Friday, July 28, 2006
Thursday, July 27, 2006
We all come up with ideas and goals and such. Then we typically make one of those 'lists'... I have made my share of many of these. M. Bane wrote: "The List...will take on a life of its own...will change everything it touches, take me places I'd only imagined. It will allow me to reach out and touch...something. Something desirable; something mythical...". But as JP MacKinnon also wrote: "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".
Both of these authors are also adventurers whom I've read and even quoted in the Muse. I've also reflected long on what they might be inviting us to think about...
The 'list' always has room, even for a small act of giving back. Examples of the acts themselves can be too numerous to count like sharing a story or a bit of experience, leading a group of novices, putting some effort into a project other than our own, or as was said to me: "If you take that stone, you must give something back". I guess I took that very literally...
So how far back do these Stones and this experience go? A long ways it seems...
I've been heading out on one small adventure or another for over thirty years now.
Collecting and then more recently placing these Stones has always seemed to be a part of this.
I was trying to think about how to date them, but almost all have already been placed out there, so I thought more about what was done, where I've gone, and what gear was used.
But here are a couple of trys without posting a bunch of travel stuff. The pictures here include some shots of gear collected a while back and are posed with some recent stones. Some of you might remember the company 'Early Winters' out of Seattle. The wooden flashlight and the candle lantern above were both purchased from Early Winters in about '85 and were carried on a kayak trip through the San Juan Islands. Lots of Stones collected out there. This was already about ten years into these wanderings. That candle lantern was also carried in the mid to late '80's on a long dog sledding trip, a hike to Grey Owl's cabin, rafting down a few Class 4 rivers, and on my first Outward Bound trip. Even more stones were collected and a few placed back during those years. It probably was that Outward Bound experience and the focus on service and stewardship that helped me get my bearings on where this was leading me.
The small journals in the other pictures, I've used for many years now and got them from the Mountaineers. Those of you who remember these can see they are a bit dated too and have been carried on each kind of adventure while collecting and placing. They became even more useful as the new millennium arrived as it was about then that the Summit Stone muse struck me. I enjoy journaling and then reflecting back on what has been experienced.
The Muse has also been through a few revisions during these later years although I should say that I'm not that original when it comes to the Muse. Early Winters had produced a little red covered book called "An Outdoor Muse" over twenty years back. It was in a small blue stuff sack that also held other little books on the stars, fishing, outdoor cooking, etc. The idea for my own Muse really came from this. Unfortunately Early Winters went out of business about 1986 I recall.
These kinds of things have helped me keep a frame of reference for this whole journey and when things unfolded. The last five years have been busy ones in discovering new adventures, unique places to collect and then place the Stones, and developing different perspectives.
I guess what is more interesting than how long I've been doing this is the fact that these Stones themselves have been 'pounded by storms, washed by waves, and polished by the wind' longer than we have been around. Kind of puts our efforts into perspective...
There is nothing commercial about my intentions or this experience. This is not any kind of marketing gimmick nor would these ever be for sale.
I have visited some sites where others seem to be trying to make this into something it is not.
Other sites have had to delete comments by their members because of a concern that this might be a hoax of some sort or some kind of spam.
People will indeed make what they will of this experience, but my intention reflects that of a gesture, a simple gift - nothing more.
If you see anything like this please comment here and I will try and follow up on it.
I am grateful for your support in trying to be true to the intent of this experience...
Thursday, July 20, 2006
Some pictures from out there about Summit Stones found as far back as 2001.
These are from the ClubTread.com website, and what a great site it is. These people really know how to 'give back' through the service they provide on their site.
Lots of musing about these stones and what they have meant to their finders...
For over thirty years I have had endless opportunities to enjoy many adventures in the outdoors. They have given to me more than I could ever give back. This all started small with a few painted stones selected from the many I've collected over the years. These were put out while climbing, scrambling, hiking, paddling, and wandering. It just kind of developed a life of its own over the years...
I have wondered on many occasions though what fellow adventurers experienced when finding one of these little stones. I hoped it contributed something to their enjoyment of the wilderness. As each season went by I wrote up different notes to go with the Stones. Maybe I was trying to understand myself where this was going...
It just seems that there is so much mystery and magic out there. But do we take a moment or two to ponder what meanings and wonderment we have created for ourselves in our adventures. And what about times when we have those other experiences out there that challenge us and the very reasons we went in the first place. Not every day on a trail is a good one. Not every climb feels like an accomplishment...
Augustine said, "People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the seas, at the long course of the rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars, and yet they pass by themselves without wondering".
It occurred to me that the essence of our wandering adventures is to be found in creating our own motivations. Recreating these motivations again and again keep the flame of our outdoor passions alive for each of us. To do this we each need to ponder, to muse, about what meaning this has for our own journeys. And that's where it has kind of taken me. Maybe discovering one of these Summit Stones, and just maybe reflecting on the quotes in the Muse, will give one of you a moment like this...
And that is enough for me... I'll stay 'anonumous' as the Greeks said: Nameless; faceless.
I'll allow myself a bit of inquiry in writing these blogs. And enjoyment if you choose to share your experiences with each other about finding a Summit Stone...or even if you want to post your own favorite adventure quotes here for others to appreciate.
Thanks for sharing a moment with me,
As my other Blog has no area for comment here is one for musings on adventures...
My Blog "Summit Stones by DSD", has three posts on: The Stones themselves, the "Adventure Muse", and pictures of a very few of the Summit Stones being placed during 2006.