Brief Reflection- Jen Vighetti

On my walk, I stopped at the entrance of Gilfillan Farm trail. Located right off of a busy main road, Gilfillan is a small slice of uncommercialized land situated in the center of my growing suburban community. With a Whole Foods and an Athleta a few minutes up the road, the trail’s location reminds me of the juxtaposition presented in Nescio’s “Young Titans”. The trendy stores and shops near the trail attract the same type of put together, businesslike people that Nescio noticed walking around the streets of Amsterdam in front of the Central Station. 

Contrastingly, Gilfillan trail, similar to Oosterpark, remains isolated from the hustle and bustle of commercialized life. Here I have spent countless summers walking the trails with my friends talking about our plans for the future. Much like Nescio and his friends, we were all eager to set the world on fire and adventure outside of our community. Something about fresh air and a blazing hot summer sun seems to incite youthful plans and dreams. 

However, unlike Nescio’s time spent staring at the stars and watching the sunrise, I spent most of my childhood dwelling in the commercialized landscape rather than in nature. For me, Gilfillan Farm trail is a reminder to take a step back from my busy daily life and simply enjoy the landscape around me.

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2 thoughts on “Brief Reflection- Jen Vighetti

  1. Jen,

    I’m glad you talked about the businessmen, as that was one of the most interesting themes he presented, in my opinion. Nescio makes it clear that he and his friends think they are better than those who succeed in his world: when asked by his bosses if he wrote any poetry, Nescio dodged the question, believing that they would never understand the mind he had. Later, when he sees businessmen on the train, he remarks with some disdain that they seem to believe themselves the best of everyone around them. Yet, in Nescio’s view, they are the ones who capture God’s attention the most, leaving people like him to fend for themselves. This skepticism masked as wisdom is what pushes Nescio and his friends to become the people they become, and perhaps a similar skepticism is imposed on us in our elitist, commercialized world as well. Henry David Thoreau, who believed in not conforming to the world into which we are unceremoniously dropped, often isolated himself from society, spending months in a cabin in the woods. I think it’s true that nature has a healing quality to it, and I think that, in the world we live in, nature serves to heal some of the skepticism that inevitably builds up.

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  2. Hi Jen,

    The parallel you made between landscapes and time are really though provoking. We often look back at our youth as unscathed and innocent, however unlike in “Young Titans,” the environment that you and many of us grew up in was not wholly innocent or unscathed. By that I mean, like within your community, the presence of commercialism surrounds us. However, despite the differences in people’s formative-year environments, there’s something about nature that always draws us back to that feeling of childlike innocence, or irreproachability.

    I think it’s perhaps due to a lack of distraction (from worry and constant stress), that nature is able to quiet our thoughts; since when we were kids, we didn’t have the feelings of responsibility, or vain fears, that we grow to accustom. Being in nature gives us the ability and allowance to not be so fast-paced, and instead gives us the opportunity and comfort to reflect.

    So with Nescio’s “Young Titans,” the characters views of life as boys compared to men, and the relevance of nature throughout life, makes sense. Since, while society is constantly evolving, nature is constant and present.

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