Sunday, August 16, 2009

ChI Town

July came and went quickly August is going fast. Though there have been periods that I have been able to concentrate on climbing, most of my time has been spent doing the work that I do, but July was also filled with some fun events marking passages. The first was my 10 year high school reunion (go to yours it's worth seeing old friends) I had a great time and catching up with some good friends was nice. I also made a trip to Chicago for a family wedding, marking another passage of sorts. Although it was a brief trip I was happy to have spent a day marveling over the downtown Chicago skyline and walking in the shadows of the soaring buildings. We walked through the Chicago Art Institute, I was strangely happy to be there, away from work and stress, ( even climbing) there was something enduring in the air that day, something that I love about climbing as well, but feel has been missing lately. Maybe it was the viewing of a tangible freedom of expression, and feeling that liberation myself within the art, in a world that I feel somewhat isolated at times. Perhaps it was the air of mystique that comes with history and great art, whatever, or wherever it may be, but I felt alive and aware amongst the soothing gallery lights in an unfamiliar city. We walked through the impressionists gallery, clicking away with my camera at works that caught my eye, it is amazing to see these works, Monet, Van gogh, Picasso, in person and the texture of the brush strokes to canvas, the enduring canvas and seeing the turmoil in their lives or the joys alike through expression. I see how art and life and to me, climbing, are all connected. I don't know much about art, or even most of the artist (outside of the obvious), but I find it refreshing that I can still marvel and identify, feel moved by the emotions and for lack of better words, impressions that my "escape" to the city had left upon me.

The Irony of the situation was this boundless feeling that the wandering hoards and mass movement of people was somehow an escape for me, but it was important and necessary for me to feel anonymous, art gazing with all the others. Lately, I have been somewhat driven by the desire to take a step back and take inventory of the things around me. I often hang good fortunes that I free from the depths of fortune cookies, in the frames of the photos in my house. I have one nestled amongst the dusty picture frame that holds it now. It says, always remember the most important things in life are not things.

Walking the city streets of Chicago, my anonymity filling my heart with possibilities of the future, I find it refreshing to see that life is full of options, passions, and that sometimes escape doesn't mean escaping, it just means tuning in and remembering that the world is full of things, and sometimes that's the way the cookie crumbles.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Sunny Southern Utah

I doesn't get better than this. To describe the view in front of me, sunny walls of broken limestone, a gentle wind and perfect temperatures. I'm in sunny southern Utah, resting today after many weeks of hard work, and a great day with my friends in Joes Valley. This patio is so perfect and at peace with the desert surrounding it- open. Today is the first day in a long time that I took the time to sit still and reflect, to free my mind of the day to day. I'm lucky that I have great people to work with, and my family, and my friends. Today quite simply is everything that has accumulated to this, and it can be gone with a breath. Really I feel libre, free, at peace. Joes was a great stop, my first of many more to come. I have been enjoying the simplicity of bouldering, and I have many things to improve upon. I realize that strength is more than just power, it's core, it's a combination of everything. I have a hard time sitting still, it's not how I'm wired and my attention shifts between so many things. The past few sessions have been experiences in understanding how to calm down and relax, today is a lesson in the same.

I sat in the sun, talked a bit amongst friends, we all did what we needed, took our time. Keith, Lauren and I went to Saint George to La carnaciera, tres amigos marketa, bought some produce and enjoyed the authenticity of a Mexican market. This past year has also been a lesson in Spanish, and for the past month has fallen by the waste side. However I practice when I can and I enjoy understanding the culture a bit more. It seems to me that many of my days have been filled with urgency and stress to finish this or that, and life becomes hurried the hours pass then the days, the weeks and now the years. I see this pace of American life, and today I enjoyed the simplicity and warmth of the Hispanic culture here. I know that I'm lucky, and I work that much harder when I'm home. For now we have fresh food to cook tonight. Reflecting on our day at Joe's was fun, my fingertips feel the same. One note worthy send was Laurens of resident evil... awesome she is the most tenacious climber I have ever seen. I learn a lot from her every time I climb, and I see where I can improve, most of all it is an attitude that comes with a love of life. We hit the road late last night and headed to Hurricane, I enjoyed catching up with Keith, it's been along time, a true friend I enjoy laughing at the most random and hilarious finds that he has of movies and TV shows, comedy and audio books. Keith is the most technologically advanced person I know and also the most unfortunate. While I have been on my first I pod going on 5 years... well each occupation comes with it's own stresses. So as the shadows grow in the distance, the desert is still, today was perfect, I'm looking forward to enjoying a great dinner together, restful sleep and climbing tomorrow.

Unwinding is a necessary part of life, and retouching why I climb boils down to the people I climb with, we share a common passion and essence for life, it is simply as simple as you make it. I'm heading to the Black and Tan tomorrow, and looking forward to bouldering on a rope! Cheers and take life slow, I'm still learning to be still.