Thinking Wild, Its Gifts of Insight: A Way to Make Peace with My Shadow
A tapestry of metaphors, thoughts, ideas…
“Theo Grutter’s Thinking Wild is the enchanting tale of one man’s life in nature – and a long and rich life it is. And his wisdom is wisdom indeed: ‘When I see how Theo fits into the ongoing story of life, I will be healed, I will be all well and beautiful.’ So it will be for each of us.” ─Daniel Quinn, author of Ishmael
Theo Grutter is a big, friendly bear of an unpretentious, spontaneous outdoorsman. Born and educated mostly in Switzerland to enter the corporate world, he soon discovered that this life wasn’t for him. He moved to Paris and married Clara, a concert pianist. They landed in New York to search for a lifestyle more to their liking in which to raise a family, which soon grew to include five children. They lived in many places, finally settling in a small Mexican Pacific coast fishing village in winter and traveling up to Sitka, Alaska in the summers, where Theo still fishes as a solitary commercial fisherman. Theo and Clara took yearly walkabouts in many exotic countries of the world, with Theo ever observing, learning, and writing about how life works on Earth.
Thinking Wild is the fruit of twelve years’ work, a series of essays carved in Theo’s non-native and poetic English, written by a remarkable man with deep insight, a fisher philosopher, a seer and seeker railing against man’s disrespect of other lifeforms on Earth. All is shared by a man who sees his life as his work of art and treads a path towards a new way of seeing life more lovingly.
From the Introduction:
Dear adventurer, I wrote this book to tease myself and other adventurous minds to look at our crooked lives and loves from a wider-angle view. This journey will sail us into the wild open sea. Out in that openness, it may at first be a rough ride for indoor minds. I promise to navigate the smoothest tags those waters allow. Welcome to the ride.
The ways of Life are mostly mysterious. So, compared with our exact science, ever preoccupied with pretended clarity, the fertile, messy science of likenesses is for me a bullet-train to wisdom. In my climb to glimpse this vista, to rethink and to create anew my view of how Life’s morals work, I like to freely use likenesses from any tribe of Life to solve a problem we share. For this I had to slay that darn arrogance seeing man as from a superior order than the rowdy Life at large. Metaphors have become for me wonderful aids in thinking. They supply me with prefabricated answers that have often been assembled by other species long before our time. Why not try to learn from what others have already figured out. So, expect here some of this creative untidiness. To accept a woman or a man as is, not as my learned morals want her or him to be, has now become the daily mental safari and joy of my thinking. It’s time to be born into a more wondrous world!
The good, old hat, common sense is the loudest loudspeaker in town, so there might be profit in reading some of it twice. This is meant to be an organic process, delving into a wider worldview, exploring the new ways to say new things beyond fake clarity. A workshop. It’s far from being a result. Wilderness is all lightening, and my mind is full of tinder.
Quotes from Thinking Wild, The Gifts of Insight:
“Ah, to be a little free, to make do with little help or commands from others. Even better, to scavenge the courage to live with a morsel of spontaneity and be the Creator’s personal clown, available to sometimes march solo to the Song of the Earth, banging one of God’s drums just by myself, able to work little and do much just by being a flag all unfolded fluttering in God’s winds, available to be entirely a fiddle with a thousand strings on which Life’s zillion fingers fiddle her gypsy tune.”
“Here is creativity with tears in its eyes. Here, before all, awaits a creative story to be told that turns tearful happenings into birth-pains. Are we not the wonderful results of the crime against comfort and against the past? In our great vulnerability, great things can happen through us.”
“And now, when nobody looks, I put my imperfections up to a mirror. And what I see makes me now sob less and laugh more. Nothing shows me more than my own shortcomings how we are all indivisibly tied together to make that beautiful raft of Life whole and able to float in the cosmic sea. And a mischievous smile sneaks onto my face, welcoming my part of the boat with my cracks, my planks missing, my shortcomings, my overdone talents, my missing corners, so others may find these missing blanks and can nicely fit into this raft.”
“To leave lightweight footprints on this happiness hunt is the fitness that counts. “Theo, add another antenna, make contact with a foe. Have a word with somebody you walled off with blame. Your neighbor who tucked his eyes safely away in a box of some -ism, have him over for coffee and pie. Tease out an invitation to a Muslim home. Get lost in some far-off culture and tribal land. You can only love what you know. You are what you love.”
“What a playground for those of us in the search for patterns. Here I can become the lucky owner of a backpack full of materials for metaphors. In short, here I become a wealthy man.”
“Everything curls and loops in its own way towards the light. None is free to grow away from the sun. Everything, mean or kind, stands with its plate in line around the pot for a serving of joy.”
Theo Grutter is a big, friendly bear of an unpretentious, spontaneous outdoorsman. Born and educated mostly in Switzerland to enter the corporate world, he soon discovered that this life wasn’t for him. He moved to Paris and married Clara, a concert pianist. They landed in New York to search for a lifestyle more to their liking in which to raise a family, which soon grew to include five children. They lived in many places, finally settling in a small Mexican Pacific coast fishing village in winter and traveling up to Sitka, Alaska in the summers, where Theo still fishes as a solitary commercial fisherman. Theo and Clara took yearly walkabouts in many exotic countries of the world, with Theo ever observing, learning, and writing about how life works on Earth. Find “30 Minutes with Theo Thinking Wild” on YouTube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e_H1XONvg4E, which adventurous minds might enjoy.