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Friday, December 30, 2011

Small things keep me going.

I could feel every warming particle of air as I walked yesterday. It hung on me in a cloud as thick as water itself. Then, I was climbing. Ledge, mantel, hand-foot match, crimper, crimper, mono-pocket all came long in the moment and then instantly gone until the next. We climbed out, packs on, ate at the old store and slung our headlamps around our necks. In the sunset, deep in conversation, we hiked through an old railway tunnel. While in the middle, a dot of light hung on the horizon. The body walked forward in the calm and conversation, not sensing the light was far or near. No other light, just the subtle feeling that if one would focus on the light, all else would fade. Then, we walked on through the night.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Sobering thoughts

silhouettes of trees in the dark that night
as I walked alone, away from the crowd
and I knew then that I was not I
except then

I scream outward
further am I now

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Don't be such a downer

The cold, metallic taste, rises from the back of my throat. Three pills down, five more to go, and the nausea will build until again I am awake at 2am, sweating, needing to vomit, yet staying the desire to fulfill this primitive urge. I would rather just disappear into obscurity until the task is complete. I would rather not joke or share stories, or be around anyone.

Deep breath. I can't be such a downer. Deep breath, and I try to focus on one thing that will make me happier. Something not ephemeral. Something small and constant, begrudgingly good.

Sigh. Let's do this again with a smile. It's the wrong time to be dragging other people down.

Happy Holidays.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Again, I sit on the brink.

I still remember the night in Portland when I found out I was homeless. The summer air hung on me. It clung to my clothes as I walked. My breath, shallow, starved my brain. I had faced the fear of the unknown and cowered. I lost hope. This was the consequence.  I shrunk from what could have become to follow the sure thing.

It may have been fruitless to hope in the vastness of the unknown, but what else is there unless I held onto hope?

Till my last dying breath, I shall hope. When the summer air stands above me and casts its eyes down again, I shall be looking up and saying, "Hey, I'm here, and I have hope. Do your worst because I no longer fear the pain of loss."

I shall embrace the loss until I win this tireless game.

Or I shall die trying.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Because I could not just say, OK.

Cold smoke drifts from your mouth into mine. Needless space to pass the time, from mouth to mouth, before they intertwine. I do not have you. For not even the fairest notion of have doth have you. I feel you. Your freedom breathes on me gracefully as our lips part. I nestle my hand down and you slip yours into mine. From me, a stutter of infrequent gasps. Oh how our minds do climb.

Sunday, December 04, 2011

Future v. Fear

Perpendicular patterns march above as I stare at our white suspended ceiling. The yellow iridescence from a cheap light shines outward, not bright, not dim. I look down. I see the cheap painted white wood paneling, a fern and two plants I do not recognize. Weird pictures hang on the wall, once jokes but now fixtures in this place.

I sigh.


Can  I let nostalgia creep in and not destroy myself? I have had some bad times, but they were mixed with such beautiful experiences. I yearn for that greatness even if it comes with such pain. For life is meant for living. 

As Pia used to say, "You'll never be free, Brian, until you let go of all fear."

I think I finally  understand what she meant. What is there to fear? We all die. Well all have one life. For what is life if we do not expose it to all the risks for the sake of life.

I want to run faster. I want to fall on my knees, unable to breathe, gasping for one breath of air. I want to push it to the very limit and test it, always.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Lonely

Can you agree that love is most important?

These days, I find the most upsetting instances lost in a state of hopeful loneliness. Why "hopeful" loneliness? Well, "hopeful" because I never look out into the world with a feeling as if it will be forever. This moment, I know, will be ephemeral. However, the hope gives it a sting. I keep looking, wondering and hoping probably when I should not. Probably when I should steer my mind toward other things.

I spent the past two weeks with friends and family. One week spent visiting my brother capped off with my sister and  favorite niece and nephew. One week spent with old friends who moved out to California five or so years ago. I had not  seen these friends in years. It felt nice to see them together. Last time, I saw one of them. They were having a rough patch, and I gave my friend the advice of a hundred fleeting relationships. I believe it is this advice that might have given him the insight of what he had right in front of him, how precious it was. Needless to say, they reminded me that I had yet to attain any such thing in my life.

So I guess I can agree with you now, if you have come to such a conclusion: love is really most important.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Something I wrote a while back


My eyes closed as the car neared the airport. I took a full breath and felt the air course through me. It was cleaner air this time. It felt fresh as I moved around the car and thrusted the expedition pack onto my back. It was 50 pounds, but felt light. I hugged my best friend good bye. 

“Clear up your head,” he said. “I don’t like seeing you like this.”

“I’ll be OK, now.” I replied in a calm tone. 

My friend knew I had hit the wall. He could not tell when, but I had changed. I slammed into it and refused to admit my injuries. I lost my will and desire. I fell away from unguarded optimism and began to submit to the classic Midwestern malaise.  My belly fell outward. It ruined the balance of my mountain climber physique. I felt needlessly worthless, and I began drinking more. Each drink lubed the mental and physical descent.

With the pack secured, I started the walk through Lambert International. I smiled at pretty ladies in line. My curiosity rising and falling in the depths of imagined voyages and destinations.  Where do all the old ladies at airports go, and why are there always so many of them? I pondered.

A month ago, I felt the shiver of the night air. The wind stung as it whipped around my naked hand. Two fingers held a clove cigarette.  In this manner I routinely walked for miles on end. I spent the day at work, the night walking rural America in utter boredom and depression. I focused on the moments that brought me here. I was lost in the hopes and dreams of my youth.

The cell buzzed. “Ya feeling better, bro?” he asked before telling me about his latest adventure with another Hawaiian beauty. My brother’s stories incited jealousy but also provided a venue for escape from the constant boredom and lack of action my small town afforded.

“I’m buying you a plane ticket. You have to come out and see this while I am still here. When you’re successful, you’re sure as hell paying me back though,” he stated.

I said sure, but told him not to count on me being successful anytime soon. He rebutted by calling me a piece of shit for thinking so lowly of myself. He reminded me that I was stronger than all this self-loathing crap. He told me: Be stronger.  I agreed to take the ticket. The next day, I scheduled a vacation.

As I walked through the terminal, I told myself that I would find balance by grabbing every opportunity, seizing every moment and living as if there was no chance of any return. I was tired of the malaise.
~
I arrived at the Honolulu airport a little after noon, grabbed my bags and sat outside in the warm breeze. I stared at the palms and wondered what they might think about me. Could they see me starting to open my soul to the world again? Could they feel me stealing the energy from their warm Pacific breeze, building my reserves to go back to the torrent from which I came? I thanked them for the fresh air, and felt a smile forming as I thought of the prospects of finding my center again. 

My brother, a tattooed warrior of rippled muscle and menacingly placed scars, arrived in style. Reggae tapped a solid beat from his doorless jeep. Our differences were stark. He constantly broke all the rules, flagrantly abused the patience of others and laughed at the world that had yet to kill him. In the County Wexford, he stopped on a one way bridge and flipped off the locals because he needed a snapshot. In Dublin, he punched a cop after running drunkenly through the streets.

I had trouble telling people, no. I gave my time volunteering as a full-time, AmeriCorps member working countless hours coordinating the first year of a new service program at a college that wanted little of the change I suggested. I was jealous of his wild adventures and freer attitude. 

“Throw your shit in the back, and let’s go,” he said. A moment later adding, “It’s good you’re here.”

During the six days I visited, we swam in the ocean gawking at the women near the hotels of Waikiki. We argued over climbing techniques on the rocky basalt cliffs of the North Shore, kayaked, snorkeled and watched a polo match near the beach. We welcomed chance and invited two beautiful women from Portland on our journeys. We challenged each other continuously, running out on rocky cliffs as the tide rushed in violently against the shore. 

I could sum it all up in a moment after swimming dangerously far from the shore. I turned my back and looked out at the wild ocean. It was huge and wild, vast beyond imagination. Behind me was adventure and beauty. Inside though was peace and courage. I was centered again.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

I sit and wonder and wander. For if I can never leave this town - start to move my life in the right direction - shall I collapse in the wake of my path?

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Family

My father died when I was a young boy and an unsettling secret came to the surface.  I was adopted. Their eyes shifted from the side of the elevator as they told me. It was on his deathbed that he demanded that I know. Maybe he always wanted me to know. My mother would have never told me, but maybe he could see the coming storm and how the rest of my family would treat me after he died.

So why does any of this matter at 28? Surely, with great humor, I have settled the score with myself that my family affairs are a bit crazy. They are a bit less than what I want in my life. However, at 28, I also feel the sting of not belonging to any family. I have been too wrapped up in my own work to make any relationship prosper. Therefore, I have no family of my own. As far as the aforementioned family, people I grew up with as sisters "friend" me on Facebook only to claim me as their cousin. My "sister" does not even respond to a request to have dinner while I am in the same city as her for nearly three weeks. This was the very sister who saved me from so much heartache after my father first passed. She introduced me to the mountains, to the only thing that held my mind open to the world and its possibilities. Now, she is but a stranger to me. Other sisters treat me as a stranger all together. I have seen one sister in a grocery store where her eyes shifted and she acted as if I was a stranger. I feel I was never really a part of this family. I was but a stranger popping in to say hello.

Other than this family, I have a biological one. Mostly, I have two sisters and a brother. My brother and I talk from time to time. His work carries him all over the world. He lives in exotic places and always has an exciting story, or three, to share. We get along, but we have never spent that much time together in person. We have always been so far away from each other. My oldest sister and I are not so close at all. We are closer in distance, but not so very close when it comes to talking about things. She has a busy life and two young ones who mean the world to her. The other sister is but 15 and estranged from me by distance and a very different style of life.

Most mornings I don't even think about any of this. I could care less.



But when I do, I realize how alone I am. 

Adventure leads me back to some connection with the world. I wish I had some big adventure to take my mind from all this. Yet, here in Illinois, I have none. The mountains are not here, and most of my truer friends have left in search of their own mountains. I wake up feeling despondent on mornings like this. So I bury myself in a book about water and go on.

"Life for you has been less than kind
So take a number,  stand in line
We've all been sorry, we've all been hurt
But how we survive,  is what makes us who we are" - Rise Against

Monday, September 19, 2011

Darkness

Allow the senses to come alive. Close off the known world. Go inward to find a pattern in the abstraction of sounds ... or find calmness in the silence. 

Such is darkness.

It shrouds the known, but the reality is still the same. Some fear darkness. I do not. In the absence of light, the world does not become a dark place. The world still "shines" with life, some breathing more freely, more succinctly outside the grasp of daytime predators.

I find solace in the darkness when I can walk and be by myself with my thoughts. Lately, I have had much on my mind. Soon, I shall break out my headlamp and go trekking through the night.

Maybe I can make better sense of things.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

gaining steam

Exhale. My breath bubbles up around my head.

Reach. My hand slides into the water.

Push. My tricep tightens as my hand thrusts my body forward.

My feet kick. My mind turns. Exhale. Reach. Push. Over and over.

BREATHE.


And somewhere in there, I find a rhythm, and am suddenly ... OK. I once looked at this water and thought it would be nice to be able to swim 10 laps without stopping. Tonight, I swam 38. Two days ago, I swam 40 in 40 minutes. I still feel slow. Yet, I am improving.

And it is still so early to write about what has happened so recently. It was part of my decision on Long's Peak. It was part of a decision to no longer settle, to no longer just get by, but to aspire and conquer the moment, to make a mark, to make those first steps to the life I really want. I have so many times in the past let life slip by, not danced when I should have, not shouted out when the moment called for it.  I have moved at a slower rhythm than what I could have because it was easier that way. I thought if I did not put my full effort forward, I could not blame myself if I failed.

That is no life!

Zion was a turning point for me. Long's Peak was the corner where I gain steam and set my rhythm. This year will not be the crucible. This year words gain actions. 

The proof of the pudding is in the eating.

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Lost Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park















Long's Peak














The sun fell away from the granite mountains. I stood in the middle of two peaks on the side of another, 13,000 feet high, shivering and unprepared for the absence of the sun. The heat made its farewell. The cold introduced itself. I shunned its surprise intensity. As often happens when I find myself unprepared, I started to doubt. I started crave any semblance of comfort I could latch onto. Did I err in taking this chance without the gear I may have needed? Visions of WFR training flashed in my mind. No! I reasoned with myself. This vision is a fairy tale. I may be cold. I may be cold all night. However, there was something more to be done. It may rain on me in the night, my bag may freeze, and I may find myself shivering and lacking enough gear. Yet, this was not the case right then. It was merely my imagination trying to fix everything before it happened.

As I lay there, I began to let all the possibilities go. I would sleep a few hours, wiggle out of my sleeping bag, and then immediately awaken to the shock of the cold wind against my body. Soon the sound of footsteps and labored voices found their way up the side of the mountain. A few would stop, ask me silly questions such as, "How'd you sleep? Cold?"    Har har ...  

I cleaned up my gear, and stared up at the mountain. It looked ferociously cold, yet what was the journey for if I didn't just tough it out. A man came by and offered me a hat for my bald head, and suddenly all doubt vanished. I could not let this good gesture go without an accomplishment. I soon found myself at the summit. It was just another summit for me. Yet it was about something more.

I noticed something in the night, something during the hike up, something scrambling up the side of the rock. I was soft. I was not ready in my mind for many journeys. Yet, here I was, and I was one of the people who easily scaled the peak. I was one of the people who was not out of breath at 14,000 ft. People took me for a local, and were bewildered when I told them I lived in the Midwest. The world is often a place of unimaginable possibilities, and sometimes we must foresee the possibilities that seem out of our grasp or out of our possibilities. I must shoot not for what I can accomplish in an afternoon lingering by a ranger station. I shall shoot for those things that take much work, much of my mind and much of my strength to accomplish. For Long's Peak was a fun experience, but nothing as others made it out to be.

It's time I start shooting for my real potential.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A look back before the look forward.

I convince myself time and time again that some things do not matter. However, in reality, they pierce through my shell and strike at my very core. How dysfunctional I feel at times. Here I am. I live where I do not feel at home. I push most people away, and then when all of it hits me, I feel bewildered. How did I become this man? And when will it all be worth it.

My brother once told me that I was too focused on the future. He said I would miss the present. I do not feel he is completely right. I climb when I can. I try to dive into the social scene as much as I can. I bike. I run. I swim. I go on random adventures. Yet, I hold back a piece of me while I am here. I cannot go all out. I cannot be my full self. I am so scared of staying here. I became distant from Alice simply for the reason of saving myself from staying here for two extra years. Was it worth it?

I am traveling to Colorado for three weeks come this weekend. I have many things planned. This trip has been a long time coming. I need to revamp my spirits and intellect. If I have learned anything from all of this, it is this: I must believe in myself and my actions. I cannot afford to dilly dally and question all my actions. This will be a great time to reflect on who I am, what I want and where I shall go.

This year will be a time of many changes. I shall apply to law school, finish my master's degree and train for three races, one which seems nearly impossible at this point. I am already making progress with all three. Nothing is impossible.

"We aim above the mark to hit the mark." - Ralph Waldo Emerson.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Negative Nancy Post.

Maybe this is a bit in the moment and maybe I am taking too much from this; however there is an evident pattern happening here.

I really hope I don't spend the rest of my life alone. I feel that I am too easily forgotten.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

To lose a friend is an awful thing.

To lose and pretend one's loss is but a trifle when it is simply not has become a specialty of mine. I will have to face it one day, but here, in the present, I march forward into more mysterious days. Expressed later as a tear or a grip of sorrow, I will wince away and prevent anyone from seeing it. I know some will know when I start to fall into a melancholy state of mind of how I carry loss for some time afterward. By now, even I realize, the amount of pain perceived later will be greater than the amount of pain I receive now. Yet time is of the essence now. I cannot slow down.

Soon I will be alone on a path in the mountains, camping underneath the stars and collecting myself before this final onslaught before law school. I shall then shed tears for those friends who were lost, who conveyed that their real interests were not in friendships, but rather in words. Maybe, as they say, I am too dramatic. Yet what is the value of a friendship if it is only expressed in words? For me, a friend is someone nearer and truer. A friend is someone I should/would give up something great to end his/her struggle. A friend for me is someone truly special. If one does not value my friendship, I shall not carry it too far. I would rather it fall by the wayside, and hope it sprouts legs and walks back and proves that I was wrong in my pursuit to cast it out. I have friends who are fun and funny, witty and intelligent, deep and caring, terse and straight, lonely and wandering, curious and wondering. I have friends of all types. They are sometimes the only ones I can count on.

I know that for some, I will never be a good friend. I will never be able to give them what they need. However sad it may be, part of life is acceptance. I shall accept this reality, and move towards those who need me or want me in their life.

"A friend to all is a friend to none." - Aristotle.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Wisdom and Courage

Deep, green, iridescent swirls spiral downward and across in a slow moving spring somewhere. The stones that sleep at the side of this pool, lay covered with the inscriptions of ten thousand years. Humble is the one who stands at the side of this well. His feet press against the stone where he too must make his inscription. His mind traces the unforgiving eddies. Is his heart calm? Or does it leap at each beat, artfully chasing the rhythm of his desires? Only his heart can tell him what inscription to make. Once an inscription is made, he knows the only thing to do is jump. It is the unknown that scares him the most.

Somewhere is my spring and my inscription. I pray for the wisdom to make my inscription. I pray for the courage to jump.

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Scene Aesthetic

How great the aesthetics of this world do affect me. The white, puffy clouds, grow and flow outward against the crystal blue sky. Relaxation shimmers in a silent, meandering spring. Inspiration to aspiration flows down across me with the wind as it rips down silent, granite peaks in an intrinsic, inescapable melody. I am connected to these beautiful instances. 

I look into my mind accepting and expecting nothing less than this dynamism. Yet, from time to time, I find myself  not following this happier path. I find myself falling and then waking in the stream of discontent. The aesthetics of my social world greatly affect me. The people I allow into my life either help me balance and succeed, or they - with their self-destructive forces - twist my optimism enough to pull me from my path.

Carbondale is a dangerous place. Sometimes, it feels as if I am on a river, paddling against the current. Behind me, there is a giant waterfall, and I have seen not only the water's edge, but the mist wafting from the canyon floor. This past winter, I became so depressed as I struggled to find someone to trust. I thought countless times of how it could fall apart, of how I again may slip into poverty. (Even if I intentionally slipped last time, I feel as if I came too close to not being able to support myself. I lost a lot of confidence in the process.)

 I have some great friends here. Yet I am also introduced to those who will only tear me from a better aesthetic. I want to see the best in everyone, but I must keep guard. It is beyond me how so many get swept into so much self destruction when there is, truly is, so much beauty in this world.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Be Earnest

Truth be told, my last post was not too sincere. I guess sometimes we have to pick whether we want to digest all the truth and accept the reality of the situation or live in fantasy.

Truth is important. It's acceptance shapes the perception for everything. I would rather accept the world for how it is.

I have a way of not liking some of my decisions. Yet, for many reasons, I do not make decisions for absurd reasons. I have no idea how a situation may change after my decision. I am simply a man who has to do the best with what he has got.

I have great friends who celebrate the light and stand by me in the darkness. Thank you.

I am also very grateful for who I am and for the experiences that have led me this way. 

Some distant day maybe people will stop seeing me for who I am not. They might see that I don't live as a reckless figure, but as a man who has a plan to live a peaceful life; someone who can fall asleep knowing he did not take his excess from one who could not afford to lose a morsel. My conscience hangs over me as a wise, old friend. He reminds me that even in the darkest of times, it is not worth losing the truer aspects of my soul. For this, I am very thankful. For now, while some see me in such a dismal light, I shall stare up into those cherished stars while remembering my younger self on so many lonely, warm nights. I burned for everything back then. I would have accepted anyone. I would have forgiven anyone. I let my heart loose and wished for so much.

So I have been burnt a few times now ... Truth is that I live for this. I live for the optimism that I may someday find what I have searched so far for.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Well ... That's what I get.


I fell in love with a young girl. I knew what was going to happen, and then it did. What a bummer! C'est la vie. I never expected too much from the relationship anyway. If not for Zion, it would not have compared to too many of my other relationships ...  Zion was amazing.

I need to get back out West. I need to be more picky about who I date also. Yet, I am glad I was optimistic enough to believe in it in the first place.

I shall be optimistic again. With that I say good night, for I go back to my first love (beautiful rock climbing) tomorrow. :-)

Saturday, May 14, 2011

My hope is a young tree

I sat with someone last night, and I wondered why I had cared so much so long ago. In the night, sitting there talking, I felt as if she was a fine girl, but I could never give her what she needs or wants from life. For love had no chance down this path. 

As time courses over my soul, it roughens it in some places, smooths it in others. It leaves memories only a semblance of what they once were. The present gives a certain crispness in lieu of such fading emotions. For once, I was in love. Now, I am a man who can see the futility in it all. So instead, I will climb. I will run. I will bike. I will study and write; and I will cultivate my mind. For if there is no soul that feels utterly attached to mine, then I shall break free from the shackles of this cumbersome burden of trying to find something that does not exist. 

My hope is a young tree. Given water and sunshine in its youth, it burrowed its roots deep underground. It understands that deep roots will pull up the groundwater during a drought. It understands that deep and wide roots will help keep it stable. Like any tree, it knows the higher it grows, the more storms, the more winds, the more danger it will face. Some will come and want to chop it down for the moment of energy they might gain. Some will come with their poison and try to taint the groundwater. But I have already tested the texture of this tree. I have thrown fires at it that may have killed other trees with less bark. I have given it no water and asked it to grow. I have turned my back on this tree too many times.

Nevertheless, this tree has saved me.

It has kept me from the brink and sheltered me from what is sometimes a desert of despair. 

It has been nurtured by few, and it has pulled from the greatness of  the unknown. It has held onto the aesthetic and basked in the glory of adventure and freedom

This young tree will most likely endure much more. Yet, I should strive harder to give it fresher water and a fresher view.  

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Exam Day

What seems impossible is just a task for which we have not devised a strategy. Steinbeck wrote that he would feel the burden of any of his books as something impossible. Yet, his writing has given birth to some of the best American prose.

I recently took a law exam. Soon, I will be measured against people who have been in the practice of studying for law and writing law exams for three years. It is as if I jumped on a harder climb to see what it is like and found myself confidently climbing. The challenge of this exam was a bit like a climb. It was scary. It was nerve wracking at times. Yet, the journey through the test and the feeling afterward made me feel amazing.

I cannot lose sight of who I am.
I cannot lose sight of what I need from this life.

Sunday, May 01, 2011

Writing for Catharsis

"You may not trust the promises in the change I show, but I will be yours if you'll be mine," Mumford & Sons sang last summer at Bonnaroo. I was just listening to it, and it forced my hand to write these words. I just needed to get them out.

I sometimes can't get over the fact we shared so much. We shared a love for reading great literature, the same literature, and the lyrics of great music carried our hearts together as we walked. So deep was our connection, that when she tempted to go out onto that vertical ledge of the climbing world, she sounded as if she knew the rhythm of my heart, and it carried back into me, and I felt excited again about the prospects of climbing in a new place. I can understand more knowing now that I cannot have her ... and knowing how great and how painful it is to share this with her. It is an empathy that stings with pain, that creases my heart to be gentler and yet braver knowing that it can endure much more than what I once thought.

I have thought a lot of where I will go this summer once the UCOWR conference and LSAT is done. I have thought maybe I will take a friend with me. I have also thought that maybe I will see my brother. I have also more recently thought that I will go off on my own for a while. I may stay in the U.S., and yet I may leave. There are benefits to both. I wonder where this world will take me?

The rain falls tonight in little drops. I will soon finish the last question in stats and then pick up a friend at the train station in the wee morning hours. I feel calm and well. Writing always seems to soothe my heart.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

You there! Keep a lookout!

Out there, the desert seemed to be everywhere. Water was precious. It gave meaning to me. I felt it wash over my skin as I jumped into baby blue Lake Powell. I remember rolling through the waves like a seal, the crimson cliffs TOWERING above me. The red rock served as a constant reminder that the desert was still out there, thirsty and dangerous. Without water, I would have withered.

It is good to remember the truth of things. For even when a tiny sliver of truth remains, it will live on. The Midwest ruins the importance of water. It seems to be everywhere.

Yet, there are many things that are missing here. And if I can find them here, I am sure they will course over my rough soul just as the smooth waters of Lake Powell once coursed over my rough skin. 

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Friendship

This is Easter.

I could ramble on in another of my posts. Yet, I won't.

I would give everything for a genuine hug.

It isn't so much the tasks. It is the haunting feeling that as I "progress" in life, I fall away from friends, loved ones and the more important aspects of what makes this life great.

The Warm Pre-summer Drizzle

The leaves are out again. Their presence brings about a renewal of life. Presently, a warm drizzle wafts down from above. Today reminds me of Pennsylvania.

~ I finished my first year of university. I was down about leaving Colorado, but excited about a journey that brought me back to something more fulfilling and meaningful. It was an adventure for a purpose, but it meandered in a grand way. I had met a kindred spirit (the first I had met in my 19 years). We had written letters back and forth since meeting. It was a rambling poetic prose that fed from the vigor of our youth and expression of two poetic hearts. Back then, I thought I was in love. I had never met another kindred. I was determined to find out what it all meant.

Very soon, I found myself a summer camp counselor in the Poconos. I embarked on four hour trips to see this kindred spirit who was in actuality, a very sharp and shy contrast from her words. We met the first time on an island bridge in the fog. We met then and only one time since. Our friendship has survived, however, within the same kindred prose. Other times I remember, were the days I spent on the Delaware, days sailing with my kids, the mid-afternoon runs, the jaunts with the French gymnastics coach while I practiced my then, more practiced French, the sparring with the karate instructor, and the random adventures with my Scottish friend, Si. Life was new and bewildering. I had never been out East. I felt out of place, but at one in the midst of so much drive and ambition. ~

And now I feel that I sit here, at a crossroads in my life. Many people become more distant. I am getting older and hopefully wiser. I am forgiving myself for so many mistakes. For they have crafted my heart to see the world through this unique lens. 

Monday, April 18, 2011

An ode to the adventurous, cantankerous spirit

Why do people band together expectant of receiving benefits - benefits till this point that were only imagined never a reality? Why are any of us entitled to expect more from this life than just the ordinary? Why should we carve a path of our own, seek out the things that will make us stronger, more complete?

We are entitled because we breathe. We walk this earth and our conscious state should not succumb to the mundane.

I see a pattern forming. As life gets less dangerous, less mysterious, we lose more and more of ourselves. The bars of this prison get closer and closer. Why travel another world away when we read about it, listen to it and see it on Google.com? Why find a person of another culture when we can see him on a popular sitcom?

If we choose to live in the real world, full of peaks and troughs, it will be a rougher road. Yet! What are we here for? To breathe for the simple pleasure of breathing? NO! We are here to feel the pain, the anguish, the love, the depth of appreciation, the goose bumps, the chills, the mystery and rhythm that pervades life. If one chooses the "safe" known path, she will miss out on all this.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

It's better with an open heart.


"So if ever someone says to you, "Life isn't fair. Get used to it." Then you should say, "Well, it might be, if folks like you would let it be."

It's a lot easier to be cold, but it's not life. I'd rather just work through the pain finally. It's clear she doesn't want me now. It takes a lot of courage to admit I was wrong, and to lower myself, accepting my faults. Yet this is the only way I'll get back to my true self. I could care less what people think. I wish she wouldn't have said  what she said. I wish she didn't ignore me now. The only things she says back to me are things I've done wrong. I guess that is fair enough. In the long run, I'd rather see it for how it is.

I went climbing today and then on a run. It felt good to be surrounded by people I knew, focusing on the rock and my movements. I climbed harder than usual and some good inner strength came back. I didn't fear the falls. I just took them.

I feel good that I finally told her how I felt. I needed to. It's a fair deal, I guess, that she doesn't have to even respond. I imagine she's just afraid to tell me how it really is. Acceptance can be a hazy mess sometimes. I always like to play the optimist, but I can see the end. I can see it and when I can accept it, I guess I can move on and keep my feelings with me this time. Last time, I just buried them with coldness. I knew I still cared, but I just buried them and accepted it as it couldn't be. Now it seems to be over. I guess I just wanted to hear it from her so I could move on with my feelings.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

A run in the cold rain

To feel the first moments of a run while the rain came down and the cold shook my limbs was not a definite mystery. My cool muscles twitched nervously without rhythm. My lungs felt the shock of the cool air and my bald head felt the pain as the wind and cold greeted it in sudden gusts.

A few moments occurred where I sat in my car and wondered if the five miles in these conditions were really worth it. I knew it would only be the first half mile that would be painful. After this point, my joints and muscles would be properly warm, and I would fall into a rhythm. I also knew that last night while I sat in bed trying to fall asleep, I longed to run and run. I longed to reach out and touch the inner rhythms of my mind. I have to start realizing the value of things.

So many times, the moment, the place, the person is lost on us.

How dare I then not run! How dare I shrink away from life again? What am I here for but to live and breathe, to feel the pulse of life and vivacity of how extremely good and bad it can be?

Acceptance and patience are not virtues of mine. I accept too much then too little. I never wait long enough or when the time counts I wait too long. There are things I need from this life. I should move more swiftly in the present and the future. The past is past.

Friday, April 15, 2011

Steinbeck is a good friend.

With my mind wrapped around Steinbeck, I sit back against my bed and feel the cool breeze. I can't think of a better way to spend the night. George Washington is credited with the quote, "It is far better to be alone than to be in bad company." I doubt he was the first to say it. It must be a timeless sentiment. I am really tired of the scene here in Carbondale.

I can't wait to strike out onto the rock this summer. It poured tonight. So I doubt the rock will be dry tomorrow. Besides, I have too much work to get done. Tomorrow night is another story though. I'm going to snag a campsite somewhere. I know of a few backcountry sites that may be free and that would give me some more solitude. Or I could just settle on any site. I doubt with it dipping near 40, there will be much competition (maybe in Jackson). 

I could want for a thousand things right now, but it's just not worth it. I have a feeling that if I stick to my guns, people will be sorry for doubting me. I think if I stick to my guns, I will have no reason to doubt myself. Besides, life is just more fun and fulfilling this way.

The Power to Help a Person (never forget who I am)

I always seem to have the weirdest dreams.

~I saved a small girl. Her parents were horrible people. They yelled at her constantly. They yelled such negative things as parents often do when they seem to put the burden of never wanting kids directly on their kids. While sobbing uncontrollably, the small girl walked into the busy street. I felt tense as I watched car after car dodge her. Then, I could stand still no longer. I rushed into the traffic and snatched her up.

I saved her, and then I refused to give her up. I told her I would show her a way to find happiness. I refused to let society make yet another person miserable.~

This dream reminds me of something. First, I should not give up. There are people who need me to get through this. There are people who suffer, and I cannot help them if I am weak. Second, I must keep that genuine part of my soul alive. I love to help people. It is a major part of me. I have to keep it even if it hurts me, even if I make no money nor have a family of my own. I am not doing this for some obscure reason. I am doing it for every reason.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Emotions .... bleh.

I guess it doesn't have to be worth anything. At least it is sunny and warm outside.

I hate the phrase, "You'll find the right girl." I hate it especially coming from an ex who said she still loved me the night before. People are so fickle and inconsistent. Why does it even matter to me so much? Sometimes, I hate my emotional weakness.


It's time to see it for how it is: 
  1. I need to start believing in myself again. 
  2. Everything will fall into place.
  3. Truth exists.
  4. The people who abandon you weren't worth it. They will never be worth it. 
  5. Every day is a new chance to find what I need from life.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Slow it down

Thank you, Mr. Monet for a painting like Venice at Twilight. It is the culmination of slow and deliberate work. It reminds me that my hand must also move with slow, careful, deliberate strokes. For I so fear that something will pass me by that I move without the careful navigation that life sometimes necessitates.

I must take a deep breath, slow it down and steer my ship out to sea. 

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Bluegrass makes my heart smile


Be Loud. Let your colors show.

Be Loud. Let the others know. First a whisper then it grows.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

Can you feel it ?

"Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could; some blunders and absurdities have crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; you shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense." - RWE



I flop out of bed and into the shower. I wash away all the "old nonsense."  This day will give me something new. It will come with all the adventures within the realm of possibility. All I have to do is keep my eyes open. No more time to wish. Just time to think and act. Actions will decide everything. 

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Rambles from the office as I stare out the window.

Late night as I walk in trees' shadows cast by the yellow lights, my mind feels as free as the wind. The silence seeps out from each branch. It covers my overworked, frantic mind. It silences it as well.

I walk in these warming nights and recover a part of myself. We live in such a crazy world. We surround ourselves with media at every point. I spend the day near a computer, whether it is designing, composing or writing. I frantically pour through research articles, law journals and court cases. I have to decipher this complex code of each word and phrase with a contextual history. It is challenging. It is invigorating.

YET! YET!

If we don't allow our brains to rest, what use are we tomorrow? Tomorrow I would only be half the man. Tomorrow, I may not even be a tenth of the man. How many years did it take for me to realize the importance of letting my brain rest, of knowing it would take more than a beer and sometimes a beer would be no rest at all? How many days did it take to realize that some of the most strenuous and physical things were the greatest rest for my brain? A hardworking man may feel pain in his bones. Yet, he feels a deepening of the mind.

I feel a productive day coming on tomorrow. It is 8pm. I'm still here in the office. Yet for some reason I'm not too tired ... I feel hope gaining in my heart. I deleted my Facebook more than a week ago. I feel a rush of life returning with the trees' new buds.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A hopeless, wandering soul

I slid down and fell beside you. I didn't know you. Then I knew you in a second, and as you laid your head on my shoulder, you said, "I think it's going to be OK now."

And This was the destined two not finding anything other than solace in another. A feeling of courage crept into both hearts and spread outward in an emancipation of joy, a bond formed and not forgotten.  It was a bond to laugh at the world and maybe even almost destroy itself in the torrent - a bond felt in the midst of this perennial storm.

Atoms jumped from one to another as if not even a single difference existed. For love made us the same element crafted and designed a million years ago for just this purpose.

And I slid beside you and accepted it. It was a desire fed from a common isolation in a world of billions.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Innocence.

I want to redefine Innocence.

Does it matter where one comes from? If I were to ask a friend about his early days in Africa, and he told me about the slaughter of his family, his days as a child soldier and all the horrible atrocities, could I then say "this man has lost his innocence?" Is the love of a woman who has never slept with another man more valuable than one who has slept  with many men, maybe even some women? Is someone who never got lost, never felt down, never indulged in some self-destructive act more valuable than I?

I say no, not necessarily.

How I hold my head in the morning is innocence. It is the bright optimism gleaming from the faces of the youth as they stare up at us wondering what the world will hold. It is the moment of optimism in a sea of despair.

When I awoke this morning, I knew I had again captured a piece of my innocence. I wanted to believe in myself again and scour the world for all the hope and imagination I could rustle up. I didn't draw this from another, but rather from my imagination as I dreamt. For when my eyelids fell, someone came to me with all the optimism and character of an innocent. She inspired me again to care, to be myself, to listen to the world and try to see the goodness in it all. Yet not all was as it seemed. As we became closer in the dream, she told me she had secrets which she could never tell me. Deep secrets that would ruin our time. Even so, I pressed her to tell me. I said I needed to know. (My fear of secrets and silly lies even rears ugly in my dreams.) She told me that she had been with many people before me. She told me she used to be a stripper. She wept uncontrollably. Was all lost now? Could I be inspired to be innocent by one who was clearly not so? NO! She was innocent! She believed in the optimism to smile, to believe, to be her best and no matter what past pushed her down, she had the inspiration and courage to find her true self again.  AND at least to me, THAT is the real quality of life. When we have gone down such a path and feel steam building in our heart to break free and be just a moment in our true forms again ... When we have had enough ... When we peer out again knowing what damage the ravages of love has caused before ... When we stop believing the naysayers ... When we stop accepting the table scraps from those who say we should accept things for the way they are ... When it is in your heart and you feel that push for freedom ...

Then dance, sing, love uncontrollably, revolt! Whatever a person must do. I, for one, will not believe in innocence being a part of a singular moment only caught then lost. For we are all fading in and out of our innocence.

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Ambitiously enduring.