04 July 2011


Northward blender view of Red Peak from below Red Buffalo Pass (Gore Range outside Silverthorne, CO).  Spring 2007.
Today is Independence Day. Perhaps it is fitting this found it's way to the page.

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Sunset over the Collegiate Peaks, near Buena Vista, CO.
I love being outside. I love jagged snowy mountains, a fresh pine-filtered breeze, and cloudless blue skies that wax indigo at the zenith. I love the way the landscape pops into existence just over the edge of a summit's peak, and the way cold rock feels under my fingertips, and the lava that courses through my veins from the roar of crashing waves. I love the red and purple fire that ignites the sky at dusk every single day, and the way the ocean rolls and washes my soul back into the right shape, and sharing the epiphanical endorphins of it all with good people.

Moonrise over Telluride, CO. Summer Solstice 2010.
Independence Monument, Colorado National Monument, CO
And yet, I have a nagging doubt. A nagging hunch that it's not mutual. A deep feeling in my gut that Nature doesn't care, nor reciprocate my love. Nature, why do you shrug that I rope up and climb your steep rock faces? Why not just prevent me from falling? Nature, why do you yawn that I lace up my shoes and run up your wooded trails? Why not carry me back down? Nature, must you plug your ears to my hoots of joy on top of a mountain? Why not sing along? Nature, must you trip me when I stand to ride your waves? Why not hoist me to my feet?

Unaweep Canyon, CO. The pensive climber is Casey.

You are stunning in your beauty, but you are the ultimate tease--the sublime lady I can never have. No matter how clever, or smart, or funny, or charming, or self-actualized I may be, I won't catch your attention. You don't even want to be my friend. It breaks my heart, as any one-way love must. But this strengthens my resolve. will come back later, and I will do it for me. I WILL come back later, to simply see you, if that is all I get. I will come back later, on my terms. In the interim, I do not expect that you will have changed, though I definitely will. Lord Byron said it pretty well one time:

There is a pleasure in the pathless woods,
   There is a rapture on the lonely shore,
   There is society where none intrudes,
   By the deep Sea, and music in its roar:
   I love not Man the less, but Nature more,

   From these our interviews, in which I steal
   From all I may be, or have been before,
   To mingle with the Universe, and feel
What I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.

(First Stanza of "Apostrophe to the Ocean"
from Childe Harold's Pilgrimage)
Uluru, Northern Territory, Australia. August 2010. The shadow on the rock face is cast by the impressive Kata Tjutu.

Nature, my lady, there is a lesson in your cold-heartedness, I know. By your intensity, you teach me Humility, so that Pride does not cloud my Love, and Faith, and Generosity. In your remoteness, you teach me self-sufficiency, so that I may focus on the solution and not the problem, however small it may be. You teach me of Beauty, which is a grand, transcendent paradox: were I not here to see it and say it, would you still be beautiful? Through your intricacy, you teach me of Infinity, so that I may appreciate Nothing, and thus have Gratitude for the universal web of existence, of which--against all odds--I am somehow a part. By your Rejection, you teach me to be a Man, so that I may make my own path and find true companionship along the way. Much obliged.