get my truck back tomorrow, which makes tomorrow a good day. I’ve been a mess lately, feel like a shell of myself. the truck doesn’t fix anything, even though it is decidedly fixed, but it will be nice to have my gear back in one place, sleeping on my favourite bed.
it’s been a little, well, a lot too long since I set up my tent. August is my favourite month at home and I’ve been spending a lot of it indoors, planning projects and writing a series of essays and short stories. working as a photographer and writer has one major challenge- balance. the environment and mentality needed to approach either is different. generally when I’m on a roll taking photos I’m up at sunrise, somewhere off the beaten track; when I’m writing I stay up until the early hours in long pockets of flow, needing space and time to work. accommodating both has given me the opportunity to focus without needing to work in the traditional sense, yet the difference in process can be difficult to turn off and on. as a photographer you are by definition abstracted from what is happening in front of the lens, that distance helps with interpreting a scene. writing requires immersion, to experience and articulate through words which give the reader a feeling of being present. broadly similar yet polar in more acute ways, awareness of the challenges has been helpful, particularly with intention. regardless, I’m excited to get started on some thru hikes and summits over then next two weeks, to break out the crampons, ropes and hardware. this is Hayds one night as the sun went down, it looks like I might’ve told her dinner was ready.
from a hazy sunrise up the Sunshine Coast. it’s a slice of the province I hadn’t given much thought, remember rolling into Powell River once for a junior hockey game, that was about it. my family has roots along the coast; an uncles cabin, my grandparents abode and now my parents retirement property. it’ll be nice to spend more time an easy boat ride away, to be surprised and excited for new places at the end of old service roads. the past few weeks have been invigorating if a little frustrating, attempting to distance myself from words like productive and busy, things that have consumed and directed most of my life. it’s important to step back and think more about why, I’m excited to redefine things, abstract myself from worlds I’ve been a part of and focus- really focus- on directions I want to take.
so Chuck is in the shop for a couple weeks, they’ve got some cosmetic surgery to accomplish. in the meantime I’m driving a car that is pretty much antithetical to my life, a sleek, sporty, mid-sized, Mr.Responsible sedan. at least it has CarPlay. in the meantime seriously hunting down a pop-up camper, those few months on the road made me long for a desk and some space to work. I don’t need a ton of square footage, just a precise amount. a four-wheel Hawk is what I’m looking at now, if anyone has some good beta- please- let me know!
it’s been a crazy couple weeks. lots of motion and not a ton of action, maybe that’s ok, maybe I needed it, either way it’ll be nice to be home most of August. mix in some of the tedious work, stuff that gets shoved to the side. have a couple business ideas worth developing, anything to open up my schedule for larger projects, photo books and essays, uninterrupted days and weeks of writing. money is a fickle thing, I enjoy not worshipping it, not thinking much about it, but it’s there, a small weight resting on your chest that can make it difficult to breath. I don’t want anything ostentatious or decorative, don’t want to display or boast. just want enough for a small piece of the world, preferably with a river through it, enough for some toys, mostly ones with a motor or a job to do, somewhere to write, a thing to drive and sleep in and enough to not worry about travel. as much as I like staring at the mechanisms of the culture I grew up in and rejecting those norms, as much as I like to talk- I still need tokens.
the old man behind the counter fed me whatever he knew about fishing local rivers, lakes and streams. let’s call the old man Mac, because he might’ve been, never saw the counter without him. Mac was gracious with local intel, maybe I was around enough, maybe he was just gracious. all the flies in my kit are from Bishop, which has been an issue since I left. even with the hours this summer I still don’t know much of what I’m doing, I do know I enjoy being out casting. fly-fishing has a beauty to it, any of the many addicts I know will tell you, it’s a hobby that can slip quickly into a lifestyle. the type of task that consumes. I’ve long admired the idea of a fly-fisherman, the craft, focus and single-mindedness. whenever I’m out with friends along their slice of water you can hear the fervour as they describe seasons and holes and fish. I’m not sure I’ll ever find what they’ve found, honestly not sure I want to, but I enjoy the observation, and I’ll always appreciate a quiet afternoon on the water.
the dictionary defines perfect as, ‘having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.’ It’s a good definition, one I think many of us take out of context when we try to apply it to our lives. those required, desirable elements, they don’t come in perpetuity, they themselves aren’t some perpetual essence that gives off only a positive glow. those are conditions, conditions to make life as good as it can possibly be, the goodness comes with all the wonderful turbulence, pain, tumult and aggravation. perfection is a foundation, a place to put yourself as you build a life around you. a part of the process, high tide and low. nothing in and of itself is perfect, and that realization can be both liberating and exciting, you yourself cannot be perfect, but a life you lead can be perfect for you.
looking back at the shrinking Big Pine lakes. it’s been a while since my last major mountain objective, enough to make me antsy. with a few weeks at home I’m planning on spending the majority of it climbing and trekking, check out some spots on the Sunshine Coast, maybe a major traverse up the Sea-to-Sky I’ve been thinking about for a year or so, definitely something in the Tantalus, at least once up the Chief. a month really isn’t so long, goes fast, always does, might as well pack it full.
I want to capture the smile, people happy. this is my pal Celeste and she’s a gem, ace climber, self-starter, jack-of-a-few trades, her hands are in a couple cookie jars and that can make it tough to hangout. but for all the fun resume stuff, it’s her personality that shines brightest, the special quality of being able to poke fun at yourself, to be a touch goofy, to embrace the wonderful truth that life isn’t so serious. I’m glad we met, not least of all because she set me up with my girlfriend, also because I’m excited to get to know her better, to learn a thing or two about playing on rocks and to see where this sprawling, chaotic life takes her.
wish I woke up like this, woke up in a hotel instead, which is not like this, but nice in it’s own way. hung out on the beach last night with old friends and new, finished a book and started a new one. might go surf, probably will, at the least I’m gonna run on the beach and go float out past the rip. took this photo at 14,000’, sleeping at 5’ or so now, summer has been good.
I’ve always been hesitant to share poetry, it seems vulnerable, slightly feminine and really, those are irrational worries. I love poetry, adaptive form, playing with disjointed rhyme, building meter. mostly I’m attracted to the visual you can create. also, confidence is the most important thing in my life, and you don’t build it without being consistently vulnerable, so; littering the field mother crossing high. peeking, neck reaching, nursing in the heat. hands fall in shade, faces drawn, lonely fade to night. blooming haste, fleeting life. each flower a son, cradled by the light.
just a couple of nugs sleeping like logs. even with the bugs it was nice to get up to one of my favourite spots at home. probably go back before the end of summer to climb all four peaks. been thinking a bit about what I’m going to do the next month or so, pretty sure I’ve come up with a major change of plans, something that makes more sense. been reminded how much I love my backyard this time of year, of that and how much I missed my friends.