Last night I watched the first episode of The Last Alaskans. I loved it. I think about the wilderness, the way of life depicted in the Docuseries, and how I would measure up, all the time. One thing that I take away from my own thoughts on this, and then certainly its reinforced while watching this show; that the first priority that these folks share, is life. Just to live, to stay alive. I don’t know first-hand, but I think it would suit all of us well, to know and understand the reality of that scenario. In our day-to-day lives walking among the so-called civilized, when was the last time you spent your day actively planning and pursuing actions that were so basic as to just live another day, another week, another season, etc. Maybe you did, but I don’t think we even know how to think in those terms, truly. We have everything we could ever need or want all around us, and much of our life is assumed. Thus, the refreshing line of thought, for me anyway, on the simple pleasure of living, life first.
The characters of the show are new to me. I can tell you already that I am liking them, or at least how they are shown in the series. I will mention two folks, Ray Lewis and Bob Harte. First, Ray Lewis struck me right away. Watching the clips of him make me feel like I am watching an articulate, gentle-souled, woodsman, a pioneer, from 200 years ago, but I get to see him in the present. I somehow think that walking the wilderness with him would be both, educational and a treat.
Then there’s Bob Harte who lives with his past mistakes, in physical solitude, but never is emotionally alone. I can’t help but think of myself when I hear his words describing his past, as he stays close to the then, while passing through the now. I posted a couple of his quotes (below) from last night’s first episode. These simple words begin to shed light on the life that he, that these characters, lead in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.
“Match my wits against the extreme. That’s what I love.” ~ Bob Harte
“It’s easy to die up here. Everything else is work.” ~ Bob Harte