Sunday, February 07, 2016

"Meeting Someone....."

After many long days, and even more challenging moments on my second Outward Bound course, it seemed time for some lingering quiet. 
So we further sorted and prepared our gear, took a full evening to talk about all of what had already unfolded, then each shared new insights about what this was all meaning for us...
It had become quite apparent by then, that nothing our Outward Bound Leaders said to us was in any way unimportant. Then, when heading off to our tarps and sleeping bags, one Instructor mentioned that during the next day it would be, "Time to meet someone".
We noted that with real interest.
Funny at times, I still so often muse, about how a seemingly simple comment sparks deep discussion and long ponderings.
We debated about who we were to meet - maybe a new leader who would introduce us to yet another farther kind of amazing adventure experience. Could be the Course or Program Director themselves were planning a meeting with us in the midst of our journey out there. Possibly a new student, but that didn't seem likely at that way point.
The next day on our high mountain objective, while practicing route finding when ascending long scree slopes, that comment and the inherent metaphor within it slowly began to take shape.
From the many lessons being shared up there, we were now being introduced to all the elements themselves, and the essence of then really meeting the mountain itself.
Much later, after a very long adventure day, just before completing an even more enduring descent, we were invited to ponder over one more lasting metaphor.
For it was the meeting and embracing of our selves, that the Outward Bound Leaders were very much referring to.
In those forever moments far out there, it was truly time to meet someone..... DSD 

My sincere appreciation for being able to include your wonderful inspiring images with these musings Dear Friends.

"In Such A Place..."

"Being in such a place is unlike any other place you could be; the fact that a human being could be in such a place climbing, moving upward, being in control, still making rational decisions is just a very exciting and almost mystical feeling...".  R. Briggs  

Saturday, February 06, 2016

"Freely Seeing..."

"Our task must be to free ourselves... By widening our circle of perception, to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty. Look deeper into nature and then you will understand everything better...".  
A. Einstein 

"Light To See..."

"I have but one lamp by which my feet are guided, and that is the lamp of experience...".  P. Henry

"See What We Mean..."

"Many things that people had been able to see, people just couldn't see anymore, because they didn't believe in them...".  P. Chodron

Friday, February 05, 2016

"Our Kin..."

"In earlier times, people recognized and respected animals as kin, as living relations sharing the earth. Through such kinship, animals were our totems, familiars, and healers long before they were ever domesticated...".  M. Fox  

"The Same Language..."

"In the very earliest of times, when both people and animals lived together on earth, a person could become an animal if he wanted to, and a animal could become a human being. Sometimes there were people, and sometimes animals, and there was no difference. All spoke the same language...". Author Unknown  

Thursday, February 04, 2016

"In The End..."

"One sometimes loses the stark simplicity and romanticism of mountaineering.
Yet there is still a fascination with this.
There is also a game.
To be played as a game.
It is serious; it is exacting.
There are more pitfalls on mountains.
But surmounting these has its own special thrill and challenge.
And in the end you come back to the mountain...".  C. Bonington

"I Knew..."

"One day when I was out looking for crystals, I saw the mountain range outside Salzburg. I thought 'why not try climbing to the top'. So I left the crystals behind and climbed the peak. I was up there all by myself with the clouds. Sometimes they were all around me and I could reach out and touch them before they drifted off. And I could look out very far, and see down into the valley on the other side. I experienced that day what mountaineers feel on the summit. And I liked it so much that I knew I would do it again...".  K. Diemberger

Sunday, January 31, 2016

"Signing On....."

Kind of a little ditty, a farther musing, from an Outward Bound echo from so long ago...

Here's the deal our adventure's quietly seem to say.
Before us is the open contract for all to see.
Clearly concisely written in desire and commitment.
Then formalized through our dreams and visions.

This kind of agreement will always rings true. 
While every one of the individual seasons abounds.
Whether between yourself or any companions too.
Especially among the wild challenges out before you.

Here's the deal, it resonates right from the start.
Here is the evidence of what we have agreed upon.
Also the fine print for that which we've taken on.
Even between the lines true meanings are there.

So now we each choose to sign ourselves on.
There within the terms of our efforts and dedications.
Openly sealed by our enthusiasm and motivations.
Always still keeping to those principles of our intentions.

The elements will forever hold us to these agreements.
As they are so loyal to those inherently potent meanings.
The only deal breaker may be the attitude we personally carry.
For we really know deep inside that is we who has chosen.

We hike, climb, paddle, and canyoneer further and onward.
Finding it that reflection of that lake or out upon the open ocean.
In the presence of what we have truly each signed on with.
We shake hands with our spirited selves, set out, and thus seal the deal... DSD  

Saturday, January 30, 2016

"An Interesting Yin & Yang Of Climbing..."

"If hubris is the yin of climbing, humility is the yang..." J. Waterman

Pride does have a certain power, but likely loses its potency when it becomes presumption, loss of perspective, and at times even arrogance. 
An adventurer full of hubris is less aware of the cliffs between us and the horizon.
And this can be a dangerous precipice to balance upon.
Many ordinary adventurers I've met over the years have developed a kind of modest pride over their outdoor accomplishments, and then seem to carry themselves with a different quiet dignity. 
They not only are aware of the cliffs, but see way past them to the horizon. 
I admire that.
Theirs is a heightened sense of self - but self in relation to a respect for the wild places, others they travel with, and especially the inherent risks out there.
As for my own experience with hubris... 
There have been those days out where part of me believed I have climbed, kayaked, or trekked in perfect style. 
Only to then realize that where ever I was, on whatever path, there was always someone ahead of me, and someone just behind. 
That perspective allowed me to touch humility.
I would ask though, is it a vice to feel such confidence? Is there not an energy within such pride? 
Much here to muse over...
Over the years there have been many phases of each of these - hubris & humility, as goals were met, limits pushed, trials endured, and and when developing a bit of understanding of the dual impacts these two states may have, and how their elements affect our adventures and thus our lives.
What has also been surprisingly useful, is an awareness of caution, even of many anxieties, fears, and doubts that would balance out the giddy optimism and ego that adventures may give birth to.
I sense walking along this edge between optimism and reservedness keeps us safe while allowing for exceptional fun out in wild places.
I have also benefited from the sharing by adventure guides and mentors about these two perspectives.
Those who have themselves achieved that balance between real confidence while in dangerous surroundings.
Those who belay themselves across the high ridges, where we may surpass our limitations while still acknowledging our humanness in making mistakes and errors of judgement.
I recognize now too the importance of appreciation and gratitude in developing humility as the natural opposite of hubris.
Especially in beginning again after severe adversity; then dreaming about all the further possibilities out there. 
Also in acknowledging those who have gone before in setting our routes; while acting upon the need to pass forward to those yet to follow.
B. Blanchard, a Canadian Mountaineer of exceptional talent, said himself: "Humility is the key to being a good alpinist...".
Even though adventures are all about pushing personal limits, where confidence plays a potent role, there also seems a place for other levels of awareness.
I believe the crux between hubris & humility may be climbed past in developing an understanding that adventures in wild places are not just about 'me'... 
They are inherently about all of us, and the inevitable impacts we each may have in the wild lands.
Yet again it would seem that as in all things, especially adventures, and with these small stones, that the real summit to be attained is a balance within the experiences, lessons, and memories gained.
Maybe most significantly between hubris & humility..... DSD 

Thursday, January 28, 2016

"An Interesting Pondering..."

"To the untrained eye, ego climbing and selfless climbing may appear identical.
Both kinds of climber place one foot in front of the other.
Both breathe in and out at the same rate.
Both stop when tired.
Both go forward when rested.
But what a difference!
The ego climber is like an instrument that is slightly out of adjustment.
He puts his foot down an instant too soon or too late.
He's likely to miss a beautiful passage of sunlight through the trees.
He goes on when sloppiness of step says he's tired.
He rests at odd times.
He looks up the trail trying to see what's ahead even when he knows what's ahead because he just looked a second before.
Ho goes too fast or too slow for the conditions and when he talks his talk is forever about something else. 
He's here but he is not here...".  R. Pirsig

Thank you for sharing your images my Friends.  

"Beyond Our Own Last Blue Mountain..."

"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
We all have blue mountains within our dreams, and distant endearing islands too,
Hidden wild places we very much hope to see, with so many possibilities awaiting there...
We all have blue high mountains within our dreams, and hidden islands too,
Elusive experiences we simply call adventures, our personal journeys of effort, mind, and spirit...
We all have blue stormy mountains within our dreams, and misty islands too,
Such ephemeral memories that are yet to be, true paths and trails we are each destined to share...
We all have countless blue mountains within our dreams, and endless islands too,
Always echoing from our ancient selves, while we forever seek such horizons to this very day..... DSD