Archives for July 2011

Pain and Adventure

Artwork by Lucy Leuppe McKelvey

There is a slight breeze coming through the window blinds and the face of sunlight creeps against the bedroom wall and edges down the hallway towards the bathroom. The blazing star begins another summer day as I drag myself out of bed and down the road. The Jeep starts up with a clogged fuel filter which needs to be changed this morning or today. There’s a few other problems that need fixing on the Cherokee but I take on each day without too much worry. I’m just need the next serious adventure.

The neighbor’s window chimes dance in the wind trying to conjure up desert fairies. Cloud ships sail on the wind across the landscape. Like a flash of memory, I’m driving out somewhere unknown, down a wasteland road with the crazy distance blowing in my hair and I am thinking of a far off place, out in the galaxy, lost in the stars, dreaming. I’m traveling through the universe past black holes and alien supernovas. The voice of the mystery of mysterious resonates with the endless ages and I am just a small glitch on God’s intergalactic radar. He moves the clouds that turn yellow wild daisies eastward on the mountain top and Aspen leaves clap with each twisty gust.

Some days like these, I have no care in the world after suffering as a bleeding heart dreamer that longs to be understood. Yet, I remain calm in the silence of the wilderness when all other faucets of life grow turbulent. Manhood is not much different than childhood. Men need love like a child needs affection. In the wild turning of yellow daisies and dark lightning storms that love is discovered in dreams, faith, and hope for a more profound future that is either based on passion, visual aesthetics or incredible goals being achieved. The same discovery is made fighting the woes of human suffering & misery while walking the walk. I want to have a brighter future where not all things are misunderstood and the thin threads of truth can be seen running amongst misguided strings.

Writing is one way to fracture the confusion and myriad of complex thought processes in order to streamline the whole grand scheme and simplify a dreamers quest through the world of the Unknown and the Uncaring. Because I do care but I cannot understand the vast majority of humans in this world and why they are so cruel to each other or to anything. What is with the hostility? Why are people so mean to each other? There is the inherent evil in life that cannot be quenched or quelled, or changed. We are forced to live with our own darkness. This reality is like poison and the only way to change it is to seek the truth beyond lies and half-truths. During all this rambling though I am relieved to hear Edward Abbey when all else seems to fail and his words put a smile on my face. At least for now and I quote Mr. Abbey:

“Do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am– a reluctant enthusiast…a part time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it is still there. So go out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, encounter the grizz, climb the mountains, and bag the peaks…. and I promise you this much: I promise you this one sweet victory over your enemies, over those deskbound people with their hearts in a safe deposit box… I promise you this: you will outlive the bastards.”

A Bittersweet Experience of Havasupai

Havasupai, in the Grand Canyon, is not just a canyon and a bunch of pretty waterfalls. It has cultural significance as well as a lot of history surrounding the indigenous people that call it home, mainly the Supai. I’ll include my thoughts on the Supai people at a later time, in a different journal entry. This post is regards my experiences with Havasupai and how it is changing my outlook on life. Or perhaps, it has forced me to introspect about things I would not consider otherwise?

Havasupai changed my life three years ago for better or worse in August 2008 when a massive flash flood nearly killed me. My friends, Joe and Robert were there, but this has become more of a personal experience as the years go by because I keep returning to Havasupai and each visit changes me quite a bit. At this point in time, I don’t even know if I understand myself anymore? I return to the canyon in a personal pilgrimage that is making my own thought-processes much more complex and hard to grip.

I feel a need to write down the thoughts I had while introspecting the personal conflicts I have with Havasupai and why it is so much more than a recreational/tourist destination to me. My experiences there were so life-altering that I need to share what I know with other people who love the canyon, or nature in general. My experiences have been both sweet and nightmarish at the same time. The flood that nearly killed me three years ago still haunts my psyche in dreams and flashbacks on the night when we were taken by surprise by this raging mud torrent. The snapping driftwood still lingers in thoughts.

It echoes back into reality when 72 hours ago I was sitting overlooking the famous Mooney Falls, in the solitude of the canyon in the early morning while all my friends are back in camp sleeping in their tents. The morning sunlight just starts to glisten on the highest canyon rims. Today I was still unpacking from that backbacking trip into the Grand Canyon. It was my third visit back to Havasupai since the flood and I have several complex thoughts haunting my mind and the urge to share them is hard to resist. However, I may not be able to share them all in one journal entry. . .