Most times, trails are marked, plotted, and planned in advance. But sometimes, when you’re really out there, you just decide on a hill to climb, park the car, and race up the slope just to see what the view looks like from the top.
Good times in Idaho.
I’ve taken on the labor of fighting a cold these past few days.
It’s meant a lot of down time, soup, and hot tea. But also exhaustion, fever, inability to concentrate.
It’s strange how far even a small cold can shift me off center, an imbalance teetering in a hasty limbo. While my body scrambles to solve the sickness, I don’t fall to petty anger or hate for the symptoms.
Rather, I find myself curious, observant, and documenting the hazy realization of my own fragility. But also reverent, for the immense, automated system that works even as I sleep to establish homeostasis in my body, once again.
What a wonder it is to be alive, even in illness.
Anticipation. The hours leading up to a birthday party, first date, graduation. They stretch and drag and move grudgingly, against my will, as if time has grown roots and intends to hold its place.
This happens every time I go somewhere new or a trail I’ve yet to wonder.
The miles pass slow, though I hurry. My breath aches, legs wheeze. Time doesn’t follow the path, I feel separate, distant, until I arrive, only then does it seem that the seconds have not only begun again but hurry, as if making up for its absence.
However, it’s the walk back that always takes the longest, when the only event left on the agenda is dinner. And I begin to wonder if food is not the thing I look forward to most of all but this, I will challenge later.
Dogs have a way of making one wonder.
There is a fragment of love that has fallen through the evolutionary chain and lodged itself into the behavioral anatomy of these furry hearts. Curiously, against all reason, they default on kindness towards humans, their owner and whoever he or she decides is trustworthy.
They melt cold hearts. Lift heavy faces. Shed love as much as they shed hair. And even, to our own chagrin, have the skill make a slipper disappear. They’re magicians of the best sort, the kind you’d pay to see time and again but no bother, they don’t ask for currency in return, unless you count a well meaning rub behind the ears.
You won’t experience what is necessary from peering into the window of your phone, checking off as many national park visits as possible in a year, or driving around the entire United States or Canada or Mexico or wherever that stinking, belching, vulturous machine will take you.
You won’t understand it from a short walk in the woods. Even if you stare wide eyed in wonder at the ferns, flowers, firs, larches, lilies, lakes, and mountains. Even if you can name them all, will you understand that these do not exist for your enjoyment but rather with an absolute indifference to your presence?
Maybe, if you’re lucky, you will find it within yourself to leave behind everything that you’ve ever known and learn from the world beyond the road, from the earth, that seemingly seduces only for personal gain, and respect, regard, and care for the only planet capable of allowing us to exist without aid of the fallibility of human imagination.
It eroded, slowly at first. Chips in hollow beliefs fell away like chunks of a cinder block wall, eaten away by the hungry mouth of a tiny hammer. I can’t say when it happened but when it did, it came all at once. The great, tugging, constant pull of gravity brought the walls, my walls, down with a crash.
The room I’d built for myself, decades of effort and dogmatic dedication, were gone and, in a blink of an eye, the landscape morphed from benign comfort to a visceral vulnerability. The curtain doesn’t close, though I wish it would, I desire darkness, emptiness, comfort, sensibility. But here, in front of me lays the entire world, my home, which used to be inside these four walls, now extends to the horizon and the only thing that holds me here, is me.
When I was home for the holidays, a lot of my family asked about Alaska because most of them have never been.
It brought back many fond memories and reminded me of the most impactful trip of this year.
If you haven’t been, I recommend going. But more than that, go with an open mind and let the place change you.
I intend to recount the adventure by writing a story about it soon.
In case you didn’t know, I’ve been writing a fictional story, that doesn’t have anything to do with Alaska, and currently releasing two chapters a week.
Chapter Three of that story is up!
You can find the link in my bio if you’re interested!
It’s been awhile since I’ve been home and I’m very much excited to be there around this time tomorrow. Although, there won’t be snow on the ground this time, it will be great to see family and this puppy.
Are any of you traveling for the holidays?
Also, I’m currently brushing up chapter 2, which continues the story I released on Sunday, and will be live tomorrow.
If you haven’t had the chance to read ‘The Problem with Being Early’, I highly recommend it before my next piece is out. If you’re traveling, it might be a nice way to pass the time.
The the link to the story is in my bio!
Let me know what you think.
After six weeks, I finished the draft. I’m stoked to go back and rework it but for now, it sits.
Stoked to go through images I’ve neglected during that time and begin sharing again.
Also, big thanks to you for understanding my need to step away while I worked on this project. If there’s any of you who’d like to read something new, I just put up a short story on my wordpress.
I put the link in my bio, so you can access it easily. And I’m hoping to turn out a new piece each week while I wait to go back to the novel.
This time last year, I was back in Boise, a week after returning from an autumn trip to Glacier National Park.
I struggled a lot after that trip, for many reasons, and by middle of November I returned to Seattle.
As with many of my decisions, I don’t look back in regret but a curiosity to understand myself better. Im happy to be back in here, this summer was one of the best yet even though I traveled more the year previous.
Now, it’s been a month since I last touched my hiking boots and camera, trading them in for hours spent hours each day at my laptop writing.
The drive to explore will come back, but for now it’s shifted to the world inside my mind.
I’m two-thirds finished with the draft of this book. Stoke is real.
A little update, things are going well on my project thus far. I’ve set a goal to finish the first draft in two weeks. Gauging on my current pace and daily goals, it’s doable and I wouldn’t be surprised if I can wrap it up earlier. Stoked to have this story out on paper.
I really appreciate all the words of encouragement from you all, it means a lot.
In the mean time, go to @andrewstebliy page and follow the YouTube link in his bio section. The guys just finished an inspiring video on our local first responders!
It's been a minute. Over the past couple weeks I've gone 100% into a project I put off for too long.
I can't say exactly what it's about but it's a full length story, a novel. The first one I've ever attempted, though it won't be the last.
It's what I love to do but I have struggled getting myself to follow through and put in the work.
So, I've had to cut out distraction.
Forgive me while I shift my focus for awhile, but the work requires it.
If you could outline a perfect life, in ten lines, what would it read?
I doubt a single line would be one of the things we spend so much of our lives trying to acquire.
It doesn't for me and I know we're not much different from each other.
It makes me wonder, why we busy ourselves worrying about things like making more money, so we can buy better cars, bigger houses, more stylish clothes, and the newest iPhones, when all of that stuff eventually ends up in the trash or a will. There's definitive evidence proving possessions won't pass from this life to the next.
I heard them say, you can't take it with you.
I have to rant for a bit. It's a good rant, which I suppose isn't ranting at all but, rather, a rave.
If you've been following me for awhile, you know I love books and podcasts.
Today, I finally cleaned up my place, after essentially abandoning it for two weeks.
What better way to pass the time then with podcasts, amiright?
I learned that @radiolab has a spin off show, called 'More Perfect'. It's literally so good I listened to five episodes straight, well after I'd finished cleaning.
If you're interested in social justice issues, present or past, this show is a must. Broadcasted in beautiful and entertaining form, you won't be able to put it down.
The most important thing I’ve done lately, is using my goals as a filter. When things I want to do or trips I’d like to go on are blipping on my radar, my impulse is to just say yes. Because, after all, I only have one life. So, why shouldn’t I do exactly as I want, right now?
But it doesn’t always line up with the plan to create the kind of life I want to lead, because, saying yes to all that stuff, takes time and energy away from what I need to accomplish.
Maybe the power of success is not how much I say yes, but, rather, how often I say no.
It's with a heavy heart I look out on the world today.
Tragedy caused by uncontainable storms in the heart of men have scorched the framework of what we perceive as reality, leaving it in ashes.
Let us not fall prey to the belief that we are victims and therefore unable to pluck ourselves from the path of uncertainty. The future has always been ours.
We must not only remember this day and it horrors but allow it to direct our feet, and shore our hearts together - launching us toward a society we can be proud of.
But, tonight, we mourn.
The fall colors were stubborn during my stay in the northeast but it sure was one heck of a trip.
Glad to have spent it with inspiring and passionate people like @jessolm, @btonevibes, and @jproberts. It certainly is a time I will always remember.
Photos to come but for now, here's a photo from nearly one year ago on the closing day of Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier NP.