Dreaming


This is for the girls who think in poetry. This is for the people out there who aren’t sure where reality ends and dreams begin. This is for those who are keeping their dreams alive because the same people who told them go ahead, held them back when they did. This is for those dreams. May they live on as long as possible against all reason. 

She was on a bike. The bike was moving. Her body was moving the bike. The ice plant hung to the sides of the road; an unwelcomed welcome guest. Her hips jiggled on the bumps. She felt herself smiling. She wrote in third person. She saw life as a wonderful and fleeting thing and she was never the person she was ten minutes ago. She was always morphing into others. “Oh you’ll find yourself someday,” they all echoed in her ears. “I have,” she said, knowing she was a million different people in one. She wasn’t afraid of the truth. She loved it, she sped towards it, and climbed over the walls protecting it, and asked and dug and ran. She scared people unknowingly because she was a dream they had locked away in some part of their hearts.

She was tired of scaring people, but ordinary conversations didn’t interest her anymore. She realized how fleeting life is one day while watching a dandelion get trampled in the duff. She realized she was made up of the same things. When she was sad, she would lie in the sand, or ocean, or grass, and try with all of her might to dissolve into anything else. Something else. Anything other than that body she had been born into. She used to hate her face for the ways people didn’t look at her. Then she hated her face for the way people did. She was ashamed to be society’s standard of “pretty.” So she hid in every way she could. She fell in love more times than she could count so that she would be able to share some of the things she thought were beautiful in her. 

And she had dreams. Oh boy, she had dreams. But those dreams lived inside her and everywhere around her constantly. Sometimes they would slip out and into the ears of her good friends “I want to go to Australia,” or “I want to fall in love.” Usually they would just sit there around her, playing with her hair, tickling her feet and scratching her belly, hoping that she would recognize them. She would always say “I’m not ready yet,” then skip off into something else.

This is for the dreamers. The one’s whose dreams are begging for attention. The one’s who carry them with them everywhere they go, and see them in everything they see. It is us that will stand smiling at the ends of our lives. We will never regret the risks we took as much as the one’s we didn’t. For you, my dreamers, this is the wick that will keep your candles burning. Let your flames breathe, and when the time comes, set the whole world on fire.

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Climbing.

Gibraltar Rock, Santa Barbara

It takes gear, time, and friends to climb. Once the mountains start calling, they don’t stop, and when you learn the language of the rocks, you not only hear it’s whispers on warm summer breezes, but you feel it in the ache of your hands and body. It becomes a craving, an almost unhealthy addiction, and it is impossible to run. So you don’t.

Then you do, but all of the running is away from everything else deep into the home of the rocks. That is where you’ll find her. That wild woman that feels and reasons with equal gusto. And when you find her there with wild hair and a dangerously alive fire in her eyes, you’ll feel things that you’ve been afraid to. If you dare, she will let you, and she will hold your hand tenderly the whole time while pulling you deep into the heart of everything. 

Climbing is not exclusive. Despite popular belief, not all climbers are exquisitely fit and sleek Roman gods. Though, naturally, the field is full of such gods, every shape that a body climbs in can be found on the rocks. It is the puzzle solvers and challenge seekers and nature enthusiasts that inhabit these wilds. And I’m not saying everyone is good, heck, a lot of us aren’t, but at least we are out there. As climbers, as friends, as humans, we flee to the hills to slow down and unwind with babbling brooks and trees and birds. If we get exercise while we are out there, then it’s a bonus (you always do whether you realize it or not).

Remember that woman you found a few paragraphs ago? Yeah, she is still there, always there. She is anywhere you leave her or want to find her in the woods. She waits for you while you’re at work, eager to play again. She loves climbing because it takes everything in her to accomplish each climb. Her eyes, dancing up the moves barely before her hands. Her feet, seeking and finding each new step to push and lean and pull from. Her shoulders, tense and relaxed and strong. She has been waiting for you because she is the parts of you that are still wild. When you run out of breath, she pushes it back into you and takes you higher. She is the animal of your body that needs to move and love and explore. 

She climbs because she can because you can. If you doubt her, you doubt yourself and the parts of you that you have let wander away. When you see them floating in the little stream of your mind, bend down and take a look. What has come between you and them? What excuses do you make that keeps you from her? What stops you from climbing the mountains? And if climbing isn’t your dance, what is?

This is a blog about finding her, you and the dance of the two. Climbing is where I found her, and where I run to be with her. She, for me, is my true self that I lose sight of when I walk down the path of “shoulds and should nots.” And so this is for you too, as we find her and us and each other somewhere. After all, this is what it means to be human.