With no particular agenda in mind, I channel-surfed my way through a number of T.V. stations before deciding upon a movie; one that was already in progress. At first I thought it was a National Geographic special given its Alaskan backdrop. Before long, I was captivated with curious awe. I sat revited for the next hour or two.
From the very first moments of Grizzly Man I had the sense that nothing good was going to come to the man featured in the film, Timothy Treadwell. For all of his naturalist views and, in particular, his love of and advocacy for grizzly bears, he was a man whoses hinges seemed perilously loose.
When the movie ended it left me with more questions than it had answered. So I set about gathering more information that might better equip me to understand the horrible fate that consumed Timothy, literally. There just had to be more to the story than the photo footage and drama depicted on screen.
There's a lot that is good about this true saga. The beauty of Alaska's wilds, the clever charm of the little foxes, and even the brute beauty of the grizzly. I enjoyed gathering tidbits of knowledge about Katmai, and about the Grizzly Maze.
There's also a lot - a whole lot - that's tragic about the story too. Certainly Timothy's life and travails were myriad and complex, but what nagged me most is this: He saw himself as one of them; one of the grizzlies. He wasn't content to be in their world; he insisted upon being of their world.
That distinction is what nagged me most. It had such a familiar ring.
Timothy, like anyone coming and going in close proximity to grizzly habitat had been warned; and warned again. He'd been discouraged rather than applauded for his undertakings. His singular will was naive at best; and a death-wish at worst. It cost him his life.
I have reflected on the story of Timothy Treadwell many times since discovering it that fateful day in 2005. It has become an object lesson - a modern day parable - that reminds me of the need for vigilance as I go about the business of living.
The minute I begin seeing myself of the world is the minute I am no longer safe in it.
If you belonged to the world,
it would love you as its own.
As it is, you do not belong to the world,
but I have chosen you
out of the world..
We have not received the spirit
of the world but the Spirit who is
from God, that we may understand
what God has freely given us.
1 Corinthians 2:12
... don't you know that friendship
with the world is hatred toward God?
Anyone who chooses to be a friend
of the world becomes
an enemy of God.