From the Journal: Earth and Survival

I can’t see them, but surely they are playing and happy with life. Yipping. Like I’ve stuck my head into a creek and am hearing the little stones gurgle and roll as they play. … More From the Journal: Earth and Survival

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From the Journal: Dampened

Grief is personal knowledge. We didn’t need to understand. We read the way the poems shaped her shoulders against the white slopes, or the way her head bowed after each one — starting with the chin and ending with the eyelids. Snowflakes dusted her hair and dampened her hands. She’d wipe them against her pants or against her reddening cheeks and she slowly dampened, too, unraveling there in the morning glow. … More From the Journal: Dampened

Dither Me This #7: Breathe

“Breathe Patrick. Come on Patrick, please. Don’t hold your breath. Don’t. No. No. No Patrick…” then I’d pass out, go limp in her arms – my mother on the brink of panic watching her toddler refuse to cry by holding his breath instead. I don’t remember doing it, but she would tell me these stories among others, how she’d have to take me to the hospital in the middle of the night when my asthma got too bad, when the albuterol wouldn’t work. … More Dither Me This #7: Breathe

Dither Me This #6: Risk

I step hesitantly across the catwalk, trying not to glance down into the ice-coated gorge. My steps are wobbly, partly because of the mountaineering boots, but more so, terror. I’m offered a rope as we descend a narrow iron ladder to secure it to my climbing harness in case I become apprehensive about falling deep into this yawning cavern. Sweat drenches my woolen undershirt. The inch-long barbed crampons make balancing… … More Dither Me This #6: Risk

Dither Me This #2: Wind

It’s been windy here lately. Last weekend, while climbing on the Bastille in Eldorado Canyon, dirty particles beat into my eyes with such fervor and consistency that I couldn’t keep them open. The calls from my partner below were washed warbles, even though I was only 20 feet off the ground. I was cold. Unless I locked off and pressed my stomach flat against the wall, the invisible force would pry me off, howling high across the rocky outcrops and flooding my ears. … More Dither Me This #2: Wind