need our own artist's retreat from time to time. But he was known to have mental problems. I remember part of a quote I heard once, about whether making art drives one insane, or if it is the insane people who make art. I guess there is a fine line there somewhere.

Sorry for the heavy thoughts. I hope no one out there is a psychologist, because I don't know if I want to know what this "alone" theme might mean!!

Also, I like old wooden rulers..... (that's my way of ending on a different subject!!)


Sugee Andersyn said...

That was a great post. Something about being left alone to your own devices, devoid of the rat race, others opinions, imposed obligations.. and just being one with nature, reading a book, making things.. being alone and stranded, but knowing that one day somehow there is a hope, a light, and a rescue sailboat.. but not until about 3 years later or so. :)

Mike M. said...

I dig old wooden rulers too.

Nice job on your blogging - I'm a fan!

Nomad said...

Tori Murden McClure rocks, i would love to read her memoirs