Rooted, I used to think.

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Disjointed - Monday, Jul. 05, 2021
Heat Wave II - Tuesday, Jun. 29, 2021
Heat Wave - Wednesday, Jun. 23, 2021
Chris/Grief - Tuesday, Jun. 15, 2021
Grocery Shopping - Monday, Jun. 14, 2021

Monday, May. 31, 2021 @ 12:04 pm

We swim together in the city’s outdoor pool, rain falling into the water, the sky a tableau of the sun setting through thunderheads. A chop on the ocean. Few others book tickets to swim at this time of day, in this weather. The water is not so deep at this pool, and I long to swim deeper. I swim up to him and kiss him and he grabs me around the waist and we roll like seals and the steam blurs the forest that rises beside the pool.


I wade into the ocean, and the water is achingly cold. I push through the anxiety and fear and dive under. I feel my body panicking, and then something releases, and I am high on the cold water. I glance towards the shore, and a man is placing his towel on a rock, stepping into the water. Who else is brave enough to swim today? I blink. It’s Russell. I swim towards him and watch his eyes widen as he enters the water. I am laughing and hooting and egging him on. He plunges into the water just as I arrive near him. He clambers out quickly, and I walk out with him, and we towel off together laughing and pushing each other like childhood friends.


There are times when I worry that we have become too familiar, and then I’ll reach over to him and he is already aroused.


One day, winds are strong, and large waves break on the beach. I wade out into the surf, the waves shoving me up against sharp mussels and barnacles. I’m over my head, and the waves are relentless. The wild, uncontrollable power of the ocean. The more I resist, the more exhausted I become. The ocean throws me out onto the beach, and I rest, towel around my chest, hair dripping saltwater onto my shoulders.


Climbing again, the familiar mineral dust on my skin. Leading up a granite crack, the weight of the rack on my hips, the excitement of a runout section without protection. I lead up a technical slab, one small quartz crystal my foothold.

There is a photo taken of me, and I look at myself, the way that I carry myself, at a belay station between two pitches of a route. I look confident. The woman beside me, whom I’m teaching, looks small and unsure of herself. I am strong and my posture is open, and my hands are held in a practiced, confident manner.

This is where I’ve learned to express my needs. The scrapes on my hands bleed. The chalk that bursts into a cloud when I clap my hands together to release the excess. The trees and ferns that rustle in the breeze.

I call up the wall, my voice loud and clear. I get confirmation. I think I used to be hesitant to communicate on the wall? I check her and then send her up, to climb to meet her partner at the next station. This is what I can do, this is how I can make some amount of difference. I know what climbing has done for me, and maybe I can do something to change the way that the sport looks.


There is so much more that I’ve missed. All of the paddling and the hiking and the camping and the bike rides and the deepening friendships and the plans for the summer. Flights booked and rooms reserved.


My wrist. It’s healing.

Roots | Shoots