Wednesday, June 23, 2010


Food poisoning today - feeling puny but oh so lucky. A pint of alka-seltzer sits humbly at the bottom of my stomach. The air outside this little hotel - for some strange reason - smells of sewage. A nagging fly rests on my sandal. He awaits his next annoying onslaught.

The sun sets, but I am not here. I am writing E-mails to a beautiful woman. I am reading books on water resources, and I am starting to see a bright future. Here sunlight can purify water, can clean tents and sleeping bags and can apparently cleanse a soul of most doubt. "Hold on to these moments," I caution myself. "For they will propel you onward. Carry the West. Carry it in your heart."

And Fate is this thing that leaves me wondering. In 12 hours, I came from the darkest point and ventured forth into the brilliant shine of dawn. The sun peaked over the horizon and caught me with its orange stare. So long was it dark, that I was shocked by this revelation. I found myself in a blind stare, embracing those warm rays. Twelve hours ... in such a short time ... I went from being poor and broke with an uncertain future to being a park ranger in a beautiful national park, awarded an assistantship for graduate school and somehow connected to a beautiful soul

I am a lucky soul. For even if it should rain a monsoon tomorrow, I shall feel glad to have been so lucky for even a brief time. So I sit tonight, my stomach churning in a violent fervor, happy at life and buoyantly optimistic even if my stomach will not follow in proper suit. 

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Let the good times roll.

I won my case. I was offered a graduate assistantship for this upcoming academic year. And something new and exciting also happened. Two are solid and amazing. One is new and a bit frightening. 

Yet, some risks are not only worth taking. They are best lived in the moment, no past, no future in wanton disregard of any safety net. 

This week I will spend some time backpacking on the West Rim, climbing in Zion and working on research. All this while living inside a national park with some of the craziest and most awesome people I have ever met. In some things, I am a hopeless romantic. This summer is set to be one of the greatest. I have not - for the longest time - had so much hope for the future.


Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Don't you dare quit on me!

When a river is blocked enough, it becomes a lake. The depth of the lake builds. The banks become serene. Animals migrate toward its banks. It is a lovely state. Nevertheless, this is not the true state of the river. Its true state is its twisting, carving, rapidly flowing nature. It was never supposed to sit in a stationary state. Humanity is also a river. We are a river flowing towards a more perfect existence. We strive for perfection through our religions, by designing new forms of government and experimenting with our current way of being. For when there is a lull, complacence becomes rampant and the river to this liberated existence stagnates.

It is important for us to keep this river flowing. Our humanity sits as a lake. Even though it does appear peaceful and serene, it is not our path! Let us not look at its placid surface as everything downstream dies!

I have started to see the world very differently. There is not much I would not fight against right now. So long have I enjoyed the placid nature of this existence. Who am I, I sometimes wondered, to question the reasoning of the masses? Yet there are so many that are not happy even with this very placid state.

I decided to fight Zion National Park's decision to not work with my VISTA non-competitive status. I could have just rolled over and accepted it. It may have worked better for my career. However, I can bear the injustice no more. Why should people who help the impoverished in other countries or college students be given better status than I, who stayed domestically to help out those who have to suffer while comparing themselves to others who live such luxuriant lifestyles only miles away? I may be no champion to be lionized. However, I will be the gnat that dissents. A gnat's life seems to suit me.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

A cool burn

The dry summer heat washes over my heart like an iron. It flattens the wrinkles of struggle and makes creases of the lessons. So much struggle so far ... so much more to come. This is my time to breathe, to let loose the calm nature of my soul, expand my consciousness and bring close those destructive qualities that may hinder my path. 

Today, I do not know if I have two months or six. Whether or not this break lasts, I shall embrace it as a possible existence.

Two days ago, I stood at a belay station looking at a pitch. I was the last to follow and the first to express interest in the lead. It was a traditional route with the last pitch all sport. The bolts more than 20 feet apart in the beginning, along the traverse. I knew I could manage the route, but my head started to deter me from my path. And suddenly, I said "Let's go." And I flashed the route. The scary parts were scary. The first two bolts were pretty exposed. I led out across the wall and came out to the arete, felt the road under me and saw the last bolt was no more.  The crux came and went without notice. One-hundred-forty feet later, I watched little Lego cars drive and honk in the panoramic view of the canyon.

Micro-fractures may still form in this little paradise. Maybe some night while I lie alone - jaded in my quest to find the perfect love - I may find myself wondering if I could ever be that passionate of a lover again. For love without passion is no love at all. So I will close my eyes and be hopeful.

Hope is a guiding light for a wandering soul. 


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Ambitiously enduring.