I feel fear, almost dizzy and nauseous in the presence of natural drama mountain, cliff, wind frozen ice, ancient rock, thick moist earth, barren, full. I feel fear. In front of this power and grandiose and expanse. Raw aggressive and wild. Uninhibited elements. Or is it joy? Or an acute sense of living? Or a serious brush with death? In nature’s overwhelming sense of time, her irrationality, her instinct. I feel it physically heart tightening, stomach squeezing, heart extra beating. Sometimes i hold a fist to my chest only to know what maybe real. To let go sometimes, all i worry about is slipping--zooming in to cope.
In the solitude and the silence. The only sound a worn out shoe against the timeless stones, skidding against ice, sloshing into snow, wet in the freezing water. Silently, the new green bursts out of the earth, the new mushroom breaks into the air, the leaves push through. What do i do in all this silence? What do i do in all this solitude? Uncomfortable. Bewitched. Staring into the silent space between death and life. That is inaccurate. The separation by no means is clear. A multi dimensional, eternal rhizome of the stages of life and death intertwined. Rotting intensities of promises and ancestries and possibilities. Life climbing on death. Feeding. Am i finally witnessing/getting a glimpse of the cycle of life?
In the sounds that strike in the edges of silence. Trees actually creek like unoiled doors. Old drops of rain finally falling off their temporary leaf homes. Very few birds that come as a surprise every time. The trickling of water collecting engraving river beds into the mountain, dropping from a stone like a miniature waterfall. Monsters breathing in the dark. I cannot tell who is breathing. Me or them. Catching up with my heart. Breath whistling/heart pounding in my ears. A dry leaf catches the breeze and flies crackling against the earth. The wind whispering a temporary hurricane into the tops of trees. And in all of this there is silence.
Deep into my fear. Deep breathing. Looking deep into the fallen trees and mossy trunks and winter aftermaths. Destruction. Mayhem. Deeply reexamining my notions of fear. The mythical fear. The unknown. The unfamiliar. The untapped possibilities. No bear can live this high, there is no food, or is there? What if indeed there was not enough food and the bear is really starving and i am its first meal of the season? Stick to the trail. Surrender to the meditation of trail hiking. Deep breathing. Listen to the deep calming voices of reason. I hear voices. Monsters. Oh hello! Stepping aside to allow the grandmother to pass through, and the young parents with their three children maximum age 5. Thank you very much.
(One of the little ones was wearing a t-shirt with illustration of mountain beasts on it.)
Sometimes the fear of humans strikes deep into my guts. Flourishes. Overflows. I know it when i avoid eye contact. Fear that bubbles sour. A stranger. Alone. In a small town. Where no one knows my name. Where no one else is brown. Feeling my skin. My short hair. My accent. My licence plate. At night listening for the sounds. Mythical. I do not think it is real. Shaking it off. And every morning i read/or listen to how real it is. I insist throughout the day to go through the day myself. Everyone is nice. Sometimes, oftentimes, real sweet. If i never knew a world outside of this geography, of these mountains, the rain, the sunshine, the snow, the birds, the little town, saluting driving by, would i know to listen to the fear/listen for the fear about a whole group of people? I do not know their names. It is too late.