Saturday, February 27, 2016

"Of Adventure, Artistry, And Goals..."

Mark Ivan Cole recently said of a musing here...
"This is personally poignant for me, DSD Stones. I've had the opportunity to do some exploring, some backpacking, a few short summits, and a smattering of rock climbing. I've been wondering if I can get to the stuff I've been wanting to get to for so long, not sure if there's time. Recently, I've felt like the universe has been telling me: "you're never too old." This is another reminder. Thank you."

To which I pondered, then replied: 
"A musing very meaningful for myself too Mark.
Never too old, never that out of shape, never too far, nor too much else going on, or too much commitment would it take - never...
We do what we can, with what we are and have, where we are as well. 
All is truly meaningful.
Each is a summit of its own kind.
Never is it a moment wasted.
The elements always echo out with such truths. Thank you Mark".

Then I also reflected over two quotes posted some time ago:

"The most invisible creators I know of are those artists whose medium is life itself. The ones who express the inexpressible... Their medium is their being. Whatever their presence touches has increased life. They are artists of being alive..." J. Stone    
"The real goal. It wasn't, oddly enough, the summit of a mountain or the top of a cliff at all. That's because the goal wasn't really a place, but a feeling. It was an emotion deep inside him, and inside all of us; a sentiment we all search for, but which always seems so elusive." A. Hobson 
How wonderful, yet mysterious, all these elements are. They arise with the sun, blend with our adventures, mix in with our longings, then we gaze out upon them with the setting sun too...

Friday, February 26, 2016

"Spirit Of Grace On All Fours..."

"Oh wisdom
in your fur coat
and whiskers.
What don't you know?
Sometimes I believe 
I have seen my soul searched 
in your eyes.
How much time passes 
between us without word?
How much do you know
that I've just begun
to understand?
Spirit of grace
and humor
on all fours...".   P.Reinke

Thursday, February 25, 2016

"An Enduring And Expansive Truth....."

"No climber truly stops, in the sense that there are many levels to climb at, and many ways to remain active: giving up storm-blasted mountains for sun baked rocks, settling for strenuous hikes instead of death defying climbs, or simply living a bit vicariously through the accounts of more active climbers.
But no climber, active or inactive, young or old, can help but look back to one of their earlier climbs with a sense that they had touched something beautiful and elusive, and had found movement upon rock and ice as creation.
Enduring friendships were discovered.
New strengths were found.
Horizons expanded...
These experiences may have been passing moments or month long expeditions, but in these remembrances most climbers find necessary definition for the rest of their lives...".  J. waterman

Tuesday, February 23, 2016

"Call Into The Void..."

"Stand at the precipice.
That existential darkness.
And call into the void.
It will surely answer...".

"The void should not be frightening.
Rather, it contains all possibilities.
Peer into it, call out, not just with your voice, but with your whole being.
If your cry is deep and sincere, an echo is sure to return.
This is the affirmation of our existence.
The affirmation that we are on the right path...".  D. Ming-Dao

"To Look, To See, And Yet More..."

"To look is one thing. To see what you look at is another. To understand what you see is a third. To learn from what you understand is still something else. But to act on what you learn is all that really matters."  M. McNair

Sunday, February 21, 2016

"Of Remindings....."

When our amazing climb simply seems to unfold and end.
Then another blue mountain very quietly beckons us ahead.

When that storm has cleared and now slowly passes us by.
A beautiful crisp rainbow is discovered shining brightly out.

When we all listen closely out there for such callings.
They will truly echo out reflecting all of our longings.

When we are reminded always so gently yet once again.
That our endearing climbs only at seem at first to end...  DSD 

I wrote this in appreciation at the closing of one of my Outward Bound experiences.

Thank you once again my Friends for sharing your wonderful images.  

Saturday, February 20, 2016

"Of Directions..."

"I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving. To reach our port, we must sail sometimes into the wind and sometimes against it - but we must sail, not drift, nor lie at anchor...".  O.W. Holmes

Friday, February 19, 2016

"Where I First Met Raven....."

At the entry to a valley I have wandered in over the years is a wooded area full of life and noise and wonder. 
It was here I first met Raven. Such a large bird of glistening black with so irritating a voice. Having returned there so many times, this Raven and I seemed to develop a connection of sorts, that went from simple awareness to something very much more.
Every time I went back was usually for a different reason, some to just walk, many to hike further, even more as the approach to a mountain then chosen to climb. Raven always seemed to be there, watching and waiting. 
In the early years, Raven stayed up in the trees, and let me know I was not likely welcome with that loud call, the fluffing up, and the spreading of wings. During later times though it appeared we were becoming a bit more used to each other and I would even call back on occasion in fun. To my surprise, Raven would then pause and give me the most inquisitive look as if I had said something of some meaning... 
Those last years Raven actually came closer when I called back, flying over, landing near, hopping back and forth, all the while keeping those clear, sharp, curious eyes upon me. I am not sure when exactly our conversations started, but I think they began when I was returning from an unsuccessful summit attempt one year. I was upset by my route finding and less than optimal fitness that season. Raven probably heard me mumbling to myself as I neared and cawed out more loudly than ever before, "I know, I know", I said out loud in reply, and then took Raven's response to me as one of laughter over my overreactions and a reminder not to take such things so seriously. After then landing closely nearby, I looked over at Raven and that bird simply sat there, calmly and more quietly than I ever remembered, and just stared at me for the longest time. 
I couldn't help but just laugh out loud. 
Over the seasons and recent years Raven and I continued to converse about many things. Our chats became more personal as we allowed each other to get physically closer and I believe trustingly, more emotionally closer too. That loud brash voice so bothersome in its call, and yet so comforting in its messages... 
Our talks have gone on for over a decade and in that time I think we began to know the other better. 
We were more able to understand each of our worlds, and very much enjoyed a connection out there.
On each visit, Raven would hop about, clacking that dark bill, kind of whistle occasionally, peck at my pack, and remind me with a shrill screech that I wasn't paying attention to the moment. "I know, I know...", I would say yet again and again; and then laugh in response along with Raven's intelligent stares at me.
Raven always reminded me to remember the truly important things, always chided me when I was distracted, never allowed me to just wander past without pausing in those moments to say hello, and to share how each of our adventures were going.
Raven wasn't there that last season. 
I knew immediately something was amiss. 
It was too quiet and the silence lacked the welcome I had known there so many times before. 
I did later find two beautiful, long black feathers laying out there. Raven's last gift to me I am sure.
I like to think Raven's voice can still be heard out there though, all his kin seem to have taken up the call. 
To simply remind us to laugh and wonder, and to bring our attention back to those special moments that we mark our lives by.
I do miss you old friend. 
Your voice irritating and so very beloved. You were such a friendly cherished bother.....


"Remember... The dream that comes true in mid ocean or at the dry waterhole or on black ice; the animal that appears at the precise and empty instant you need it to whisper in your ear...". R. Schultheis  

Thursday, February 18, 2016

"Such Friends We Adventurers Have..."

"A friend may well be reckoned with a masterpiece of nature...".  G. Eliot

"A Further Language..."

"The language of friendship is not only words, but meanings...".  H.D. Thoreau

Sunday, February 14, 2016

"Of Wild Loving..."

"I love this lake, basin of heavenly tears, tilted from lunar pull, jostling its shore... I love these mountains, stark rock outcroppings, sculpted by the oceans, lifted at some unknown time, isolated in a field of vetch, cleaved by silver falls. A sentinel owl regards me unblinkingly, and beyond alpine forests form a cadence, to a distant moon..."   Deng Ming-Dao  

"We Wanderers And Adventurers Are Such Romantic Realists....."

We adventurers are such romantic realists, when we turn and face that which we each have chosen, as we make our own way out among the wildest of places...
To be an adventurer is at heart, to clearly be a romantic, and yet it seems very much a realist too. We take our dream like visions and make them come true. We move past everyday life back here, and journey into the extremes and emotions out there; and then return with spirits, hearts, and perceptions renewed.
That which really matters become the elements we seek to embrace; what is within the true nature of an experience becomes that which we seek to engage.
As adventurers, we deal with things as they are, while following enthusiasms towards things that are yet to be...
We are so imaginatively practical in the pursuit of our wild passions. So often playfully serious about our fun and our freedoms. We blend risk with romanticism, and distinct objectives with subtle fulfillment's.
Such romantic realists are we, such pioneers and wanderers, poets and bards, explorers and philosophers.
We everyday adventurers..... DSD   

Saturday, February 13, 2016

"Maybe Wendell's Most Favorite Musing..."

"It may be, that when we no longer know which way to go, that we have come to our real journey...".  Wendell Berry

"The Ground At Our Feet..."

"Our world is not only discovered by a journey of miles, no matter how long, but also a very personal spiritual journey, a journey of one inch, very arduous and humbling and joyful, by which we arrive at the ground at our feet, and learn to be at home. It is a journey we can make only by the acceptance of mystery...". W. Berry 

Friday, February 12, 2016

"Those Quiet Voices Still Echo Out So....."

There are very few of us adventurers who have not had desires and dreams about, and then actual experiences in sharing the wild places with, our family of wild ones out there. 
Our experiences become so very special when this happens, when we see them, especially when we share a moment among them, and so we hope though while elusive that this will happen again and again for us. 
Most of us cherish these moments almost as none other, they are so unique, so touching. Then we also often want to reflect upon our own lives through totems and symbols of what these special creatures of the earth represent to each of us.
I have forever longed for such connection with the wild ones, the quiet ones, and have been so grateful when it occurs. We admire their courage, their tenacity & endurance, their strength, their energy, the very spirit with which they live their lives out there. Without asking for anything in return they share with us their wisdom, and the mystery & memories of ageless wonders. 
Yet we also know, as ones who wander out there, the risks they too face. We have seen the realities and the impacts of changes and clashes of territory, species, and cultures. We feel it deeply when their hurt voices are raised. 
The truth of it is, even with their wild ways and powers we may envy, that they are really the most vulnerable ones, these quiet ones who call to us.
Within their callings they point us towards ways of fulfilling our own longings. We adventure as we can, they must venture always.
We wander wild places to enhance our lives, they journey wild places because it is their lives.
We are an integral part within both of each others history and future. They are our most precious ones. They are an essential part of our family, can be our teachers, our guides, our healers. They are the most vulnerable ones. 
They need us, yet we need them just as much, do we not my friends...
What would the wild places be without our family of wild ones? We often hear their voices when they call in the dark, when dawn begins, and they can be heard too as we stop and listen and still ourselves when we wander out there. They are the quietest voices, strong but often scared voices, they call as much to us as they do to each other to listen, to hear, to know, to feel.
Strong as they are they are vulnerable too.
We know of such vulnerabilities, as we have touched it through our human frailties and with the risks we experience as we adventure. We are as vulnerable as well for in losing these quiet ones, in not hearing their voices, in not taking those paths that might mean some extra efforts on our part - will most certainly result in the loss of experiences shared with them and horizons only dreamed of.
We can do this, we who wander and adventure. We have strengths that can be theirs, and these quiet ones will then in turn share their wisdom with us, which may a saving grace for all...
Please listen with me for a while as the quietest voices are calling. 
They are calling for us. 
They are quiet voices reaching out to each of us. 
Let us each respond, in our own way, even in some small way, and then go out there again, to see them, to embrace them, because we really are on one and the same path..... DSD    

Thursday, February 11, 2016

"It's Different..."

"The struggle of man and mountains is different... Man then bows before something that is bigger than he. When he does that, he finds serenity and humility and dignity too...".  W. O'Douglas

"He Remembered Something..."

"When he got home, he remembered something about an organization called Outward Bound. He'd read about it in Reader's Digest once. The headline to the story had said, 'You'll never be afraid to try again'."  
Written by Alan Hobson about Laurie Skreslet, the first Canadian to climb Mt. Everest.

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