Friday, October 31, 2008
Is it home? I don't know. I don't know where home is... Earth. Globally speaking, not regionally pinpointed.
Unless we were to speak of the habitats that constitute my collective childhood memory, in a time where home was more defined than just a feeling. The canopied streets of Boise, the sand and smell of its sage spangled foothills, the water of the arterial river that flows through it all and the days spent swinging into it from terrifying heights. The drive between here and New Meadows, that twisting, convoluted form of a house outside of McCall that seems to bow ever lower with each passing season. The footbridges and sparkling waterways and trails that carve through the Ponderosa forests, the local haunts we've danced the nights away at, whose borrowed letters helped us conquer the Alphabet Game on timeless road trips as children. The small cities, who in and of themselves have an identity to be missed and longed for - relatives of the soul, checkpoints on so many journeys - Banks, Lake Fork, Cascade, Smith's Ferry. The infamy of the Horseshoe Bend hill, the eerie reminders of the Cougar Mountain Lodge, the straight and broad, dusty road to Warm Lake. This area is what Idaho and I really have in common - our heartland. This part of the planet, even in a lifetime of travels, will forever be a beloved muse.
I'm going trick-or-treating with my sweet, wild little bro TJ this evening. At the tender, innocent age of six, he's elected to be a military Sniper for Halloween. My Dad (mistakenly, he admits) let him play Call of Duty on Playstation for a while, before banishing it for violent content. Aside from that, he comes from a proud military heritage on his maternal side - hopefully we'll play up the inspiration from the latter. :)
Happy Halloween to all!
Friday, October 24, 2008
I'm feeling all sorts of philosophical about things in this moment. Grateful for some writing time after a mellow evening at home - made dinner with my lil buddy WK, a beautiful kid and total joy, not to mention culinary phenom and soccer star.
I've done some blog browsing lately, and have been rewarded with interesting perspectives on a lot of very different individuals. I'm fascinated by the sandwich of life and what people freely choose, and how they portray their creation. Bread on bread of birth and death, and an endless array of fillers, spices, meats, vegs, pastes, creams, jellies etc you can smoosh inbetween. No matter what falls between your slices of birth/death, you've got a existential sandwich (if you will) - 100% unique, no matter how hard you try to follow influences or conform to the fight for non-conformity.
I'm thinking about my life sandwich (again...always...) - the established layers, and the forecast of layers to come, to be sought after. The fun thing about twentysomethinghood is that the space between feels so open-faced, so boundless. There's a huge expectation that you're going to slap some standard fare on there (college, marriage, kids, etc) but no real requirement other than what's in your head, what you're jonesin' for, what you think will create the most fulfillment and joy. For me...
I love, love, love learning. It might be my most favorite of all experiences in the whole Universe. I wouldn't equate a college ed to learning with any nuance of exclusivity, ever. Life is complex, beautiful, rythmic, profound. There are endless avenues of discovery.
Though it comes and goes, and it's definition is transitive and subject to circumstance, companionship is no doubt the most profound sustenance offered at the deli counter. Somewhere in my journey, I fostered a fair but of misandry, which has lent itself to fierce independence and reflexive death rays that shoot down intruders with a moment's scrutiny. I'm seeing that as increasingly benign as I wend my way down the path, alleviating the pressure of a major expected component.
The children in my life are, truly, wondrous beyond description. My vocabulary fails to illustrate the true feeling of inspiration I have gained from their pure energy, intelligence, strength, and beauty. The world is full of such life, brimming with it actually. If all the days of my own life were to pass with vacant womb, I would still be satisfied, heart and soul, with the pitter patter of footsteps on the earth itself, and the song of children everywhere.
On that note, my definition of "standard fare" and my own necessary, vital Life Sandwich components have begun (rather, began some time ago...) a dynamic separation, the latter growing and thinking and re-defining, reconstructing, constantly.
As humans, I think we all feel an intrinsic urge to attain KNOWLEDGE, fight for LOVE, and undertake the CREATION of a meaningful legacy. I want to extend the challenge to myself and anyone who reads this to take an objective, positive look at the daily possibilities for powerfully executing all three objectives and DO, regardless of circumstance.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Hmm let me think.... YES please!
As soon as the prospect came up on the horizon, I felt some guilt surface about spring term of school. (Euro ski trip would be paid for with Spring 09 tuition budget.) I've been really focused on school for the three semesters I've been back - three in a row.
Having taken two years off, and knowing that the motivated people who graduated with me in '05 will be graduating from college this year, I feel a sort of self-imposed rush to hurl my way through, semester after semester, til I get done.
On further thought, I realized what a luxury it is to be where I'm at. If I were graduating from college this year, I'd be on the hunt for a job with benefits and limited vacation time. I'd likely be "ready to settle down" (gag.... cough cough...) which would mean that my free time would give way to a barrage of responsibilities, snowballing every day of my life until I die, more or less. It's not a bad thing....
But to everything, there is a time and a season. And this season, I think I'm going to kick off my academic shoes, feel genuinely happy for the people who pushed their way to a degree, and be completely elated to spend a week shreddin' in Europe.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
They say that love is blind – love is not blind.
Infatuation, on the other hand, at least when unreciprocated….*
Contracts a unique hearing impairment, shifting claims such as:
“I’m not interested in a relationship with you.”
Which translates directly to: “I’m dying for you to ram more of your self-absorbed dialogue about how I’m wrong about this into my brain.”
Translates to: “Maybe! Ask again! I secretly adore you and will eventually give you the answer you seek.”
“This isn’t working out for me - please don’t try to contact me again.”
Translates to: “RARRR, I love a relentless stalking! You’re killing my resistance softly, tiger.”
“The attraction isn’t mutual.”
Translates to: “The nauseated look is part of the game, I’ll jump you very very soon.”
*Has also been linked to pathetic, clumsy behavior, and absence of grace.
*Often features a defunct sense of smell, an icky touch, vision skewed by its own interest.
Infatuation lacks sense(s). Period.
All were in the same boat of undesirability and sugar coated ease, which I wanted to kick from my shores forever and shoot flaming arrows at, like a medieval death raft.
Better to have it far, far from me – whether I sit upon shores of denial, ego, and self righteousness or not...
The one saying that my passion for skiing would have to pass pending our nuptials; too expensive and risky for a wife of his, who needed to be preserved like waxy casserole in airtight Tupperware, changing diapers and living dependently off his stingily dispersed income. And this, darling, is the noble definition of teamwork!
Another, a scorpion angrily demanding a sacred place in my agenda, touting his presence in my life as “the best thing that ever happened “; defining me with all the accuracy of a self absorbed, reality skewed prick. Truly, the senselessness of infatuation personified.
And another, lovingly throwing elbows into my life, arriving breathless and out of tune, like a happy hound… asking no pertinent questions, making many arrogant assumptions, and criticizing my claims. I loved the walk around the park, but no, I don’t want to take you home. Yes, I do know that for sure, and thank you for reminding me how little you think of my ability to reason.
And so on and so forth, down the line of unreciprocated crushes.
Perhaps their little flames were stoked by my disdain –
I know there’s sometimes nothing hotter than the unavailable mystery
Of someone so distant from touching anything vulnerable in you
Incapable of shattering a carefully constructed, independent façade.
And there’s some sort of relief in disinterest – no spotlights
No emotional search warrants
You’re safe here, ducked into the void.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
If it were my job to make heaven, it would look just like Little Cottonwood Canyon.
Some highlights of the weekend - two climbing sessions in LCC, two wonderful parties, 12 carved pumpkins, fall colors, amazing friends, the house to myself, and making plans for a busy week.
Many thanks to my fun, talented, generous friends for making it all possible!
Saturday, October 18, 2008
I know I'm really tired when I can oversimplify everything. I just logged in just for kicks, and saw the word "born" on my page, and was overcome with thoughts on being born. Existing! I was BORN somewhere. I am alive! That seems so ridiculously profound... one day the Universe was humming along in it's rhythym and the next minute I was part of that rhythym. And I've spend a sequence of days and years claiming my space and identity... and I was born once... did I mention that..?
I'm not high, just exhausted. Maybe coming down from a sugar/adrenaline high from and sweet, eventful day.
Cleaned house, ran errands, did homework, dressed up in elements of peacock, made food, had friends over, carved pumpkins, took pictures, talked, laughed, smiled a lot.
I decided this was going to be the best weekend ever today, and it's off to a ripping good start.
Now seriously, it's too late to be writing... much much too late. G'night world :)
Thursday, October 16, 2008
First, before I write this blog, I want to make an assertion about who I am
that I can finally declare sans sheepishness and denial.
I am here for the emotional experience.
Any thrill I've been known to seek, any place that I run to, anything I love about myself and admire in the Universe is inseparably linked with my desire for emotional fulfillment.
The places I love most are the places that evoke the most in me.
The activities I have pursued have somehow brought emotional challenge, stimulation and fulfillment to my life.
The relationships I treasure with all the deepest affections of my heart are those that travel limitlessly through the dynamics of life - unconditional, uncircumstantial.
I'm all about the journey. I could care less for the destination most of the time. The destination is the end of the chapter and the impetus for a new beginning.
I write every day, and blog very infrequently. I've been reserved to the idea of blogging because it's nearly impossible for me to write impersonally, and I've felt disinclined to throw my ponderings into the public sphere. I've come to look at it a little differently in the past week - a challenge to see if I can learn to let my words be open to interpretation, and learn to filter the personally sacred from the sacred existential common ground that we all share as a human family. Some of the best things in life need to be shared, like lungs need oxygen, lest we forget the common threads that tie us together. I've been forgetful.
SO. Now that the disclaimer is out there, here are some of the latest notes from my emotional journey.
Something in me is symptomatically falling in love, and I'm not sure why.
I walked the streets of Cottonwood Heights for hours yesterday, breathing deep, viewing the snow dusted Wasatch Front adoringly, laughing at myself, balancing on concrete ledges, listening to music, feeling very alive and pleased with reality as-is. I browsed the shelves of the library, visited with friends, got really tired and slept well.
And it just seemed like a perfect day.
The economy sucks, my schedule is whack, things are a mess all over the place.
I still had a perfect day. Because perfect is the acceptance of things as they are. Perfect, in my mind, is a state of peace with imperfection; embracing who you are, where you've been and where you realistically are and want to go. Without fear, pretention, or jealousy. Or doubt. Or anything nasty and unnerving that could obstruct the clarity and peace that is always, always alive and well in the Universe, available for the undistracted heart to appreciate.
After this dazzling, simple day, I concluded that that brand of happy thoughts is usually associated with falling in love. I guess I'm falling in love then, with the promise of an impending ski season, even with the prospect of economic doom, and always with the love of good friends and cherished family.
Thursday, October 9, 2008
A different breed, really. Climbers come with their own culture, lingo, practices, theories, habits, class of vehicles (fuel efficient-ish, high clearance-ish, dog friendly, hatchbacks.) Climbers have a body and an attitude that can usually be stereotyped pretty accurately – some of the more flattering aspects being quite admirable. I like the climber girls who admit to shamelessly wearing Chacos to church, hate dressing up, beat the boys… a lot of the prerogative of outdoor culture in general, just with a different stylistic flair. Very earthy and wholesome, the personification of dedication and hard work against persistent challenge. I dig it.
What I don’t dig about climbing, the moments that tap into the easy-route, gravity cooperative neuro transmitters in my head and send them on the fritz. When I am stuck somewhere painful and uncomfortable and it is just simply HARD. Difficult. Gravity is sitting cross legged on my dome chuckling at my pathetically weak struggle against it. I get nervous, I get antsy. I get unsure. Really, honestly, I DO NOT KNOW where to go next in these moments, and I feel like nothing is reaching out to me, rather that I am scrambling aimlessly at the void.
And I keep coming back for more of this. Something in me thrives every time I finish (which, incidentally, is about a fifty-fifty split) a route. Something in my inner struggle is assuaged and edified by what I learn from the rock. Something in my ego was put silently and politely, into its proper place today, moulded by the rounded curves of Maple’s cobbles. Something about the conglomerate composition spoke to me of my place in the packbottom, absolute rock bottom, surrounded by others at every stage of the game. The geology taught me of the nature of dynamic impermanence; the vibrant ushering in of the new season showing that with persistence and presence; being there in the environment, there is a promise of change.
Monday, October 6, 2008
I can affirm with full confidence that there is nothing supernatural or heroic about the animalistic claw for power I’m watching and listening to from the opposing camps. This is not a battle of Good VS. Evil. You do not make yourself look better by flexing your destructive powers on the opposition. I don’t want to see a well rehearsed destroyer and defamer become the next Commander in Chief.
Whether it's in simplicity or naivete that I utter this, all I want is to live a good life and be happy. I'll work for it. I'll do my part.
I don't expect the government to deliver it to me on a silver platter - though I would be among the most grateful beneficiaries of Universal Healt Care, I see it as a pipe dream in the midst of instability and financial turbulence.
I DO expect a goverment that leaves the delicate landscapes of this beautiful country AT the LEAST, preserved. Every time I hear Sarah Palin utter the word energy, I reach for a paper bag and start hyperventilating. When she says “drill” and “nuc-yelur,” I actually hurl.
I want the next generation to know what it feels like to run barefoot on a beach, ski on pristine layers of fresh fallen snow.
I'd like there to be markets and production of gear/transportation/etc. that makes playing outside comfortable. But the humans before us could ski on planks rougher than today's hardwood floors and love it, I could learn to, if push came to shove.
Growing up, we played hard and busted ourselves up on gnarly playground equipment. [Anyone remember old Camel's Back park?] If the world as we know it were to end, it might take a while to reverse adaptations to padded, plastic coated play time and easy, hand-it-to me routine, but the fittest would survive.
Is that what we're looking at here? Complete failure of the system, or a the next Savior of the human race?
Regardless of the victor this fall, they’ve got their work cut out for them. One half or the other of us is going to have to console ourselves with, at best, some new tunes, a warm bath, maybe a run around the block.
Maybe, just maybe, a run to your bomb shelter in the hills. I'd be prepared. Just make sure it isn’t on the north slope of Alaska, because it might not be there this time next year.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
I won't say that things are about to get consistent or routine here, but I'm interested in the opportunity for the first time.
Some things about my life, in the October of my twenty second year. Some things that may or may not be of any interest to the planet, but have profound significance in the existence I call my own.
I live in a wonderful house in my favorite residential spot in the state of Utah, at the base of the Wasatch mountains. A Major Leaguer could probably hit the face of one of the Twin Peaks from the front yard, and my ski commute this winter will involve walking down the block and hopping on the bus.
The family whom I share my new home with is made up of some of the most down-to-earth, pleasant adventurers I've come across yet, renting out a quiet back room in their mountainside "beach house," having freshly returned from a summer surfing excursion on the island of Maui.
I'm settling into a vibrant fall rhythym in the rugged arms of the Wasatch, embracing the academic life and watching anxiously for the arrival of the first signs of winter.
Despite the beauty, serenity, and ample challenges around me, my heart still lives, in part, in Idaho. I miss my family every single day. I'm constantly aware of the little things I miss in the lives of my brother and sister a state away, and despite my love of my surroundings, hear a call in my soul to return to my roots sooner rather than later.
So here I am, plugging through community college, listening to the vibrations of the universe, navigating my way as best I can to meet all the calls that come to me and lay the foundation for my future. Yikes!