I find comfort when I feel invisible
I feel sadness when I feel unseen
I find confusion if I think about that for too long
Can you hear the chirping? I think it’s working
Look behind you because I’m lurking
In your shadow, green like aloe
I’m going commando if you’re stepping in my meadow
I’ve been watching a lot of climbing features again — mostly documentaries highlighting the harrowing stories of climbers from all over the world and the timeless metaphor for life that rock climbing continues to be. After a viscerally painful and disorienting year, I find myself coming out the other end with just as much relief as I have reluctance and fragility. As if I had recently taken a header off a high cliff, got my heart tangled in my ropes on the way down, and slammed into the dirt.
I grew up relatively shy. I was the type of kid who felt right at home playing roller hockey with the kids on my block, yet extremely uncomfortable in organized sports like basketball or soccer. Reluctantly, I joined my high school football team. I loved the sport but there was an obvious disconnect between myself and the team. Perhaps it was the jock culture or merely spending time with the “popular” kids, but I knew I didn’t fit in. Not to mention I was not built like a 35-year-old man at 15, like many of my peers.
It is easy to take. Easy to talk about yourself. Getting what you want feels comfortable. Having your way feels empowering. Being selfish is rewarding. Getting ahead, gaining a step, unlocking the fast lane, accumulating wealth, collecting pride points, and scoring the win. It all feels great.
What is a trail? What does it mean to leave a trail? How do you know which trail to follow?