Sunday, January 31, 2016

for what is beautiful

What I want them to remember Isn't-Me. 
When they look back I don't want to be in their painting of this moment.
The tired mom sadly leaning against the sink, not sure, not ready for whatever is next. Cradling coffee, wondering about the snow, plotting an escape that won't happen. Reluctantly holding up the weight of the day for them. Just like she did the day before and she will do the day after.   
I want the hours that I track back to the gym or stay late to be like the gray fog the sun burns off of a February beach.  I don't want them to remember me there waiting in the corners, holding open doors, and smiling through the exhaustion. 
I want bowls of oatmeal to appear as if by magic.  Play dates and sleepovers to fall into place like night waves lapping at the side of the boat. Negotiations and conflicting schedules passing over their heads like shooting stars. 
I don't want them to see how hard this is for me.  I want them to believe I would never wish for anything other than this. That it is enough for me to be needed when I am around and quickly forgotten when I step aside. Enough to be trusted to be faithful and concrete. To be above being lonely or feeling left out.  Above needing sleep and fire. Above the blue.
And when the rabbits slip the run in the night and the hunt is on. 
I don't want them to remember that the year I turned 43 my snow pants were a little too tight and my spirit a little too loose.  My voice harder to find.
That too often I looked like a lost stranger standing in the middle of my own life.  
I walked heavy in my new light-weight snow boots and smiled in a grand illusion.  

But I think it would be okay if they remembered that I was fast enough to catch a rabbit- when no else would even try.
 It would be okay to remember me for that.  
My mom, even from the time she was a little girl to when she was very old could always catch a rabbit.... 
Once upon a time, far, far, away.....

Friday, January 29, 2016

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

beyond the wall of doubt


When I pulled into the parking lot Canyon Rescue was already there. Fantastic, I muttered trying to laugh off the reminder that something could go wrong. 

Not making eye contact with him I grabbed my backpack off the backseat slipping my snowshoes under the straps. I locked my car and headed off across the road without looking back.  

Well, at least not until I reached the top of the first hill.  I turned to look down at the parking lot hoping he would have moved on only to see the lone, most likely bored officer staring back at me through binoculars.  

It seemed clear that one of us was doubting my abilities- but it probably wasn't him.

I pressed on out of his sight over the ridge to where the Powderbird helicopter was cutting through the sky like a flying lawnmower running heliskiers deep into the backcountry.  



I walked the trail in my boots until I was sure I was far enough way to sit alone and put my snow shoes on unobserved.  

It had been over 2 years since I have had cause to use them.  I was anticipating having to learn all over again.  Feeling the bruised ego of the first day out on the edge of the New Hampshire woods where in borrowed boots and borrowed winter clothing BC taught me to snowshoe. 

As it turns out snowshoeing is just like riding a bike. Which I'm not so good at either. For the same reason too, I tend not to pay attention to what I am doing.  

So I moved along the ridge trying my best not to face-plant every time I managed to trip myself.

Out on top, it was beautiful. Like walking on the ceiling. The mountains standing like the peaks of a frozen crown. 



I learned a few things too. 

Moose tracks are deeper than you might think they are. They also tend to lead to moose. 

If for some reason you choose to kneel down while wearing snowshoes- you're basically fucked.    

Stepping through a snowdrift is called post-holing but stepping through a waist deep snowdrift and getting a snowshoe trapped in a tangle of scrub oaks is called a situation.



So there was a lot of swearing- most of it in good humor.  A lot of conversations with myself about what I was doing out here alone and why.  A few deer trails that lead to dead ends.  One or two reminds that wearing snowshoes does not negate gravity.  

But when you reach a point where all the other tracks stop and you are still moving on.  No matter how small or personal, when the only path up the mountain is yours it is hard to be humble.  

On the treck back the ridge line stretched out like the spine of a white dragon.  I had turned my left ankle enough times I felt like one more might do it in so I focused on my rhythm. 

I put everything I am & everything I am not aside to concentrate on walking solo.  One foot in front of the other.  It felt so smooth, so easy it was almost like skiing.  

And then what had looked like an impossible distance to recover rolled into the final ridge overlooking the parking lot... where my car sat alone.  No one was waiting for me. No one wondering. No one else doubting or believing.  Just me, never here, never gone, never missed.  



Over in Big Cottonwood Canyon, a heliskier was caught in an avalanche. With the help of Canyon Rescue he survived.     

Beyond the wall of doubt is silence.  To understand the force of what lies beyond silence must be the reason man created god.