The Climber

He climbs like a dancer,
like sandstone grit under
fingernails doesn’t smart
and quick skidding slips
from a crumbling cliff are
necessary for this art.

Ascending at a steady pace,
thoughtful palms and pads
of fingers placed soft and
self-assured. With grace
and sun on his lashes, the
bronzed back to match stone
slabs, he clambers fast.
He catches light.

The friction of hand jammed
in a crack, the delicate step
where there is no shelf, a
scene of canopy and stinging
sweat; the danger only flavors
his pride. Knowing nothing
lies below but sure demise.

Others warn not to look down,
yet nothing else will sate him.
To stare peril in the face
and dare berate him. He laughs,
swipes chalk into the abyss to
watch it float into the grime.
He dons a smirk and climbs.

Regrets like Stones

1

Regrets like stones slick from the tide,
polished clean with time and rumination.
If I bent to collect each glimmer in the surf,
my pockets would split and arms overflow.
Ever so often I might crouch on the salty kelp
to examine an especially bright agate veneer,
dust and brush dry the surface with my palms.
One thousand heavy possibilities lurking
in such a smooth oval of caramel consistency.
At last I must lay the stone down cold
and straighten myself to continue my walk.
It would be too easy to gather every rock in a great tote
and scatter the bitter regrets throughout my life.

2

A Slice of Paradise

I worked hard to challenge my anxiety this weekend– by trying to stay flexible, be practical, open, and treat myself with compassion and understanding.

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It’s exhausting to be anxious and trying not to panic for an entire day. It’s also difficult to explain to others just what’s going on with me. I was rather quiet and withdrawn at times.

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Thankfully I managed to calm myself down and eventually enjoy my time in the lovely North Cascades National Park. As you can see, it was gorgeous.

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I refuse to let fear dictate what I will do and where I will go!

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On the Trail

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Once the initial unease
of stepping out of cell reception
and trading street traffic for open trails
wears off, once the feet become
accustomed to sidestepping roots and stones
and the legs churn out miles smoothly
without rest, once the whirling thoughts
dissipate into a mist of ferns and pines
and stress simmers into the roiling boil
of survival, that is when
the real journey begins.