Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Peace in Penitente

How beautiful life can be when you choose to surrender yourself to the powers that be. A rather large group of us met up in the San Luis Valley for a little climbing at Penitente. This was my first expedition there, and it is truly a magical place. I describe many places I've experienced through my climbing eye as magical, but the essence of the San Luis Valley is different. Constantly caught up in the clutter and proximity of the city, the vastness of the San Luis Valley captures the imagination. I felt insignificant amongst the open space and beauty there. Who am I to have even a selfish thought when I have the opportunity to experience another Rocky Mountain masterpiece.

The moment when you roll back home are sometimes the best and worst of the trip. Responsibilities you lived free of for a few hours hit you like a freight train, ready to trample your high spirits, and force you to forget the subtle lessons of the day. This time I'm fighting the urge to transition back to the way I usually live. I don't intend to forget my responsibilities, but rather keep the free perspective gained on every trip with good friends. Those moments can be fleeting, but that is why we demand and force ourselves back into the wilderness, back to the simplicity of life there. All we can really do in life is sustain our happiness, even when that happiness is hidden behind a wall of despair and suffering.

"You must understand the whole of life, not just one little part of it. That is why you must read, that is why you must look at the skies, that is why you must sing and dance, and write poems and suffer and understand, for all that is life." - Jiddu Krishnamurti

Frank on Bullet in the Blue Sky.

Dean finding peace on How the West Was Won during a 92% full moon.