Signs, Direction, and Another Room

The lead-up to decisions, where the result impacts many people and is one of those moments where life changes direction, and the person years from now may not recognize the person now, is the most gut-wrenching moment swirling in self-doubt, a search for reasons, and a forced self-reflection. So much responsibility that borders on a burden that can turn into anxiety if we let the outcome consume our being. Will time allow the mind and heart to return to a normal and balanced state? Or is this something that will be carried for the rest of this life?

The burden weighs heavily, and after so many years in this position, the mind is tired and the frequent headaches now become signs that a change is needed. That it is time to seek out and find a new direction, a new path, and push ahead through new challenges, furthering the distance and time from previous chapters.

Is it too much to ask for a new field to live this life upon? May I start over with the experiences but lose the burden?

I stand on the corner beneath the summer sun and there are cars passing slowly by. Windows are rolled down and music plays from a large truck and like the lyrics of country music, I wallow in despair at the state I find myself in. This is not what I wanted, but in one sense I allowed this to happen, but I have come so far that I have lost some of the drive and push from the earlier version of myself. So I continue to stand here on the corner and watch others pass by on their way to appointments, home, loved ones, or the bar down the road. Any of these destinations or purposes is better than just standing here as time is not kind to those who waste precious minutes, but I am afraid, scared, very comfortable in this position and when I look over the cliff, I no longer feel the excitement of childhood, but instead an intense fear and with some thought I do not have faith in myself.

Where did I go wrong? What moment in this life changed direction to such an extreme that in many ways I do not recognize that person, but that version has become the light I look up to, the person on the pedestal in the middle of grand and empty room with many doors and windows, that I find myself unable to open. No matter what other color I dream for the room, it returns to white, to the same state as when I awoke here. The subconscious knows the comfort state and will override the mind when it begins to see glimpses of a new direction.

How can I break this cycle? How can I awake in another room?

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Into the Wild related websites

The following are websites of people and entities related to Christopher McCandless and “Into the Wild”.

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Fall 2014 Issue of Stone Path Review has been published

The Fall 2014 issue of Stone Path Review is now available for reading at http://www.stonepathreview.com and http://www.magcloud.com/browse/issue/823370?__r=322616

Interview with: Peter Vircks
Poetry by: Amanda Barusch, Anuja Ghimire, Deonte Osayande, Gary Glauber, Lisa Megraw, Ralph Monday, Robert Henschel, Jr., Rochelle Natt, Salvatore Folisi, Samantha Tetangco, Wendy Brown-Baez
Short Story by: John Richmond
Paintings by: Margaret Karmazin
Photography by: Kristy Johnson, Louis Staeble, Rohnda Monroy
Photography for written pieces by: Twisted Root Studios


Stone Path Review Fall 2014

Stone Path Review: Stone Path Review Fall 2014

Issue twelve of the artistic journal Stone Path Review featuring an interview with a musician, poetry, short story, paintings, and images of people and nature. The focus is what we harvest and what we become.

Find out more on MagCloud

The Wild Truth, by Carine McCandless

The following text is from the introduction to a book by the sister of Christopher McCandless, Carine McCandless. I have not read this yet, but will be soon and will definitely have a review here. The story of Christopher, Alaska, and his life changed mine as he is the reason I first visited Alaska in 2007.


Published on Oct 13, 2014
The spellbinding story of Chris McCandless, who gave away his savings, hitchhiked to Alaska, walked into the wilderness alone, and starved to death in 1992, fascinated not just New York Times bestselling author Jon Krakauer, but also the rest of the nation. Krakauer’s book,Into the Wild, became an international bestseller, translated into thirty-one languages, and Sean Penn’s inspirational film by the same name further skyrocketed Chris McCandless to global fame. But the real story of Chris’s life and his journey has not yet been told – until now. The missing pieces are finally revealed in The Wild Truth, written by Carine McCandless, Chris’s beloved and trusted sister. Featured in both the book and film, Carine has wrestled for more than twenty years with the legacy of her brother’s journey to self-discovery, and now tells her own story while filling in the blanks of his. Carine was Chris’s best friend, the person with whom he had the closest bond, and who witnessed firsthand the dysfunctional and violent family dynamic that made Chris willing to embrace the harsh wilderness of Alaska. Growing up in the same troubled household, Carine speaks candidly about the deeper reality of life in the McCandless family. In the many years since the tragedy of Chris’s death, Carine has searched for some kind of redemption. In this touching and deeply personal memoir, she reveals how she has learned that real redemption can only come from speaking the truth.

To learn more, visit www.carinemccandless.com.

Poem – Layered Sky

Layered autumn sky
like the waves rising
from the horizon minutes
before landing at the shore.

Sky layered like the
chapters of a life lived
and lived hard – pages
become the days counted
since the beginning of time -
that experience we survived
emerging from the fire
carrying the fragments that are left -
cooling, changing shape and
becoming the person we are.

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Poem – Through Silence

Through silence I find
the universe’s voice and
when balanced it is
a reflection of myself.

Midnight sky. White dots.
So many they blend into
a haze across what
astronomers measure in parsecs -
whatever the official distance or definition
I know this -

I stand in awe at the heavens,
the light, and energy I feel
as warmth, the darkness filled
with particles, the part I play
as something made with the same
particles and the connection I feel
to water’s continuous motion as the
sky falls into the sea and the sea
consumes my body.

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Perspective

As the wind blows across sand, rocks, and driftwood I marvel at the change within me that I am aware of.

Time has not softened the being, but strengthened through experiences and exposure to a world so scary as a child.

Reaching out beyond the close-knit sphere I sought to understand the blood and tears of others.

Reaching within I sought to understand myself and my place in the world.

What was my purpose here?

A struggle developed to find a balance as fragments continued to stack higher and higher.

The mind seeks continuous interactions, energy, connections to keep the fire burning, but this fire will burn if not controlled, if not kept within a moral framework.

How then to make a difference, to find balance, to not proposer at the expense of others? Through time and experience I had to learn empathy and respect. The silence we hear through chaos and the peace we feel through balance, teaches empathy and respect as the world you see circles around and in the middle a portal opens revealing the threads connecting us to everything and everyone.

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Stone Path (after Tu Mu)

Originally posted on O at the Edges:

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Stone Path (after Tu Mu)

High up the cold mountain a stone path rises
to the village in the white clouds.
I stop the carriage and inhale the evening fragrance,
its red, frosted maple leaves richer than any spring flower.

I may have inserted a bit more of myself into this adaptation than is my usual custom. I hope it does not intrude.

The transliteration on Chinese-poems.com reads:

Far on cold mountain stone path slant
White cloud live place be households
Stop carriage because love maple forest evening
Frost leaf red than second month flower

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View original

The Dream That is the Big Lake

Testing out some new gear and setting up a tent in preparation for the next trip to Alaska.  Of course, being on the big lake and my need to be close to the water, I always get wet and nothing like the sun to take care of the drying.

Another beautiful fall day on the lake with constant waves crashing on the pebble and rocky shoreline. We spent hours combing for rocks to take home. In the end it usually turns into a competition for the largest agate. I am on a 3-year losing streak for that one.

Time always seems to slip by quickly and before we know it we emerge from the dream here and it is time to return home. On the last evening, we made a bonfire under the blanket of stars and paid homage to nature and all of its wonders.

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If Jackson Pollock was a photographer, part 3

I imagine one of his photos would look like this:

Jackson Pollock Photography

Jackson Pollock Photography

A Fall Day in MN

The day started early just before the sunrise with enough time for coffee to get us warm before venturing out to the shoreline. The sun spread its fingers across the horizon, the water, and our faces. We continued to a state park and found a calm and secluded lake surrounded by nature’s palette. So many vibrant colors against the perfect blue of a northern MN sky.

The city life slowly drains the energy and takes away bits and pieces of our being and our mind, but the water, the wind in our faces, the trees, and the crisp air repair the damage that has been done. Even the puppy needs to get away from it all.

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Poem – Ode to the Moon

Dear sweet moon –

staring at me when I stumble
out the door at 4am.

Your gaze and presence
the cyclops of the morning sky

providing a lighted path
through the dark tunnels.

Poem – One

The world is large, sphere-like
and hurtling through space.

Life began in primordial forms
billions of years before

giving the life we have
through complex processes.

At some point in ancient
history of the human species

we merged from the same source
from the same cells and sub-atomic parts.

We are one and in this together.

A Look Ahead

As summer has become fall and most days have the aura and feel of winter, the climbing season and kayaking come to an end for this year.  Now it is time to look ahead and begin planning for next summer when the sun returns.

Here are some blog entries from Alpine Ascents as their last climb of Mt. Rainier recently completed.

http://alpineascents.com/rainier-blog.asp

Here are blog entries from Arctic Wild, based on Fairbanks, Alaska.

http://www.arcticwild.com/blog/

Beginning Screenplay

I have been writing about the character of “Joline” since 1993 mostly through many, many poems.  Earlier this year, I started on a screenplay that ties together real-life experiences, some people I have known, and a storyline that emerged from the poetry.  In completing the outline and determining locations, a lot of it will be based in Alaska, and Haines in particular.  Below is a photo form Haines that is providing am anchor for the beginning.

Haines, Alaska

Haines, Alaska