August 23, 2017

carpe diem...not memento mori

"Believe it or not, each and every one of us in this room is going to 
stop breathing, turn cold and die."

Robin Williams in Dead Poets Society
Life without Chris & Pitts?
I have been reflecting back on individuals that we have lost over the years and vividly remember a few discussions of their wistful desires. I was sad then, but it has since been replaced with disappointment. Conversations would include "if only we would have more time, if only we could afford it, if only we could enjoy vacations, if only we were not so fearful"... we could do this, that or whatever. 

All in slowwww motion...this sea star is dancin with joy!
Even this Banana Slug is celebrating.
Well, what "if only" never came and our life was unexpectedly extinguished? Most likely we would leave many acquaintances, friends and loved ones we left behind dwelling on what they could have done to bring to us the awareness of celebrating life.

So...what good would living do us if we chose not to experience it?
I have been told that there are far better things ahead than what we will leave behind. And if you don't know it, experiencing living does not mean having money, being free of a career or being able to travel in a motorhome. Most of the lifedancers we know still work hard, have responsibilities to consider, have their own trials and tribulations, but...could celebrate life in a wheelchair. They imagine...they never stop dreaming and they have taken the first step. 
Imagine a place where you become lulled by the rhythm of a river, which in my realm of reality is defined as rhythmless or nothing less. Now imagine a place where time is irrelevant, no reasons to get up at the "regular" time, no reason to change out (or in) of your pjs, no reason to have an itinerary, no reason to ask what am I doing today, no reason to do anything but allow a moment of existence to play out.
In this place your life is being broadcasted NOW...calm and serene, real and alive, beckoning, calling, luring you to see, feel and experience everything. Do we need something called a "vacation" or a winning lotto ticket to show up at this place? Do we even want to be in this space of existence? It is definitely not scripted in our current paradigm or's too decadent, too mindless. Time is money and no energy used is wasted energy.
 We have been on many trails where we have noticed some huge and once mighty trees that had toppled over due to butt rot, a fungi that attacks under the surface of a tree's thickest core where it meets the soil. This can be a metaphor of one's life today. No matter how strong, how abundant or how successful we are, the self, the body, the mind will topple without a desire to take moments to imagine...

July 19, 2017

Volcanic Tablelands

"The ground on which we stand is sacred ground. 
It is the dust and blood of our ancestors.
Chief Plenty Coups
The Volcanic Tablelands
The southern migrations of our dear friends, Denise and Tim, were coming to an end...time to head back home to Alaska. But one last rendezvous was yet to be had. When pigeon post dropped off a cryptic message to us, "Zephyr and WeBegone tryst at The Volcanic Tablelands"...we were there!

I have to believe the Paiute came to literally offer homage to these volcanic bluffs and hidden canyons. I have concluded this as I sit upon their revered ground with the feeling of being close to a mothering power. It must have been soothing for their skin to touch the warm earth and for the elders to remove their moccasins and walk with bare feet upon their sacred earth. 
I imagine their dwellings were built among the canyon walls and their altars were made upon the "Bishop Tuff". And as the Tablelands have inspired me, I am sure these lands soothed, strengthened, cleansed and healed their souls. Standing upon this hallowed ground, embracing the life-giving forces of our earth, I can see more clearly the mysteries of life and have a closer understanding to the kinship of the lives that surround me. 

Formed over 700,000 years ago by the Long Valley caldera, the Volcanic Tablelands lies just north of Bishop, CA. A rock climbing paradise, this vast volcanic landscape is a dazzling high desert jewel showcasing the imposing Eastern Sierra Mountain Range, a grandiose landscape reflecting a history of extremes. For a select few, it is also a magical collection of perfectly chiseled Paiute-Shoshone Indian petroglyphs...Native American rock art.
With over 12,000 acres to can easily find a secluded boulder to bathe yourself with solitude and mountain panoramas. Campsites, an empty turnout, are aplenty and very free for 14 days. But no water, dump or trash pack it in, bring it out. 
Our neighborhood offered boundless waypoints to hike to, immeasurable time to relax, endless reasons to celebrate and best of all, vast appetites to feast.

One of our favorite grilling choices is a California Cut Tri-Tip bathed in "Brenda's Hawaiian inspired marinade" for two days. It has such a distinctive taste, many are tempted to slice a piece right off my grill...and they do. Here is the simple recipe for those of you who yearn to join the "Sear and Burn Club".

  • 2/3 cup soy sauce (preferably "Aloha" Shoyu)
  • 6 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 6 diced garlic gloves
  • coarse black pepper
  • 3 lbs of Tri-Tip
Put your tri-tip in a ziplock bag, add all the ingredients, shake well and refrigerate. Turn bag over every morning for 2-3 days until ready to grill. I prefer to trim my own tri-tip...leaving a thin fat cap as it will baste the meat and adds some extra flavor. I pull my roast off the grill rare, at about 120ยบ, let it rest for about 10 minutes, slice it thin and serve.

Courtesy of Tim and Denise, you can stimulate your senses even more by perusing this wonderful piece, East of the Crest. They are awesome mountaineers, shutterbugs, videographers and Templars of the Order of the Tin Cup! Although we were sad to bid goodbye to these folks and their two huggie bears, Tuks and Lulu, we will always reflect on the many wondrous moments we had together and look forward to saying hello on our next rendezvous.
Notice our new pack member? Welcome our new little girl...Kiah!
Thanks Tim and Denise for the header, footer and the tri tip photos....masterfully done.

At Waypoint....Find It!