“There’s nothing wild. There’s no wilderness. It’s all home.” – Ray Reitze.
Ray Reitze, Master Maine Guide, has been guiding for more than 40 years. He’s a man who has always felt at home in the woods – “the bush”, as he calls it – even as a younger man. He had the good fortune to learn many skills and much wisdom from a First Nations elder.
I started hanging out with an old elder that lived around us. And it led me to something quieter and quieter and quieter in me.
The film shown here – Guided – is a warm, affectionate and poignant study of a quiet and understated man, whose love of nature is clear. “It’s kinda like, nature lights my fire”, Ray chuckles.
“Guiding is the means to help people begin to connect into that really deep inner space in themselves, through nature.”
Reitze’s fondness for sharing his passion for nature is also clear. “…if there’s ten people with you and one or two get it, it’s like amazing. The question is, how do we turn on the switch? So, that’s what I do. I keep looking for that switch.”
The film, beautifully captured and edited, also highlights, however, the financial sacrifices of a life of guiding and living off grid. Yet, as Ray himself says in the film, “When we started guiding in the early eighties, most people would have said you’re crazy boy, you’re just gonna starve to death. Then I finally looked at it and said well, if I starve to death it’s OK I’m gonna be happy.”
Maine Guides are individuals certified to accompany travelers on a number of outdoor activities in the wilderness of the state of Maine, in the USA. You can find out more here.
“We not here just to work and work and work. We’re here to see, to feel, to touch and grow,” reflects Ray.
Ray Reitze continues his Teachings of the Old Turtle at his farm in Maine and works alongside one of his old apprentices, Jen Ries via Tumblehome Guide Service.