Wednesday, 15 May 2013

The Power of Love

"Everyone? Let me ask you a question...What's your favourite thing about climbing?"

Several conversations ease to a halt as we all glance across the flickering fire at our newly arrived camp site guest. Only Groove Armada maintains the beat in the background. A few seconds tick by as we consider our answer to the question we've all been asked a million times before. Initially, i refrain from answering, noticing empty beer cans scattered around his swaying form. We were after all residing in 'The Pit', a camp site located near the bouldering hotspot known as the 'Happy's'  in Bishop, California. Would a gym climber come boulderer who's opening conversation was big moves and grades know what i'm talking about? Is there any point in going there? Well, it's different for everyone, that's the whole point. The brief flutter of prejudice is tossed aside. Sharing butt cheek space with Diana on our little blue cooler i stoke the fire, watch it pulsate and smoke. When it's time to indulge it goes like this;

For two years now, i've been on a somewhat cosmic drive down the road of self discovery and that passion is the vehicle. With loving care and attention it intensifies like a swirling vortex in the centre of your being, illuminating the need for more exploration into the deep unknown inside yourself.
What is most inspiring to me, is that we are all together in this search. Although every climber has a different motivation and various ways of expressing that, we are united through our Love for something and consciously create a space were we can air our thoughts and feelings without fear of judgement or vindication.  Simply, it's the community. This is what we all had in common with our answers and was the same during the 2012 Indian Creek thanksgiving. Unification of this kind is always an encouraging thought.

So...The deep unknown. Picture your solitary self on a warm summers eve standing in front of a deep cave. Only the trees of the surrounding forest rustle in the gentle breeze. Curious as to what is inside, you take the first few tentative steps to it's mouth, crouching to avoid bumping your head and peer inside the darkness. Nothing. Hesitant, you creep forward until the rays of the setting sun gently recede behind you. Lantern in hand, the light slowly kindles the inner walls of the cave as you slowly advance one step at a time. Finally you are able to stand and discover you're in front of an immense catacomb, the feeble light is no longer able to show you the way ahead. Behind you, is the small white dot of where you came from but it's distance you cannot decipher. You feel brave to have made it this far but what now? Return to the safety of daylight while it lasts or continue into the yawning chasm ahead?

High on Ancient Art, a classic route in Utah

What's it going to be like on the summit?

Of course this metaphor isn't solely bound to being on the sharp end of a rope but to life in general. It extends to getting on that plane and checking out that place you really want to explore, sticking your thumb out on the highway, going to a social gathering or discovering a new relationship. Something different is something new but we won't know what it holds in stall for us until we step into that void willingly. In our  own way we can be bold every day of our lives if you make that choice to open your mind. For me climbing has provided that ability and has permeated every aspect of my life so far.

Riding the motorbikes with my dear friend Will in Laos, 2010
That time i made a cave my home for a few days in La Pedriza, Spain, 2011
A typically awesome gathering in Potrero Chico, Mexico, 2012
Peace & Love

1 comment:

  1. You express yourself so well through your writing, it's awesome to see.