Tuesday, December 16, 2008

No North Star

I cant remember if she was talking to me in a living room, or walking out a door into the cold night. The memory that hits me is fragmented, and possibly combining the words with the wrong place. Rolling up of memory, fragments forming bastard children of a weekend drunk and a weekday lunch. I shake my head and continue packing.
This isn't right. I'm packing my ruck, the hard used Lowe-Alpine pack dreams are made of. The one that's seen 10,000 feet, and subterranean depths. Filling it with the stuff of adventures, emergency tools, a medical kit, a pistol and magazines, and a flask of smooth Canadian whiskey. The change of clothes is spare, leaving room for an extra jacket and dry wool socks. This is a loadout for adventuring, or even escape, yet I am doing neither.
I'll toss the ruck, when I'm done with it, atop a plastic tub filled with laundry I need to wash. My mom will roll her eyes when I unload it, and I'll insist I may be bringing it home, but I can do my own. And in the morning it will be washed and in the dryer waiting for me to fold it.
The way I travel is a cry for help. A railing against attitudes of sloth and depression, against the routine of non-achievement. It begs for the excitement I lack day to day. Like a condom in the wallet, my rucksack poses as "being prepared", and is in actuality a cry into the darkness for the light of adrenaline, power, danger, and lust. I will take it with me, all packed and little used, just in case. In case, somewhere in the darkness of my own making, I find salvation.

The confusion of memory, and routine of packing to go home for Christmas, have me listening to the road outside. Anyone going westbound on Sixty is pointed toward Arizona, mountains and meadows, and the faraway smell of high pine wet with snow. My thumb throbs with each heart beat, just to hang it out there in the cold air and see where it takes me. But I wont. I will go home, like I should, where my mother is waiting, and continue on as I have been. I cannot tell if I am utilizing common sense, or if I no longer trust in my own navigation. I have no north star, other than the immediate, or temporal. Like a man fallen and rolling down hill, I am guided by gravity.

Saturday, December 13, 2008


The gray of late winter evening had settled,
slipping slowly into darkness
as soft white flakes gently fell, spare in the too warm night,
still cold
They stood in his driveway, breath fogging in the false light
talking of the old hotel where they had evened
and its many ghosts
creaking across wooden floors to dance
before its roaring fires
They stood too long, in their conversation
ignorant to the rising cold
Delaying the parting of semesters end
with talk of LP's and the deserved break
She smiled in the cold
and he remembered love
wanting to run his hand through her hair
loose about her head
like her laughter hung on fogged breath
Her lips bare and wet with talking
promising warmth if only he'd lean into them
They hugged, his head passing above hers in his full height
her cheek on his shoulder, hair brushing his face
Then parting, her smell lingering
in absence of her small strong touch
She smiled at him, waving through the car window
as she pulled out and left
Soft flakes fell, fighting their way to the ground
in the night grown colder
He stood alone in the gravel, and shivered

An older poem, about an even older moment in time, that I rediscovered earlier tonight.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Free(BASE) Climbing the Eiger

It seems that some madman, and I say that with reverence as the world truly lacks a good dose of madness on a good day, has free climbed (I.E. ropeless) the Eiger.
He did it with a twist, however. He wore a parachute designed for BASE jumping. Traversing onto a north face route called "Deep Blue Sea" at a height sufficient for BASE jumping, he managed a successful send without needing the 'chute.

FreeBASEing the Eiger - Dean Potter Interviewed

I am not a good climber, nor a particularly accomplished one, but I frickin' love it and am always in awe of amazing performances. This is without a doubt one of the more amazing I've heard of.