Saturday, April 18, 2015

How to Get There

It used to take daylong treks up big mountains. Long sustained activity that left room for only tiredness. It took wearing out my muscles, my body, my ever-churning mind left no option but to stop the churning and focus. Focus on rock, movement, tent set-up, calorie-getting. That fatigue felt good. Getting to that point felt good - the sucking of air, the burning of lungs, the absolute stunning beauty of mountains. It took me there. To the happy place, a place where I let go of everything that wasn't being.

Now I get there differently.

It takes... a morning of waking with him, my 6-month man who I'd like to be my *jinx* forever-man, coffee on the couch, idle chatter. A slow preparation for leaving. Pulling the car off the road to smell the pretty things, to take photos of new flowers, to pee down the side of oblong uptilted rock, competing... him,

of course, winning. A hike up Devil's Head, a 3-hour endeavor with stops, shared observations. Weaving our way down unknown roads, talking, listening to music, being quiet, soaking in sun through the windshield, wind ruffling via the sunroof.

It takes less. It is simple.

I am mellowing.

It is about time!

Friday, April 03, 2015


One of my favorite memories of the canyon is him. Coming around the corner, cheeks stuffed with pb&j bagel, one bite pinched yet in his fingers. Striding toward me, trying to smile around all those cheeks.

I was hot. Not just with the 87 degree Grand Canyon sun, but furious at him for not giving me half the bagel. Hadn't I just raged 20 minutes ago about how hungry I was? Hadn't I been silent at our last stop in the shadow of the red layer? Hadn't that silence communicated to him that every part of my skin was prickly, that my stomach was growling, that tears were near? Hadn't he seen me stomp off, tired of waiting yet again for my brother and his girlfriend to finish their lunch, wanting to get out already, to get to the car and eat mounds of real food? Was he genetically-incapable of reading the needs of the woman he supposedly loved? Was he selfish? Was he stupid? 

"You didn't think to save half of that bagel for me?" 

The pinched bit was instantly thrust toward me.

"No, I don't want your last bite." Spit couldn't have sizzled more on the rocks.

Silently, but looking at my face and finally (hallelujah!) taking it in, he pulled off his pack and fished out a whole, intact, oatmeal & raisin Clif bar. 

It made a dent in my hunger. It made a dent in my anger. It loosened my tongue enough that I could tell him all that was going on. How I felt so strong, going up, ascending out of the canyon, how I was born to do that, but that it KILLED me to have to stop and wait. He listened in that quiet way he does. We looked at the blisters on his heel and toes. We speculated about how much more of our 10.3 mile hike might remain. He hugged me and held me by the small of my back. He helped me into my pack.

One of my favorite memories of the canyon is him. Watching me melt down. And calmly, coolly putting me back together.

-Grand Canyon, March 2015

Wednesday, April 01, 2015

The True Things

Hiking in the sand dunes
you feel the true things
The happiness of giggling families
kids sliding down dunesides
the pure joy
of running 
sandy plunge steps
the kiss of sun on cheeks, legs, 
so much warmth in February

The joy surges and you
and share it with him
what is real and true
the best in life
You wish for him
Will his way
across a thousand miles
around the signed divorce
over the hurts
the loss
you find the true things

The feeling
the knowing
the absolute
of that short list
Give to him and
that he feels it too