Thursday, July 19, 2018

“Simply, Quietly, Resolutely, Calmly...”

To stand upon such a summit; quietly, resolutely, calmly. 
Listening by oneself, to our most inner adventure selves.
On our own, yet never alone. 
Gazing out before us, upon a sea of summits, and wonderful experiences too.
To rest upon a summit in this way, to begin to know our mountain, so very personally and closely, is to touch the hidden and elusive, the most ephemeral, the very enduring, the truly elemental. 
Upon such a summit, simply by oneself..... DSD

Wednesday, July 18, 2018


I've always believed in Geomancy: the mysteriousness of the Elements.
I've certainly felt the reality of Geopiety: special favorite places in the world where we each seem to belong.
How about you? Hasn't it felt just 'right' when you've touched that granite rock, turned a corner on that trail and saw that forever moment vista, or landed with a muted crunch on that sandy and rocky beach.
What about one of those nights when you got up for a moment and gazed up at stars to numerous to count.
Then discovered again that mountain lake that you've seen so many times before and yet find yourself now really beginning to sense what is there.
Then there are the sounds - falling asleep to the wind in the trees, the distant thunder that both intrigues and yet scares us, the many cords of the rain, how it starts, grows in cadence, then fades away. And the ocean - which has too many sounds too note, and yet whose music we never seem to tire of.
How can there not be a Geomancy; how can we not find some Geopiety?
So it also feels right to then give something back; picking up some garbage out there, helping on trail restoration, or quietly passing forward while placing a few little touchstones season after season.
Maybe when others found these, it invited them to create some of their own Geomancy.
Maybe they will also then give something back to that wild place...

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

“A Lovely Truth...”

"All journeys have secret destinations of which the traveller is unaware."    M. Buber

Friday, July 13, 2018


Languages and stories are like stones for me; the older and the more unique, the better.
The Greeks for example, knew how to blend both the mysteries and the realities of life in many of their ancient stories. Their culture was one built upon and also set many times within stone as well. They revered people who would journey into the wilds and return to share their tales. These were the Thaumatourgos.
The ones who were changed, who underwent powerful transformations as they met with and endured the elements. This ability to do this within such experiences belonged to the realm of these 'wonder workers'.
Adventurers are indeed Thaumatourgos and are certainly a part of that group that embraces all of the wonders out there.
As adventurers, we marvel at that which we wander through, we seek out the elements and the beautiful mysteries of nature, as we know of the these potential transformations that will surely become real for us. The wilds are the places and the elements are the means.
We adventurers see this every time we journey among the mountain giants, as we wander the hidden valleys and forests, as we travel among the distant coastal islands, and over the mysterious northern lakes too. 
Philosophers have also mused over the Thaumatourgos, but in their own unique way. Their view of such transformations and reflections are of personal beliefs, especially those about responsibilities, and also in the understanding of the concept of 'gifts'.
Most adventurers I know are philosophers in their own right - poets too; as they create their own magic or 'Theurgy' out there through spirit and effort, energy, and altered perceptions. Any personal transformation is about change, in appearance, in form, and through expression. 
The wonder of such workings is that we see this all the time out there, like when climbing upon the face of a mountain through the various seasons. 
We ourselves experience this intensely when we return changed in so many ways from what we were before our adventure experience's had unfolded. As with the frozen rivers which will transform to flowing waters, or with the so stormy ocean which returns to its' own calmness, we too become an inherent part of the whole wild place Thaumatourgos. 
Sometimes when wandering the wilds, I can even transform back so many years into that younger version of myself as I climb or kayak or canyoneer. 
Now that is a magical gift. 
Such transformations, our personal adventure Theurgy, is truly a transmutation of the elements. 
What a powerful, wonderful, blend of expression, spirit, and magic this is..... DSD

Thursday, July 12, 2018


Musae, Movere, Ignis. Significatio, Elementi, Vita. Ignis, Ubi, Natura... Nine words of Latin. Written on some parchment. Found in an old register. Upon an elusive summit. It seems the interpretation though, is now up to each of us. Calculus... DSD 

Saturday, July 07, 2018


Mountain summits are small places with large symbolic potential... The sublimity of mountain climbing manifests itself in two ways: as an environment to be experienced and as a medium for self-expression." R. Mitchell

Thursday, July 05, 2018

“It’s All About Perspective...”

"Yet another burned area presents itself further along the trail with many a scorched tree still standing, very likely to live on through many more thunderstorms. But one dead tree... seems to have stood in the ground through many revolutions of the earth... its bark peeling away exposing its wood to the elements. While the sides of the dead fir are charred, its upper surface is smooth, bleached to a uniform grey, and as inviting to an artist as a chalkboard. He takes a piece of charcoal in hand and sketches a woman's face, not in bold outline, but subtly, with shadings and blurred features, so that an unsuspecting hiker coming upon it later might wonder if Mother Nature hadn't drawn the image herself." M. Mardon

Monday, July 02, 2018

“Adventure Energies...”

I've heard Mountain & Sea Kayak Guides, as well as our Outward Bound Instructors, all mention it. 
We've seen it in action in the Grand Canyon; experienced it in ways hard to describe while climbing and when out upon the ocean; felt it so sustain us on longer treks. 
And we are still seeking out the meanings of to 'go where the energy is'... 
I believe this to be a quietly, profoundly, simply important concept for those of us who wander. We only need to witness its' magic once in a fellow adventurer, after seeing them so tired and worn out past where a person would be expected to last. Yet they do... 
We see them discover a different source of energy, a whole new wellspring of enthusiasm and motivation to keep on going. It is then we ask: What is this means for motion have they tapped into; what elemental energies have they aligned with? 
While as individuals we do vary in our physical makeup, in our internal energies of motivation and drive, and as well in how our external objectives then pull each of us forward - energy is the essence that any adventurer draws upon to make their wild place dreams become real. 
Ability is only the beginning. 
Energy is what makes it sustaining. 
So, what does this mean - 'to go where the energy is'? Could it be about those places of geomancy where a force, some kind of latent power, emanates from the elements themselves? 
Might it be the synergy of shared vigour and fun that group activity out there radiates in countless dynamic ways? 
What is hidden behind that which incites each of us, that causes our hearts to beat so, that stimulates our mind, our spirit, the very core of our being? 
Maybe it is the potential to be discovered within every new experience; possibly the passions each of us have that fuels our personal flames; or also quite likely the endless variations of the elements themselves that never cease to inspire each of us out there. So wherever your elemental enthusiasms wait for you Dear Finder, trek towards them, embrace them, allow yourself to be infused by them. Ask yourself right then, why does this stimulate me so, what is it that I want here, what do I want this to mean, why is this so important for me. 
Such questions and the resulting musings will surely guide each of us to where your own lasting energies await..... DSD