Chris van Leuven: my other “brother”

chris-vlChris van Leuven spent quite a bit of time at our house in high school, so much so that I often thought of him as the third sibling in the family. Things at his house weren’t going that well, we gathered, but neither my brother nor I asked many questions. Instead, we would bring him home after our afternoon sessions at the local boulders or climbing gym. We’d let his endless stream of words, spoken in such animated, rapid succession that anyone else would have struggled to comprehend, melt into our own stories from the day. Often, all three of us would be speaking at the same time, but that didn’t hinder our understanding.

In the Spring of 1996, I was just finishing my first year of college in Montreal while Chris was actually living our high school dream of dirtbagging in Yosemite Valley. Continue reading

Advertisements

Rising again

At 6am, insomniac in the Penn Stater hotel in State College, PA hotel (which means it’s really 3am to my body, still in Pacific Time), I finally rose from the bed and resurrected this blog. I think this is version 3.0? I’m not sure. Shutting down and letting go of those old blogs go was a relief, in the same vein (but nowhere near as cathartic) as having shredded a lifetime’s worth of journals — all 100ish of them — a couple years ago.

A few clicks… and we’re back!

It’s been snowing and/or cloudy since I arrived two nights ago, but this morning the only clouds I can see in the sky are far away on the horizon. Still, there are a few snowflakes drifting gently (no idea where they’re coming from) to land on the dome-shaped skylight that rises glowing from the snowy roof outside my window, the dome a stand-in for the sun that I’m pretty sure will rise just behind it over the hill. Venus rose before I opened the curtains, rising further as the morning brightens.

In a couple hours I go “on,” and will be “on” all day giving an 8-hour workshop and then doing a book signing. Tomorrow, a shorter workshop, another book signing, and the long journey home (weather permitting). I will rise to the occasion. No matter how little I’ve slept the preceding nights, I always do… except when I don’t, but that has yet to happen on a speaking day.

But right now, venus and sunrise and a glowing dome and mystery snow from clear, brightening skies. And me, writing again, on the internets.