Friday, April 24, 2015
Yesterday, Today, and Tomorrow
You may have noticed a lack of regular updates on my outdoor life. This is not because of laziness. Since I returned from Utah and Colorado in mid February, I found myself in a few different projects and working again full time. As I write this though, I am in the mountains of New Mexico in a coffee shop fully, fun-employed.
In Utah I learned something new about myself. In the desolate quiet canyons I was alone and deep in my mind. My experience at Crestone, and what I had come to understand about the classic "yin/yang" concept, began to accent my time in the canyons.
I sat on top of a yellow graben overlooking the Maze and Needles of Canyonlands. I could see the Henry mountains and the La Sal. In meditation, I asked the question I had been pondering for weeks, "Why is the flower perfect?" It was evening twilight and the silence was not lifted by even a slight wind. Opening my eyes again I changed the question "Why is the Mountain perfect?" and it became clear what the answer was. The mountain is perfect because it simply is the mountain, it does not have to try to be, it is. The power of the answer was another step to finding deeper enlightenment. It was an experience I seek in the wilderness but rarely find.
What I came to understand in Canyonlands revived my zeal and spirit. With a very positive advancement in my understanding of myself I was ready to return home for the Mardi Gras season in New Orleans.
Mardi Gras was enjoyable as always but immediately after I began work on a new painting. I had been dreaming about this piece for months now. In September last year, I paddled my canoe around the shoreline of Parksville Lake on the Ocoee river in TN. It was a suffer fest for 36 hours as I pushed out over 40 miles of canoeing. I was inspired to paint a paddling influenced contemporary composition.
Upon finishing the work I promptly started trying to find a place to hold a one night gallery show of my paintings. It ended up taking a month to get it all together and set up. About two weeks ago I had the show.
MY two months back in New Orleans were productive on my musical endeavors also. I have been lucky enough to start playing Clarinet with some guys on a weekly jam night and my piano playing has seen some good growth in my melodic structure. So, sorry about lack of posts, I've been working.
During my free time from working on being an artist I was also planning the trip im on right now. My friend and professional photographer, James Shaw, (who has worked with me before on this publication) was interested in a spring trip to New Mexico. I Was recruited to plan it, and provide my traveling expertise. Our plan has been simple: Emersion. My trip plan was to go from desert to mountain and keep going back and forth, all while enjoying to culture of New Mexico.
We started in Santa Fe touring the city and visiting the art galleries and museums. and now we are in the Jemez Mountains outside of Jemez Pueblo. Later today we are to head to the Bisti Badlands and back down into the desert. James is getting excited about heading to Albuquerque over the weekend as there will be one of the largest gatherings of Native American tribes in the world. Look for James' pictures from this trip. (he is way better than me)
I am planning for tomorrow and, honestly, that is also part of my lack of posts. This is my first real public announcement of this news and its very exciting. Many of my fellow guides on Ocoee river with the Nantahala Outdoor Center have been lucky enough to obtain a private permit down the Colorado River through Grand Canyon. The expedition leader for this full river trip of 25 days invited me along. It will be my first expedition style trip. 8 oar rig rafts 16 people, no outside support 25+days on the water 250+ miles of river. We depart in November. Stoked is an understatement.
While 2014 turned out to be the year of the river for me, 2015 is shaping up to turn me into a desert rat.So, yeah, I'm alive and well, and I know this was a fairly informal post but I hope you at least enjoyed the news and pictures. Look for more updates on the New Mexico tour Stage Coach NOLA!