Magnetic North - equipping alpine seekers
equipping alpine seekers



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Training Journal Entry: becoming electric


I returned to my car glad the tires still held air after the joyful throttling I gave them on the drive up. Nothing, it seems, can happen fast enough for me now––not the lovers, the infusion of capital, nothing––so I beat at it in vain. Usually the sun sits in the sky, an implacable lover drilling into my head and hurling insults from a perch that follows me yet remains still. Today the sky didn’t pierce me or try to cook me but instead built as I applied my sourceless furor to its humid, grey expanse. I am of the earth, an ocean swelling and tossing herself to this shore or that, generally the soft one submitted to nature, but this evening I forced my way into the swirling clouds.

They marched conspicuously upon me from the west as the Wall of Hate fueled by the Pacific’s damp and heaved upward at the mere sight of the Cascades on their way to dissipate over the Palouse and the Rockies but, meeting my hot-headed resistance, they could not darken the sky to the east of me and instead they settled for vertical motion, growing darker by each footfall’s downbeat yet despite my motion rubbing here and massaging there with every sweet inch of my sweat-slicked skin, the sky refused to release his load. On this dark afternoon, I decided to switch places with the sky.

Throwing my opposite to the earth, populated as the hills were with a riot of the most vivid wildflowers I’ve seen in my now-thirty-three years, I took my place in the sky and focused myself the way I do in a lucid dream: eyes closed, fingers spread wide with palms facing one another yet not touching, cultivating a whirring feeling in my spirit-body which drove me upward in invisible shrouds of chartreuse and lilac expended from my ears. Swirling there above the earth in the moisture of pushing up against hot expanses of land prodding my rain-swollen belly I still wasn’t ready to release so, instead, I became electric and threw my energy onto the earth saying: “Burn, motherfucker, burn.” Knowing better than he what was good for him the fire began consuming bits of forest fodder, the amber and blue paisley forms chasing themselves to ridge lines where the flames gathered and intensified. I watched as the electricity I’d thrown upon the land in frustrated desire, in held energy’s transmutation, hopped blithely from treetop to treetop leaving blackened snags to sing in my wind after the flames had consumed the greenery.

Seeing the display of our mighty friction decimate the land overwhelmed me with its beauty. His spindly snags raked across my tender middle, the places where I hurt and told no one, and his touch invoked the grief buried there so I finally let go. I cascaded down my own body pouring over his fingers, cresting hips of gravel, flooding minor lowlands with tiny lakes birmed by edges of crisp pine needles I’d gathered in my rush, creating ruts in bare sand, absorbing nowhere on the torched land and instead running all over his surface then heading straight for the river. I watched him flood with the ponderous load I’d been carrying all late-spring finally transferred onto his surface, and I kept lashing and railing and loving him up the best way I know how: with a force that leaves no part of my opposite unchanged.

Merciless flogging spent, emptied of the rage I’d had pushing against then across the sky, I flopped down on the bare forest floor beneath scarred larch sentinels, letting the earth again absorb my weight. I let out a long sigh which washed the storm clouds from the sky and, polarity gone, my lover was once again indistinguishable from me in the still sky overhead.