So Inclined

There’s only one way, and that’s through. And you are not through until you’ve climbed that steep incline, one step at a time.

Such is the case with my morning walk. Part of this daily ritual entails climbing the steep driveway that leads away from our house. I’ve probably traversed this grade hundreds of times, but no matter how often I’ve trekked that hill, there inevitably comes the same feeling. Somewhere about half-way up, when the stretch really begins to pitch at its most severe angle, there’s that familiar sense of dread.

I’m accustomed enough with this hill, as is my body, not to feel completely overwhelmed (usually) in those whispers of weariness. Though it’s typically just a hint, it’s there nearly every time. That little spot of discomfort that seems to start the subtle dialogue of doubt.

“Uh, this hill is a hard climb.”

That thought is the password at the speakeasy, enough to get the whole mental conversation going if I let it. Because as soon as it’s let in the mental side door, the rest of the sabotage suggestions come slithering in like snakes.

“You know you don’t have to do this today.”

“Your legs are sore? See? You’ve heard ‘old’ people talk about body aches. I think you’re joining the ranks of the aged.”

“Man, it’s hot! That sun is just beating down this morning, isn’t it?”

“This hill is never-ending!”

With every negating notion, I feel my body grow heavier. These dissenting thoughts never making the climb easier.

So what do I do when they start to seep in and I’m only two-thirds of the way to the top? I look for respite in the real. Narrow it down to the most simple things I can find, which in that moment of ascent are the following:

breath
heart beat
foot steps

When I’m focused there, only one truth remains:
Keep climbing the hill, one breath, one heart beat, one foot step at a time.

Clichés sometimes work in a pinch:
“Slow and steady wins the race.”
“Just keep moving forward.”

This hill is a metaphor, paralleling the human challenges that present themselves in the day-to-day. Specifically, I see similarities with art and writing.

The artist practices their craft with dedication. There may be vertical terrain, a lot of sweat and aching hamstrings. One may encounter a swarm of slithering snakes at the side door, tongues flicking fear and doubt in all directions. But I think there’s power in the process. A conditioning that’s created when the artist chooses to continue on, despite the reservations. In fact, it seems to me, some of the most ‘alive’ work comes when it’s been forged in the fire of fear. The Phoenix from the ash, if you will. Some arcing beauty that rises from the journey through the lowlands.

I’m not suggesting that anything monumental will be birthed from the morning treks up my steep driveway. And these daily posts to the Archives are merely my simple odes to the ordinary. But I sense that there is something significant in the practice of patiently forging on, one keyboard letter at a time. Here is my exercise in snake charming, perhaps with profound effects (however subtle or personal).

We’ve all got our gradient hauls. And I suppose, there is always the choice to turn around, mid-way. But isn’t the world so magnificent with all these vibrant birds? The ones that were willing to burn through, now fluttering high from smoldered flames, beckoning all of us to join them in the Flight.

I say to all the artists and the dreamers and the trekkers, keep going! I hope you’re so inclined.

2013-12-20_drive

steeper than it looks…really

An Ode to An Object (I Think Plants Count)

I’m attempting to create a ‘zone.’ An area of reprieve and beauty. A place to sit and feel the breeze.

It’s a slow process of creation here in our new abode. We moved in about two months ago and are still settling in with basic practicals. Besides the necessities of plumbing and utility hook-ups, I want to create a space of inspiration. So I start with the garage.

Open-air and red dirt-stained concrete, I am on a mission to transform rough edges into an oasis of greenery. A place where one can breakfast among potted plants. A shady respite from the sun in the middle of a hot day, where one could sip lemon water with a friend in the shade.

I’ve positioned some chairs. Planted some succulents (beautiful, but hearty) and placed them on stands nearby. I’ve hung plants in macrame, envisioning a wall of green to grow.

2014-04-16_garage big

It’s a start. And taking a load off in my garage-turned-green-sanctuary, I watch the plants hang, their leaves blowing in the breeze. They may be small, not yet to their full potential of jungle-like lusciousness, but there is foliage, nonetheless. These pots offer up the soothing peace of verdant beauty that only plant life can.

2014-04-16_spider plant

This is an ode to the objects of beauty that are transforming my garage into a garden.

In the presence of their flora, my mind is eased. My body cooled.

Though I’m wondering: how is it for these typically earthbound roots to find themselves mid-air?

I guess the answer is in their progress. So far, they seem just fine. I’ll keep watering, monitoring, enjoying their calming presence. Giving thanks for the gift of green.

2014-04-16_plants hanging

 

- Today’s post is in response to The Daily Post challenge “An ode to an object.” I have committed “For the Archives” to the “Blogging 201″ two-week intensive course, with hopes to further my skills as a writer/photographer and reach more amazing people like you. Thanks for reading!

Power

“I call middle!”

Jeb scootches in beneath the blanket, nestling himself between the Bohemian and I. We are laid out on the lawn, under a dome of stars, watching a curved shadow slowly creep across the moon.

Gazing skyward, we play “Techno Cosmo,” guessing whether any light-in-motion we see is human-made or celestial. We see mostly ‘techno,’ though the Bohemian catches one shooting star and both of my family members observe an inexplicable flash in the sky. I missed it, as my head was down toward the bowl of popcorn situated in my lap.

Of course, the big show was the ‘cosmo’ event of the full lunar eclipse. By the time the entire moon was covered in a hue of warm honey, Jeb was asleep, and I too, was fading fast. The Bohemian sang a quiet Czech song, lullabyesque, as I drifted off. Between the realms, I could discern one word – lasko. “Love”.

It was nice to be away from artificial light. Linger outside in the dark with the wind, the clouds, and one big old moon.

I guess we hadn’t had enough of grassroots, as we awoke this morning to no power in our house. In our abode we need electricity for water, lights and the internet. So before sunrise I was back to the basics, enjoying the irony of a couple of candles juxtaposing my laptop (which still ran on battery power).

With no way to reach the world-wide web, I contemplated the stamp upon my candle. The molten word “nirvana” glowing golden, just like last night’s moon.

2014-04-15_candle computer

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