Thursday, August 6, 2020

Hieroglpyhics and Harry's Ridge

Suddenly another month has passed since my last post. I always have things to say-if you know me, you knowwwww this. The girl can talk. I don't always have the motivation necessary to scribe. 

I go through such phases with sharing my writing. With everything actually. I swing between two states of self (Gemini placement anyone?): an open book who wears her heart on her sleeve, achingly earnest, to a private, self reliant, and suspicious loner. 

I often wonder what my writing is "doing" if it's just a shout into an empty canyon. At times an echo back in the form of self reflection. Recently I received two emails (Hi Ruthie and Andrew!) about this blog. I told both readers that posting here often feels like the proverbial tree falling in the woods. Is anyone around to hear? Did they need to be, to make it real? More over, does any of it even matter?

"And I asked myself about the present: how wide it was, how deep it was, how much was mine to keep."

Actually, this blog gets quite a lot of views-but the comment feature has been disabled for months if not a year now, and I can't figure out how to allow anyone other than Blogger members to comment. I know people are reading, even when it feels like I'm dumping sentences and personal musings into a vortex of infinite space. The occasional comment from someone in India or Virginia used to be some sort of confirmation of felled trees in the forest of More Life Less Waste, I suppose.
It doesn't help that I (like many others) remain suspended in an ongoing existential crisis. What are words and writing worth if the planet is dying, and people are too? Disease, violence, race wars, bombs, global warming. What if everything is going to end much sooner than we imagined? What if a long, rounded out life just isn't in the cards for my generation, or those after?

The only answer I've come to in pondering these (dark, real) thoughts is another question- who are we, if not our memories?

What I write is mine. My legacy of lived experience is my baby-quite likely the only one I'll ever have. Cultivating a consistent allegiance to record keeping is the only way I know to honor the memories and experiences of my time here on Earth. 

I see my words as tombstones in the graveyard of time. Moments lived and disorderly thoughts wrangled. Feelings-real but fleeting, fraught with unpredictability, recorded for reflection and remembrance.

It may be delusional, but continuing to share anything I write publicly is basically my hieroglyphics. I find great comfort in imagining a post-apocalyptic world wherein future Earth dwellers stumble upon these memories and experiences and find something in them. If that happens in this lifetime too, even better.

We tend to paint the past with the paintbrush of nostalgia. Conveniently forgetting the painful parts whenever possible and elevating the things that we don't have anymore. Our memories become muddled versions of reality. Being hyper consistent about journaling, and sharing what feels right to share, is the best way for me to get a firm grip on things before time passes and suddenly I've forgotten what really was. How it felt, what it meant to me. The good, the bad, and the ugly. Learning from our personal history is the only way to course correct and hop off the wheel of Samsara, a purgatory of repetition.

To record and to remember are deeply important core values in my life. And though things can feel overwhelming in all that remembering and picking apart, it nonetheless feels like a worthy and actually necessary task. So please take today's post as my verbal re-commitment to regular entries. To find a rhythm to sharing, despite the feelings of impending doom and potential meaninglessness.

My sage Natalie Goldberg says to "Shut up and write anyway." Today I listened.

"If everything was forgotten, what were you? Weren't you all that had happened before? And if you didn't remember it, then you lost part of you too. And instead you would be patchwork pieces of you..... Everything else behind her had blurred into floating impressions already."
-Martine Murray

Last Saturday I pulled out of my driveway at 5:47am in hopes of reaching Harry's Ridge at Mt. St. Helens before too many others. I hadn't been on this trail in two years. The first few hours were good, but slowly more and more people began to emerge, returning from back country camping or sunrise on the ridge, and catching up to me from the parking lot. Too many unmasked, unaware humans for the last 2 miles of this hike, where passing becomes more difficult. Ah well, the drive was fully worth it for the intoxicating smell of fields of lupine in perfect bloom. My absolute favorite flower.

Trail Specs:
8 miles
1550 ft elevation gain

St. Johns wort blooming

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