November 15, 2010

Life's Reason Why

Remember the Mountain Bed
Do you still sing of the mountain bed we made of limbs and leaves?
Do you still sigh there near the sky where the holly berry bleeds?
You laughed as I covered you over with leaves
You smiled when I said the leaves were just the color of your eyes

Rosin smells and turpentine smells from eucalyptus and pine
Bitter tastes of twigs we chewed where tangled wood vines twine
Trees held us in on all four sides so thick we could not see
I could not see any wrong in you, and you saw none in me

Your arm was brown against the ground, your cheeks part of the sky
Your fingers played with grassy moss, as limber you did lie
Your stomach moved beneath your shirt and your knees were in the air
Your feet played games with mountain roots as you lay thinking there

Below us the trees grew clumps of trees, raised families of trees, and they
As proud as we tossed their heads in the wind and flung good seeds away
The sun was hot and the sun was bright down in the valley below
Where people starved and hungry for life so empty come and go

There in the shade and hid from the sun we freed our minds and learned
Our greatest reason for being here, our bodies moved and burned
There on our mountain bed of leaves we learned life's reason why
The people laugh and love and dream, they fight, they hate to die

The smell of your hair I know is still there, if most of our leaves are blown
Our words still ring in the brush and the trees where singing seeds are sown
Your shape and form is dim but plain, there on our mountain bed
I see my life was brightest where you laughed and laid your head...

I learned the reason why man must work and how to dream big dreams
To conquer time and space and fight the rivers and the seas
I stand here filled with my emptiness now and look at city and land
And I know why farms and cities are built by hot, warm, nervous hands

I crossed many states just to stand here now, my face all hot with tears
I crossed city, and valley, desert, and stream, to bring my body here
My history and future blaze bright in me and all my joy and pain
Go through my head on our mountain bed where I smell your hair again.

All this day long I linger here and on in through the night
My greeds, desires, my cravings, hopes, my dreams inside me fight:
My loneliness healed, my emptiness filled, I walk above all pain

November 11, 2010

Statement of Purpose and Need

Adventure, whether physical or mental, implies breaking into unpenetrated ground, venturing beyond the boundary of normal aptitude, extending oneself to the limit of capacity, courageously facing peril. Life without the chance for such exertions would be for many persons a dreary game, scarcely bearable in its horrible banality.

Bob Marshall's Arctic Wilderness

Exploration meant experiencing the freshness of the world in all its elemental strength, mystery, and timeless beauty. It meant remoteness and space where one could roam alone, or with a few congenial companions, free from the environment of modern mechanical civilization. Exploration formed the structure for his deep need for the enjoyment of wilderness with its adventure, its many-faceted aesthetic experiences, its space, its sense of freedom, and its opportunity to search in wild places for what is BASIC in life. Bob found in both the wilderness and in the native frontier communities some of the essentials of freedom of the human spirit for which he fought and which seemed so lacking in the twentieth century world.
"Every mountain was covered with snow, every peak showed a clear white edge set against a pure blue background. Almost everything in life seems to be at least somewhat blurred and misty around the edges and so little is ever absolute that there was a genuine satisfaction in seeing the flawless white of those summits and the flawless blue of the sky and the razor edge sharpness with which the two came together."
Views from the summits were deep spiritual experiences. His joy was complete when, standing on a peak, he beheld the magnificence of a wild, timeless world extending to the limit of sight filled with countless mountains and deep valleys.
Originally from Strongsville, OH, I spent 8 years in Raleigh, North Carolina and have since recently moved to Missoula, MT. I have been a runner all my life and have recently started pursuing ultra marathons. Any excuse to be outside and on the trails.