I feel inspired by the mountains again, the PCT sadness has shifted, replaced by the familiar uneasiness of being alone. Driving thru the storm, the fog paints the world white. My eyes ache and body strain to see ahead, when suddenly it clears and everything is sharp and focused, all the colors are vivid and the tension in my body gives way to a great release and I sigh, "wow". The air is cool and the hills are cloaked in orange and gold and I am happy, at last, to be there.
I know I've hurt him and all I can do is keep moving forward. I am searching, trying to find the self that I lost so many years ago. I can't stand living this way, as this stranger, this sadness, this selfish desperate shell.
My mind drifts and I think of Yosemite and that day on the Merced. Random visions of places I've been, memories I didn't know I had of vistas and creeks and trail, all generic then, but somehow locked deep inside my mind, and I go back, all the way back, while I'm sitting in my car.
Will I go back in earnest? Can my body carry my will? Shouldn't I be longing for a companion? Shouldn't I be planning "a life"? All I long for is mountains and a body that is healthy enough, to carry a mind that is open enough, to direct a spirit light enough, to take me there, to that place where I look out from the edge and know I can fly.
Like that night at City College when I stepped out of class, hands covered in paint, and the atmosphere looked like liquid; downtown the bottom of a great ocean and I felt my insides click together and I knew if I stepped off the ledge I would float, neutrally buoyant, out across space into nothing, or everything; into familiarity, into Home.
I don't know if I've ever loved anyone or if I ever will. Love is just acceptance, possession, someone I need to please; a rock I have to wrap myself around, like sea foam; thick and untethered, easily smashed by waves or blown by wind; lost in the space between. Not belonging to earth nor water nor air, but a collection of everything it bumps up against, and nothing of its own creation.
And those traits they loved in me? Those cliff-side boulders, those sandstone monoliths that I draped myself over, what did they see in me? They saw the beauty of a thousand shores, a million loves platonic or more; they saw the others, the remnants of themselves; pieces of sea and stone trapped in bubbles, floating where love dissolved; the empty space that remained when they left.
Is that what everyone is? Just a collection of everyone else? Pieces of other people trapped in the void;
The photos she left behind when she moved out while you were at work; Those memories you can't wash off.
Is it possible to be made out of mountains instead? Voids created by alpine lakes and snow.
Not the people you loved, that didn't love back,
Not the love amidst the fray,
Not the love you took for granted,
Not the love you hoped would stay.
Can you fill those spaces with aspens and pines?
With sagebrush and cactus, with birds and sunshine?
No pieces of others reflecting in the dark,
calling their replacements who'll only break your heart.
Be empty, be blank, be slick like river rock.
Trust yourself to nature,
Be more than what you're not.