Wednesday, September 30, 2015

"The Path... This Path... Our Path..."

The path... Our path... Your path...
Seemingly of only rocks and stone, of ice and snow.
Countless places, where to start.
So many steps that may be taken.
This path...
That twists and turns, through canyons and valleys,
Meandering across coastlines and islands,
Above and below tree lines,
Traversing ridges and mountains.
Such paths...
Are guarded by weather and wild furred ones,
Watched over by aged ancient trees and bright flowers,
Shaded too by cliffs and so high rock towers.
These joined paths...
Always serenaded by winds and waves,
Beautiful songs we hear,
Such echoes they make.
The path... Your path... Our path...
Setting moons upon rising suns,
Towards horizons everlasting,
Our shared trails towards ourselves..... DSD

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

"The Tradition Of The Path..."

"The philosophical and spiritual traditions of the East created a very vivid and apt conception called the path.
The Path means a particular way of living and behaving conditioned by a code of ethics and a system of technical instruction governing different aspects of everyday life.
Observing the rules of the Path was supposed to help in achieving the higher levels of wisdom.
I dare to express the conviction the mountaineering, by reason of the remarkable qualities it contains, may turn into a precious method of spiritual and physical growth.
Referring to the tradition of the Path, I would like to call this method, 'The Path of the Mountain'...".  V. Kurtyka

"An Ancient Teaching..."

"There are hundreds of paths up the mountain, all leading in the same direction, so it doesn't matter which path you take. The only one wasting time is the one who runs around the mountain, telling everyone else that their path is wrong...". Hindu Teaching

Sunday, September 27, 2015

"Our Shared Spirit With Animals..."

When musing about adventure inspirations, for many reasons, I often find myself thinking of connections to various animals.
Grey Wolf said, "If you could be an animal, what animal would you be? Answering that question creates a powerful personal metaphor."
I believe that we are much closer to the meaning of this than many would expect.
We are indeed linked, and in so many ways...
Have you ever watched an animal at play, their energy when they run or fly, or have you ever responded to the gaze of a wolf or grizzly?
They help us 'see' that our experiences out there are not just physical, mental, or even emotional - but can be very full of spirit as well.
Sometimes we are allowed a glimpse, a glimmer, of energy and enthusiasms that are difficult to describe.
There are many kinds of spirit within the wild lands, like those felt around ancient trees, or near ageless rock, but it has often been the spirit of animals who I sense have shared something of their enthusiasms with me.
In our many shared summits, there were too many to count where we had the fellowship of an animal to share the climbing experience with.
Many were highlands birds, others were rams and mountain sheep, so many were the small four legged furries who talk so much in their chitters and whistles.
Then there have been the crows and ravens, who seemingly were laughing at my ordinary outdoor mistakes and trials; but who I eventually learned to chuckle along with as I felt they were trying to teach me to not take it all so seriously.
All have shared something of their spirit with me , and all have become part of what I've needed for adventure inspirations.
What often gets us going, or carries us through, challenging adventures can be said to be found within the 'spirit'.
Aboriginals in many cultures believe that upon birth, or later through certain quests, that the spirit of an animal may enter and become one with an individual.
Powerful meanings can be found too in the Animal Totem's that exist out there, and also within the metaphors that these then represent.
R. Ridgeway wrote that in one such experience he found that, "It wasn't until I returned to my own world that I figured it out. In that shaft of light in the jungle, I'd watched the Yanomami transform into a wild animal. For the first time in my life, I had seen who I used to be...".
Grandfather, a Mountain Elder said about the spirit, the energies, we create for ourselves out on such adventures, that, "I see in you a wolf who now walks as a person".
I'm inclined to believe that in this he is very right about each of us..... DSD 


"That night the wind was howling almost like a wolf, and there were some real wolves off to the west giving it lessons...".  G.R.R. Martin


Saturday, September 26, 2015

"A Moment With Muir..."

"I am glad to touch the living rock again and dip my head into the high mountain sky...".   J. Muir

The experience of touching rock... touches us...
We develop a feel for the rough or polished granite.
A sense of any loose or firm quartz.
This aesthetic sensation also becomes a part of the desert rock or northern limestone that we embrace on any particular adventure day.
Think too of how this simple example of Muir's musings have had such lasting effects, like the substance of stone itself.
Countless adventurers have read Muir's writings and then have since experienced their own spirited relationship to rock and stone and mountains.
How I wish I could have shared a few seasons with him in the High Sierras..... DSD

"We Are All Kin..."

"One touch of nature makes the whole world kin...". William Shakespeare
"What do you see when you look at an animal? A kindred spirit, a creature much like you...". J. Kazez

There are very few of us adventurers who have not had desires and dreams about, and then actual experiences in sharing the wild places with, our family of wild ones out there.
Our experiences become so very special when this happens, when we see them, especially when we share a moment among them, and so we hope though while elusive that this will happen again and again for us.
Most of us cherish these moments almost as none other, they are so unique, so touching... DSD

Friday, September 25, 2015

"Of Awakenings..."

"An awake heart is like a sky that pours light...".  Hafez

"Within Everyone..."

"There exists within everyone a grand passion, an outlandish thirst for adventure, a desire to live boldly and vividly through the journey of life...'.  K. Hahn

"Farther Meditations..."

"Meditation is the soul's perspective glass...".  O. Feltham

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

"A Simple Tone..."

It is a small meditation bell, not really a traditional gong, given to me a very long time ago as a special gesture. I have always appreciated the unique note it makes when gently struck, and then the long lingering resonations of the harmonious sound...
I have been meditating since my early teenage years. It is a practice that has taken on many varied forms, different modulations in how it is expressed in my life. At times it is simply for the enduring practice itself, other moments to settle down the vertigo I experience, or the restless legs I always have.
My intention that adventure day though, up on that isolated secluded summit, was to hike and climb, then to muse and meditate, but also to strike another tone, a different pitch of music - one that just seemed to fit, to be in accord with and very suited for up there
When we climb, we join with a mountain.
We become part of those heights, the elements, the forces that created those places, even the vistas and also the very sounds. These combine with our internal tones too, with our efforts, and then all blend into the harmony of those high mountain energies.
We deeply experience the coherent hues of our surroundings, the accents of our climbing movements, among all the colors, light, and luminosity. The tint and shades of shadows are reflected then within our own emotions, sentiments, and then memories.
It was all of this I felt when I gently struck that little bell, up in that uninhabited, infrequently visited, solitary high place.
A lone summit, where this one sound fit in so well, its' unique music resonating, reverberating out as a meditative tone would.
A poetic time of sound, adventure, and feelings, creating a composition for a forever moment of mind and body.
Listen for a moment my Friends. Can you hear it.
A simple tone atop a lone summit..... DSD

My gratitude for sharing your images once again with us all my Friends.

"Meditating Upon The Mystery..."

"Life is a mystery... Mystery of beauty, bliss, and awe. Meditation is the art of unfolding that mystery...".  A. Ray

Friday, September 18, 2015

"Passing Forward Smiles Over Many Years..."

It has been over ten years now since Jonathan M. and I crossed trails up near Fortress Mountain...
That was about ten years in as well into this little Summit Stone endeavour. I had placed a small touchstone up there and Jonathan had discovered it while adventuring solo himself in that unique wild place. His interest was then to set us both on a further course that has been a gift in us staying connected.
It is always wonderful to become friends with another kindred spirit, who so enjoys adventuring, and then also believes in giving back & passing forward in support of the wild places and other such causes.
This past summer Jonathan himself placed a few Summit Stones and said of one: "I left a Summit Stone at the Junction Mtn. summit registry yesterday. It looks like only about two entries per year here, so it may be a while before this one is found!".
A DSD Summit Stones Blog comment from a 'Finder' whose appreciation echoed about Jonathan's efforts wrote: "We were hiking at one of our favourite spots today, Junction creek falls, July 1, 2015. We were lucky enough to find a summit stone! Our children were so thrilled and made our day extra special! Thanks for the gift".
Jonathan's daughter, Janelle, also passed forward many smiles during her own Adventure to Africa, and he said:
"Hi D! This is Miriam and Sarah in Nairobi, Kenya. My daughter spent six weeks there volunteering in a school in Kibera - the largest urban slum in all of Africa. I sent a little gift for her to pass on. These women were her "house Moms" at the volunteer housing where she stayed. The adventures these women live every day is hard to imagine. And look at the smiles!"
Also too that: "I know it's hard to see in this picture, but Miriam, on the left, is holding the summit stone that Janelle passed on to them".
I wanted to share here a Poem that Jonathan 'cobbled together' that reflects many of our shared experiences from out wandering:
"Once again, I have failed..."
I have failed once again
to make the summer days last
I have fallen miserably short
of preserving the garden
in a freshly mowed, trimmed
and manicured condition.
That lush fragrance
of orderly satisfied green shades
lingers – suspended
in the evening air -
just so long.
I have failed to halt
the ripening saskatoons
on their whiskey branches
or to hold their exuberant flavor
in my startled mouth.
I was unable to enfold
my dearest family and friends
in an everlasting embrace.
I could no more accomplish this
than I could disguise myself
from their recognition.
I could not cling to the final
resonant reverberations of our music
before they faded into perfect
I was unable to linger
any longer on the rocky ridges
the mountain pinnacles
the shadowed valleys
nor the starlit meadows
dashed with meteoric streaks.
I could not tolerate
the stinging iciness
of cascading mountain streams
any longer.
I did not retain
the pair of gangly deer
with their unusual coloration
in my gaze long enough
to learn their names.
I have failed
to preserve
the diamond bright sparkle
in the eyes of my grandson.
Or to capture his dancing
joyful motion by some device
to be carried in the palm
of my hand.
I could not stare endlessly
into the dancing flames
of firelight.
Or linger forever
on the mysterious drama
played out in the
glowing embers.
I could not prevent his
from blowing
in the gentlest of Summer’s
sighing breeze.
Once again
I have utterly failed.
Failed to squeeze
to cajole
to in any way elicit
even one additional tick
from the relentless
unblinking clock.
I have failed to grasp
one solitary grain
of Summer’s Sands.
They have all trickled
through the gaps
in the fan
of my out splayed
imploring fingers.
Yet… . . . . . . .
I have examined a few
in their exquisite
minute detail
as they tumbled by.
JKM August 2015
Thank you my Friend for sharing in the passing forward of so many smiles over these long wonderful seasons and years..... DSD 


Thursday, September 17, 2015

"Our Dream Arches..."

"Dream arch shimmers in storm clouds.
A bridge between heaven and earth it is said.
Yet its entrance is hard to find...".  D. Ming-Dao

We glimpse them. We know they are truly there.
So we continue to adventure and wander to seek them out.
Then, as we do, and when we finally rest.
We discover that our rainbows, now have found each of us... DSD

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

"The Farthest Mystery & Wonder..."

"Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis of man's desire to understand...".  N. Armstrong

"The Magic Of The Sea..."

"The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever...". 
J.Y. Cousteau

Thursday, September 10, 2015

"Slowly, Slowly.. Pole, Pole..."

There, by that gentle stream, those compositions come to mind.
About that next distant blue mountain that awaits, so quietly out there.
But at this point of the map, I am not able to yet see it.
This is not one of those mountains that can be viewed from a highway or any nearby trail. It keeps itself secluded away, hidden far down a series of maze like long valleys.
It first spoke its name to me many, many, years ago...
Over the seasons it also whispered a few more secrets, so that they have held my inspiration for such a time now too. Long have I listened, while the few who have adventured there then shared their stories, with hushed voices out of respect for this elusive mountain.
There seems only to be a few images of it around, most showing the almost ever present storm clouds that veil the grand heights and stark ridges up high.
It is a mysterious place, where many epiphanies certainly await for those who dare to find within what they need to adventure with out there.
It is a wild place where the rock itself echoes with our longings, where dreams become real adventures, and these self-changing experiences then alchemize into such precious life long memories.
I so hope to embrace that wonderful adventure experience, when I then move slowly, so slowly towards it..... DSD

My sincere appreciation Friends for sharing here the many images of your own elusive high places.

"Of Nature's Color Blue..."

"The acid test of a true adventurer, if presented with certain anonymity, is whether each of us would still have made the journey beyond the last blue mountain...". M. Clark
We all have blue mountains within our dreams, and distant endearing islands too,
Hidden wild places we very much hope to see, with so many possibilities awaiting there...
We all have blue high mountains within our dreams, and hidden islands too,
Elusive experiences we simply call adventures, our personal journeys of effort, mind, and spirit...
We all have blue stormy mountains within our dreams, and misty islands too,
Such ephemeral memories that are yet to be, true paths and trails we are each destined to share...
We all have countless blue mountains within our dreams, and endless islands too,
Always echoing from our ancient selves, while we forever seek such horizons to this very day..... DSD  

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

"Such Memories And Reminders All Around..."

Oh, to be encompassed so. To have such memories and reminders all around. Present on all sides of us...
We often have such intense adventure life experiences when we wander. Like when we hike a very favorite trail, passing through both the familiar terrain, and then long years of experiences upon it as well.
We sense how being encircled in such a way, when out among the wild places, is being endlessly gifted with so much.
To be so surrounded by memories and and reminders.
What wonderful forever moments they are...
That day, when upon a summit, as I mused and scribbled these few words, I looked out upon many mountain memories, and even more river and valley reminders.
It also made me think about our den back at home too, seemingly a bit messy at times, with many old guide books, stacks of faded pictures, a lot of little journals & composings, and stones too many to count.
To be so specially surrounded by memories and reminders...
Then, when, we set out again as we always do my Dear Friends, after putting on our worn boots & pack, or readying to launch our scraped up elder kayak, the smiles just come. For the sum total of all of what we have shared in is right there once again, all around embracing us.
Yet, what I think is a key part of this wonderous mystery too, is that in being surrounded by such amazing memories and reminders, after clearly, intensely feeling again what was known before - than we are further inspired as well to envision what is yet to be..... DSD

Dedicated this adventure day to those who are Adventuring For Another Reason in support of the many who have lost such cherished memories:
Ascent For Alzheimer's
Memories Are Everything

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

"For Those Who Wander..."

"Those of us who wander and contemplate our world soon come to have a great sense of wonder. The perfection of the stars, the beauty of mountains and streams, the invigorating quality of ocean air, all fills us with feelings of celebration...".  D. Ming-Dao

Ascent For Alzheimer's will soon be celebrating their 2015 unfolding adventure in giving back & passing forward.

Sunday, September 06, 2015

"The Nature Of Our Shared Adventurous Lives..."

"Life is deep and high and distant, though only through your vast vision can you reach even her feet; and then the breath of your breath reaches her heart, the shadow of your shadow crosses her face, and the echo of your faintest cry becomes a spring and an autumn in her breast.
When life speaks, all the winds become words; and she speaks again, the smiles upon your lips and the tears in your eyes turn also into words.
When she sings, the deaf hear and are held; and when she comes walking, the sightless behold her and are amazed and follow her in wonder and awe...".  K. Gibran 


"The feeling of awed wonder that nature can give us is one of the highest experiences of which the human psyche is capable.
It is a deep aesthetic passion that ranks with the finest that music and poetry can deliver.
It is truly one of the things that makes life worth living and it does so, if anything, more effectively...".  R. Dawkins

Saturday, September 05, 2015

"So We Go....."

A favourite image from pebbleshoo and a favourite musing of mine.
I love their namesake, their spirit for adventure, and the farther journey which is unfolding for them now...

Those mountains of ours are very high.
But, life is short.
So we go and climb them.
Those trails we share appear daunting.
Yet, as compared to what.
So we get out and hike them.
Those coastlines simply go on forever.
Though, we do not.
So we ensure to keep wandering them.
Those canyons and caves appear quite dark.
Quite seemingly full of all the unknowns.
So we bring much light with us.
Those river waters move through very fast.
Yet, so do our kayaks and rafts.
So we go and run them.
The weather often might not cooperate.
Still, always are there whispers of what could be.
So we go and laugh among the winds and rain.
Adversities out there are apparently inherent.
But, there are valuable lessons for us as well.
So we go and learn them.
We may be even a little bit afraid.
That, so far out we could lose our way.
Still we go anyway and find ourselves.
Challenges are naturally and clearly present.
Yet, our close friends smiles are too.
So we go and share them.
Sometimes we may also go by ourselves.
That, is another farther kind of adventure.
As we embark on discovering even more within.
Our dreams may feel like they are fleeting.
But, they are all too important to walk away.
So we go out an envision them.
We think that there may always be time for this.
Yet, that is not something anyone can ever predict.
So we decide not to wait for the magic to appear.
Adventures at first can seem misty and ephemeral.
But, their echoes are always awaiting there.
So we go and experience them.
Life may at first appear quite short.
Still, our choices are very far reaching.
So let's go and create our forever moments right now..... DSD   

Thursday, September 03, 2015

"Of Our Shared Adventurous Perceptions..."

"Listen to the hidden sounds.
Use your other ears.
See the celestial sights.
Use your other eyes.
Perceive what cannot be measured by the ordinary senses...".
A. Villoldo 

"Of Seeking And Seeing..."

"The real voyage of discovery consists not only in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes...".  M. Proust

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

"There Is Only Potential..."

"For now, there was only potential, only the future.
But it was a bottomless kind of potential of the sort that only comes at rare moments in life when all that really matters is what happens next.
The past had ceased to exist...
There was only an open path, the unanswered question of everything extending out before us...".  K. Johnson

"The Call To Adventure..."

"There is a long line of myths, legends, poetry, and stories throughout the world that tell us that it is in a single moment that the call to adventure comes.
It arrives in various forms - an 'itch', a fever, an offer, a ringing, an inspiration, an idea, a voice, words in a book that seem to have been written just for us - or even a simple knock...".  P. Cousineau