Hump Day

The majestic view from Camelback mountain in Arizona. It was a typical day in August; steeped in dry heat with a side of veneration, to those who brave the intense and stifling sun of the desert summer. As I look upon the photo I see calm, lessons learned, and a world begging to be explored. When he stood there to take the photo one can recall a feeling to be present in the moment. The call, a sort of siren song upon the winds, only heard when beyond exhaustion and riddled with thought in the face of the astounding beauty of the landscape. A call for peace in a time of torment also comes to mind. To stand and take in such beauty, and have it intermix with emotional pain was not on the list of great things but it was needed in order to learn and grow.

Hours earlier he stood in front of a mirror, staring at himself. He knows who he is since he sees himself everyday, but does he really? Who indeed ever does? Not one for daily affirmations, this one was an exception. He was excited for having traveled some distance to see her. Today they were to meet up. The person he sees in the mirror is a mere boy begging for forgiveness yet wanting to hide. Immersed in self-loathing for mistakes long past. He tells the boy to forget the past and look to the future. Far too easy for one to simply walk away from the challenge ahead, that’s not who we are. Too easy to let the image in the mirror blur into something far from recognizable. It’s near impossible to know the changes one goes through when you’re staring at yourself everyday. Better to face that image and question it. Better to do the hard things, take that journey, and make the climb. There is no time like the present. Now to wait for a phone call from her to finalize the meet up.

However does that adage go? Is it, there’s no time like the present, or rather is it, there’s no time in the present? One can go on and on about time in seemingly endless discourse, but with such a human construct being relative, is there a difference between the trappings of physical time versus emotional time? Both are differing and intersecting units of measure vacillating between the vagaries of reality and the plurality of perception. The simple answer is yes. The physical time construct exists simply to occupy the mind and cement it like an anchor to the material, to the future, locked on target for that distant legacy project. Emotional time however, is that long winding road, or that arduous ascent into the heavens in which the distance is blurred with no foreseeable end. Simply a handful of experiences and memories to help keep to the present, and navigate the compass of what your soul yearns to be. Wiser men would suffice to say everything has already happened, we just can’t wrap our selves around looking at our photos out of sequence.

He waited for a call that never came. All manner of ruminations ripped at his soul from every parallax of what was deserved, what was earned, and the boy’s paranoia about feeling akin to Icarus falling to the Earth. He capriciously reasons that he expected too much, but yet he had no Daedalus to warn him. He wanted so desperately to make up for lost time and be Daedalus to her, if she wanted. Maybe it just wasn’t a good time. Moreover perchance time wounds all heals instead of the other way people say it. The man, drenched in despondence decided to take his sorrow and put it to some good. He grabbed a water bottle and headed to the nearest place to hike.

He was sweating before he even started up the mountain trail. It could have taken hours or minutes to make it up the path of stone and sand. It was up to posterity to determine if the sting in his eyes was sweat or tears, but regardless this journey paralleled his torment. Every slip on the traverse a reminder to observe his surroundings from every perspective. Every sound of gravel sliding behind old footfalls, a hint to not remain stuck in the past. To take what you can learn and keep moving. Every stumble just a reason to get back up.  On those areas where crawling was necessary, the burning hands against ground a sign to be humble. A signpost on the journey to recall that at the root of time, space, and the heart one can only control themselves. At the top and at that moment of calm calamity, the realization that there is no one to blame and no victim. The sun cannot be blamed for being hot, and the mountain for being a challenging hike. The blame, the worry, the trepidation all fall like his empty water bottle at his feet as he looked across the city and is simply present in the moment. Stillness in a slice of time, photographed, and saved for rainy days.

Eventually she did call claiming that she simply lost track of time.

I still don’t know who I’m looking at in the mirror. On the other hand in spite of what iteration I may see, at least I always know who I strive to be. Whether that ends up being a wise young boy, or a curious old man I suppose only time will tell. For the time being I’ll just try to be present, do what can be done when opportunity affords, and sally forth to wherever this path may lead.

…labors and dangers…


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