The longer I am here, the more I am understanding what I am looking for.
I am no longer looking at all. That's what I was looking for. Life events seem to fall into place. The sun rises, I rise, breakfast is logical and we amble off to find an objective. The challenge comes in the small things, not the ascent. In keeping your smile when sweat is streaming down your back and your knees start to hurt from the weight of the rope on your back. In being understanding of the motivations and objectives of those around you. In compromising and knowing the difference between what you need and what you want. I WANT coffee, but I got up late... I cant hold back the team... or I WANT to save money, but these fantastic people I just met are going out for dinner on their last night, maybe their company is worth the splurge... I COULD complain about the weight, the drag, the short roping but I know that I am not the only one suffering...
In taking the lead when you feel strong, and in standing down when you think your partner can shine.... In breathing when you are too afraid to let go.
These are the moments I am living for. This is where my pride comes from. I don't really care what I am climbing, as long as I am pushing myself. At the days end, having that sensation of exhaustion that is challenged by a new friends invite to the neighboring fire. The humility of hearing about why other people are also here, looking, living what many would deem the dirt bag dream. What do you do for a living? where are you from? What is your project?
Climbing is interesting in this way. Our goals are so subjective and personal but we tend to characterize them as rocks. Sometimes the smallest boulder is the hardest project, while someone else is waking up before the sun because their 2 hour approach is best done in the shade of madrugada ( that's the word in Portuguese... I don't know it in English but it means pre-dawn). We sit at the fire and I can see its reflection in Joel, from South Dakota's eyes as he tells me about the wondrous climbs he can recommend for my coming weeks. All I can think is, wow, this guy really loves the whole experience.
Selfish as we may be, " I cant help anyone else until I have helped myself... Then my energy can calm others" says K, reflecting on relationships and people she has had in her life. I can do nothing but agree. At the campfires we all bring our own wood, our own stories, our own ears, and the friends we make seem to go furthur back than one week.
Tonight I will fall into my grubby bed, in my grubby car with my grubbing clothes and dream of rocks and I will wake up ready to try again.
May the fire burn all night.