2013 July

INHALING GIANTNESS

Posted by | On the water, The road | 20 Comments
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My journal holds a breadcrumb collection from the path I just traveled. Loosely penned notes, dates, times, temps, names. Hopeful reminders that will eventually congeal as sentences and full-blown thoughts, filling pages, taking me back. Glaciers and timbered mountain wilderness in evening light from the cockpit of a de Havilland Otter. Dappled sun and hushed spruce-path steps, blazing trails in six-foot fireweed, whistling to the possibility of bears. Tight line after tight line after tight line of toothy, big-shouldered, colored-up pinks throwing haymakers in glacier-gray water. Bald eagles in moss-laden riverside branches, stealthy and silent but for the occasional sharp cry to their mate around the next bend. Falling tide exposing rivers within rivers and soggy, shell-sand-grass-stone acres of what looks like the landscape of another planet. Catching bright, frantically strong and eternally hungry dollies amongst the pinks and chum, brown bear and wolf tracks on the sand bar behind me next to my own. Late night picnic table conversations and laughs and schemes over beers and bourbon about music, kids, work, fish, stories, environment, politics, food, love, loss and travel, punctuated by the occasional silent stretch, each of us retreating into our own thought-filled minds. Heavy morning mist clinging to the rising mountains, filling the valley, filling my nose and lungs as I stand, eyes closed, inhaling giantness.

Before I flew west, I was a long way from Alaska.
Now I’m back east, and I’m a long way from home.

OUT OF OFFICE

Posted by | On the water, The road | 4 Comments
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Electronic communications will stop somewhere short of my location
for the next week. I’ll catch up with you when I get back on 7/23.

Be well.
Matt

I haven’t used my out-of-office reply in a long time. And it’s not because I haven’t been traveling or haven’t been out of the office. I have. A lot. It’s because I haven’t allowed myself the chance to unplug, disconnect, drop the leash…to simply let go. I’ve been white knuckling my life for a while now. The honest and honestly tough reality of trying to lead a deliberate life…shit does not get any easier or less busy.

But today…

Today I fly to Alaska for the first time in my life to fish for salmon and experience the Tongass National Forest (as a close friend reminded me – first in a lifetime, not once in a lifetime). Today I open my mind and soul to the wisdom that wilderness can teach and get an honest-to-god chance at an actual clean slate. Today I am a wide-armed, chest-full inhale and exhale that ends in a glorious, inarticulate harmony of pain, praise and the sprawling cacophony of sunrise. Today all bets are off and I’m all-in.

Today, you all get my out-of-office reply.