July came and went quickly August is going fast. Though there have been periods that I have been able to concentrate on climbing, most of my time has been spent doing the work that I do, but July was also filled with some fun events marking passages. The first was my 10 year high school reunion (go to yours it's worth seeing old friends) I had a great time and catching up with some good friends was nice. I also made a trip to Chicago for a family wedding, marking another passage of sorts. Although it was a brief trip I was happy to have spent a day marveling over the downtown Chicago skyline and walking in the shadows of the soaring buildings. We walked through the Chicago Art Institute, I was strangely happy to be there, away from work and stress, ( even climbing) there was something enduring in the air that day, something that I love about climbing as well, but feel has been missing lately. Maybe it was the viewing of a tangible freedom of expression, and feeling that liberation myself within the art, in a world that I feel somewhat isolated at times. Perhaps it was the air of mystique that comes with history and great art, whatever, or wherever it may be, but I felt alive and aware amongst the soothing gallery lights in an unfamiliar city. We walked through the impressionists gallery, clicking away with my camera at works that caught my eye, it is amazing to see these works, Monet, Van gogh, Picasso, in person and the texture of the brush strokes to canvas, the enduring canvas and seeing the turmoil in their lives or the joys alike through expression. I see how art and life and to me, climbing, are all connected. I don't know much about art, or even most of the artist (outside of the obvious), but I find it refreshing that I can still marvel and identify, feel moved by the emotions and for lack of better words, impressions that my "escape" to the city had left upon me.
The Irony of the situation was this boundless feeling that the wandering hoards and mass movement of people was somehow an escape for me, but it was important and necessary for me to feel anonymous, art gazing with all the others. Lately, I have been somewhat driven by the desire to take a step back and take inventory of the things around me. I often hang good fortunes that I free from the depths of fortune cookies, in the frames of the photos in my house. I have one nestled amongst the dusty picture frame that holds it now. It says, always remember the most important things in life are not things.
Walking the city streets of Chicago, my anonymity filling my heart with possibilities of the future, I find it refreshing to see that life is full of options, passions, and that sometimes escape doesn't mean escaping, it just means tuning in and remembering that the world is full of things, and sometimes that's the way the cookie crumbles.