Above is one of the more richly hilarious headlines I’ve seen in a while: ‘Wild’ Effect Inspiring People to Find Themselves. The ‘Wild’ in question is, of course, the Reese Witherspoon movie, based on the Cheryl Strayed memoir of that title, concerning her 1,100 mile walk along the Pacific Crest Trail (which actually runs 2,650 miles).
Naturally the headline also provokes some richly jaundiced views in this reader. First, that people need to see a Hollywood blockbuster movie before it crosses their mind to go walking.
Secondly, that it only occurs to them to walk in the same place that Strayed/Witherspoon walked.
Thirdly, more generally, it’s a funny thing about people who go walking in order to find themselves: they always do. For some it may take a while but others find themselves pretty much wherever they look, sometimes time and time again.
If the image accompanying the headline is any indication, some people are also finding themselves while walking in a crowd.
Below is a still of Witherspoon from the movie. You can tell she’s looking hard because of that questing look on her face.
And here’s a photograph of Witherspoon walking in a more customary place for Hollywood actresses to walk. I don’t know if she’s found herself. I don’t know if she’s even taken a good look.