Wednesday, March 25, 2009

less skin, more clarity

Saturday and Monday have transformed how I perceive and respond to my passion. Saturday's trip outdoors, despite its lack of actual climbing on my part (I was relegated to the ranks of belayer on account of the number of first-timers that needed belaying), only served to heighten my desire to see and do more. I mean, there was the "off-roading" in the Civic, which was awesome...but that's another story. I'm talking about the way things come into focus, the way I can spend six hours just in the vicinity of the granite, a rope in my hands, and be utterly content. And Monday...Monday's crack climbing session tore up my hands, as usual, but I was nearly overwhelmed by the total sense of my own motivation as a source for perseverance. It was just me and the wall, dancing and conversing. I'm in my element there, shoving my bleeding hands into a concrete fissure, squeezing and pulling. I feel strong and present when I'm doing that, and in those moments I am doing something I choose and I want to succeed at. I like that feeling.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

forced to sit still for a moment

In the end, climbing is what I love, my own expression of joy. Everything else is just noise. -Steph Davis, High Infatuation

I have never loved any activity the way I love climbing. It's what I dream about, what I think about when I'm doing other things, it's what I talk about, it's what I want to be doing. I can't articulate properly the palpable camaraderie that exists when I spend time with friends who are as infatuated as I am.
Thus, upon the recent flaring up of shoulder pain on account of the fact that I'm pulling too much plastic too often and getting strong too fast...I'm having a hard time. I get angry because the one thing I want to do--my escape, my balance, where I process and express--is painful and difficult. Instead of feeling capable and strong, I feel weak and frustrated.

Though climbing can be hell on a love relationship, it offers an unparalleled sense of community. [...] being a driven person is hard. Being in love with that person can be even harder. -Steph Davis, High Infatuation

I've not been healthily single in some years. And I can't help but think that my hunger for movement did not build our relationship. How do I reconcile my emotional needs with those of someone who wants nothing to do with the very thing that is most therapeutic for me emotionally?
And so here I am, a week out of the split, frustrated over a shoulder injury and fighting to move and to process all that's going on in my head but not wanting to wreck my body.
My tendency to fixate can be my greatest asset and conversely my hugest obstacle. I can focus and I can fight, but I struggle so much with stepping back to see bigger. I'm immediate, I'm driven. I need resolution and expectation.

Right now, in this moment, I am content. I am not anxious or angry. I want to seize the quiet surging of motivation in my chest and ration it across my days so that I can keep breathing, just like this.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

on growing up and gaining perspective

I'm not sure what I want to do. I'm nearly twenty-three (okay, eight months to go) and I'm a graduate student and I have a place to live and a community to be part of and I want to see the world. I want to know that it's okay to desire not to settle into what I perceive to be the expectations projected onto me.
I want to know that I can keep dreaming big in the way that everyone encourages you to when you're seven. When you're brimming with potential--you can be anything you want. I want to know that it's okay to believe that now.
I want to go on big adventures and learn about this place we inhabit. I want to share meals with new friends and to have the opportunity to visit old ones.
I feel like I'm running out of time, like I have to choose. I know I can be happy with what I've chosen, with where I've chosen, and that I can make this work. Rationally, I know that. I also know that I am STILL brimming with potential, that I am only twenty-two with no real responsibilities and all the time in the world to discover my world.

Is it possible to reconcile reality with the what-ifs and big dreams?