Wednesday, May 04, 2016

"Public Personage Yet Solo Too..."

"I enjoyed climbing with other people, good friends, but I did a lot of solo climbing too...". 
Sir Edmund Hillary

"Of Solitude Within Anonymity....."

"The acid test of a true adventurer, if presented with certain anonymity, is whether each of us would still have made the journey beyond the last blue mountain..." M. Clark
Over these many years, and every season for certain, I am asked why undertake this Summit Stone endeavour in an anonymous way. Remaining anonymous, simply being nameless, was actually first encouraged by a close mentor of mine way back when. It was during those younger heady years, full of that vigour, energy, and endless goals. We talked about, then I long pondered, the differences between pride in our accomplishments, and the hubris that can distract us from their true meanings... As my intentions within this whole journey evolved, it became more clear as well that the essential elemental nature of all of this could be better expressed by remaining unknown. Then the focus shifts more clearly to other meanings, other important adventure themes, more significant expressions - like those represented in the "Giving Back & Passing Forward" section link right here... 
The ancient Greeks understood the depths of 'Anonumos', as they called these paths and efforts. They mused endlessly about the mystery to be found therein by each and every spirit who wanders. Being 'Anonumos' also very much meant leaving the ego by the wayside, letting go of that kind of recognition, so something else may be discovered... I think it is this kind of mystery that calls out to each of us. The unknowns of the wild places inherently do this. So if you discover a painted touchstone up within a summit cairn and register, placed there by an unknown someone, then just maybe, that tiny bit of extra mystery might spark a little interest as well. In why someone would do this, and what that might mean for you, and how this could express itself in any way you choose to give back and pass forward yourself...
Then such anonymity invites another kind of awareness. Many others, in their own ways, have also enjoyed exactly this kind of experience by giving something, anything, anonymously. This kind of expression then is not really about the giver, nor even only about the gift, but moreso about the connections that grow for all of those involved. There is much to be pondered about giving anonymously...
V├Čktor Frankl wrote: ``We should not, then, be hesitant about challenging man with a potential meaning for him to fulfill``.
Maybe it`s kind of like heading out on a solo sea kayak trip, or as potently out upon a solo mountain climb. Then it is only truly about you and the mountain, you and the sea, within the joy of those moments. Other than for safety, no one even knows you have been there; only you know what those efforts meant, and for how each of us then creates our own meaning within such experience. 
Frankl also wrote: ``What he needs is... the call of a potential meaning to be fulfilled by him``.
An anonymous gesture is more about doing something for its own sake, not being influenced by any external outcomes or expectations, but more allowing the intrinsic value, purpose, and meaning of it all to emerge. If that is what is then naturally revealed, then it is all good and everyone can simply smile..... DSD
My sincere gratitude for sharing your images with us all my Friends.

Sunday, May 01, 2016

"On Our Own In The BGI..."

I am just musing here at this moment, and gazing up, at the Broken Group chart mounted with another map up on my wall.
Just daydreaming about past times and future plans to again sea kayak solo out in the BGI.
This is another of those precious wild places I am grateful to have often visited and also thankful for those persons gone before us who made the time and spent the energy to advocate for and protect such vistas for future generations.
After many trips out in groups, and with my partner, over the last dozen years, I also wanted to experience another dimension of this cherished grid upon the map. But to journey on one's own is a very different way to experience a place.
As Colin Fletcher wrote: "By wandering out alone into the wilderness... I can after a while begin to see and to hear and to think and in the end to feel with a new and exciting accuracy...".
Going solo meant more detailed planning & preparation, and carrying all that extra gear one needs when out alone. It meant too thorough rehearsal and practice of self rescue; of navigation skills also as the potential fog can be a fun yet exhilarating challenge.
I am especially cautious of the the fetch of wind and waves, and tend to stay closer to these small islands for solo safety as well as for their meandering aesthetic shorelines.
It is indeed a different kind of mindset to be out with only your Self as company; one I've enjoyed yet also found to be somewhat overwhelming at times.
It is the beaches and wild marine life within these island gems that seem to attract me most.
I remember... the Tiny Group; Dempster beaches; hidden beaches around Nettle & Clarke with their mix of sand and crushed shells.
I remember... the carved face on the old cedar jutting out from Island 21 just south of Willis; the old Totem at the Dodd campsite which holds special memory too.
I think I have placed Summit Stones on most every island, time and again, within the BGI, and when I return days, weeks, or even months later - none of these remain. I am glad of this as that is my intent that they are 'found', then carried away, so that only the sand, rock, and driftwood remain.
There are certain islands... 
I am sure they are not visited very often at all. 
They have only the smallest point to step out upon; a very tiny sand or rocky area; where the timing for landing is only possible at the lowest spring tides. 
I remember these too.
And have been tempted to spend days, rather than hours at these rather than the busier locations. 
The nature of seeking out solitude within solo experiences I sense...
As R. Schultheis wrote: "There is a potency in solitude that surpasseth understanding...".
There may only be a hundred tiny islands out in the Broken Group.
But there are hundreds more hidden, secret places, and a thousand vivid adventure memories to be found out there.....  DSD  

Saturday, April 30, 2016

"Ever Farther Solitude..."

"The mind is keener and sharper in seclusion and uninterrupted solitude.
Originality thrives in seclusion free of outside influences.
Be alone - that is the secret of creativity.
Be alone - that is when ideas are born...".   N. Tesla  

"Quiet Solitudes..."

"The more powerful and original a mind, the more it will incline towards the region of solitude...".      A. Huxley

"Lovely Solitude..."

"What a lovely surprise to finally discover how unlonely being alone can be...".   E. Burstyn

Friday, April 29, 2016

"A Wonderful Musing For Fur, Feathers, And Fins Friday's..."

"Some places in this world are very hard to climb.
Sometimes people ask animals to help them with this.
Each person can only ride one.
And each animal likely has a different name.
The riders go up the trail in different orders.
They often discuss their various opinions about their experiences.
They may even have conflicting opinions.
At the summit the travelers all stand in the same place.
Each of them has the same chance to view the same vistas.
The animals are then put to rest and graze.
We all travel such paths.
The animals are like the various doctrines that each of us embraces.
What does it matter which doctrine we embrace as long as it leads to the same quiet summit...".
D. Ming-Dao

Image Acknowledgement  

"Just A Smile Within A Little Rock..."

Rock painting is an ancient practice of placing images upon stone.
The strength and durability of the stone was said to add to the power and presence of the paintings...
Aboriginal peoples on many continents have also colored and painted stones as gifts, rocks as markers, and rock walls as a means to record their histories.
At times it was the character of the stone itself that would also influence the eventual image that appeared. 
The paints themselves were often made of water and clay, berries, selected soils, animal fats, even blood. Some rock was also etched and then painted to enhance the chosen image with more than one dimension...
After collecting these little rocks on many adventures, cleaning and polishing them, musing over the stone, I now splash a bit of paint upon them, and then give them back.
Just my own simple way of passing forward and yet being a tiny part of an ancient past ritual...  DSD   

Thursday, April 28, 2016

"In Stillness We Then Rest..."

"After a long day of walking in the mountains, the ancients sat alone and in the quiet...". Deng Ming-Dao

In stillness we then rest, 
Amidst the quiet, with our breath.
Now calm and vividly remembering,
Every single step of our long journey.

In stillness we then rest,
Amidst the quiet, with our breath.
For a very challenging mountain had been chosen,
Knowing we would then embrace all then wildly given.

In stillness we then rest,
Amidst the quiet, with our breath.
Atop the summit of a further elusive mountain,
Being present for all of that which has happened.

In stillness we then rest,
Amidst the quiet, with our breath.
After a descent as challenging too,
Then so tired, and now safe as well.

In stillness we then rest,
Amidst the quiet, with our breath.
Amazingly welcoming was that mountain,
With such adversity and then those teachings.

In the stillness we then rest,
Amidst the quiet, with our breath.
Having shared in those many precious gifts,
Meditative forever moments nourishing our very being... DSD 

Dedicated to those wonderful wanderers who are out there still,Adventuring For Another Reason.   

Sunday, April 24, 2016

"Of Remembrance And Nepal....."

A few simple words.
Written long ago.
Gently echoing out.
With respect and remembrance...

On the summit we say their names... 
We safely stand up among the clouds, face the sun or moon, often into the wind, close our eyes, and slowly say their names aloud.
We say the names of past fellows who have journeyed the path with us; the guides and wild place teachers who have shared their hard earned wisdom; the close family and friends who still walk the same trails today.
We say the names of those who are now gone from these particular elements; the ones who knew and accepted us for who we are with all our flaws and faults; especially the ones who have challenged us to become something more.
We say the names of those who made us laugh; each one who shared a tear with us; and for those whose courage and resiliency we believe have been an example for us all.
On the summit we say their names...
By practicing an ages old quiet tradition of respect, of acknowledgement, of remembering, of bringing the past back to the present.
An ages old tradition of becoming grateful. Even in the midst of the most difficult times.
And when we are each gone, when we are no longer among the wild places, but have become a part of them instead, we hope to hear our own name said, then carried along out there among the winds, when someone on a summit says them out loud..... DSD

"A Short Year, Or A Long Time..."

"A Life List is, in the end, nothing more than a tool to look back on our lives and consider how we spent our brief moments on Earth. And what if, in those final breaths, you realize - I never gave anything back...". J.B. MacKinnon 

A musing that forever echoes... 
One year for Nepal. A short year? Or a very long time?
Please again look over the articles and many options for support that Jake Norton had gathered up for everyone to share in. He is a trusted friend, worldly mountaineer, and a true advocate.
Thank you my friends... DSD 

Friday, April 22, 2016

"Just A little Stone Parable..."

"A wise woman who was travelling in the mountains found a precious stone in a stream... The next day she met another traveler who was hungry, and the wise woman opened her bag to share her food. The hungry traveler saw the precious stone and asked the woman to give it to him. She did so without hesitation. The traveler left, rejoicing in his good fortune. He knew the stone was worth enough to give him security for a lifetime. But a few days later he came back to return the stone to the wise woman. 'I've been thinking', he said, 'I know how valuable the stone is, but I give it back in the hope that you can give me something even more precious. Give me what you have within you that enabled you to give me the stone'...". Anon

A parable of meaning within the context of the gift of a simple stone.
Like the Wise Woman our Mother Earth gives to us all each moment of each hour of each day.
It is then up to us to then ask, and learn, and become, someone who then gives back and passes forward also...
Have a special Earth Day today..... DSD    

"For Our Shared Earth Day...

Below is a reading from the Ute Peoples of North America, as quoted by P.Novak. 
A wonderful musing for pondering over adventure, life lessons learned, and experiences remembered, as we approach our shared Day for the Earth.
It could be said that the Ute Peoples were among the first climbers, canyoneers, and rock artists out in these wild lands.
"Earth teach me to remember...
Earth teach me stillness
as the grasses are stilled by light.
Earth teach me suffering
as old stones suffer with memory.
Earth teach me humility
as blossoms are humble with beginning.
Earth teach me caring
as the mother who secures her young.
Earth teach me courage
as the tree which stands all alone.
Earth teach me limitation
as the ant which crawls on the ground.
Earth teach me freedom
as the eagle which soars in the sky.
Earth teach me resignation
as the leaves which die in the fall.
Earth teach me regeneration
as the seed which rises in the spring.
Earth teach me forget myself
as the melted snow forgets its life.
Earth teach me kindness
as dry fields weep with rain."
Metaphors with such meaning.
Each day a new beginning.
Every day something worth learning.
All adventures within themselves... DSD