Since the beginning of time, people have stared into the night sky and asked themselves, “Where among all those stars do I fit. In the coming collection of words, we will take our first step into the ocean of questions of the universe. How was this reality created? Is there a god? Does science know the truth? If only to wet our toes with thought, to spark the kindling of a knowledge fire, let us chat about reality. As we explore together the creation of the universe and how we fit into it, I invite you to wonder about your own purpose. In the beginning, God created the entirety of everything in seven days. He created the earth, the sea, the trees, and the animals. And it was good. In his image, he made a man and called him Adam. From one of Adam's ribs, he made Eve. He put them in the garden of Eden and told them to eat and live and be happy but to never eat the fruit from the tree of wisdom lest she will die. Alas, she was tricked by a serpent and took a bite. Then she convinced Adam to take a bite as well, and so they got free will and knowledge. Then they hid from God because they were naked and ashamed and God asked them if they had disobeyed him and they said yes. Adam said it was Eve’s fault. God cast them out of the garden of Eden. He told Eve that she was to serve at the heels of her husband and that for the sin of disobeying him her descendants forevermore would feel excruciating pain when delivering children. The influence of this story goes far beyond the walls of the church. Its roots have infiltrated the very heart of western society spreading its misogyny into relationships, politics, education, and media. The portrayal of women has always been the weaker, more submissive, surviving gender. Women have been told to stay in the kitchen, to second guess themselves, to listen to their husbands. They have been held back from positions of power and education. Now with modern ideologies changing and diversifying culture is to. It is more accepting of women. The story itself begs the question, could one single divine being have created everything? A pink butterfly in a gray landscape, escaped from imagination alone. A cosmic knowledge capable of illuminating endless black with the entirety of the universe could possibly be the greatest feat of imagination ever. I never believed in god as a humanesque figure, all-powerful, ruling over the universe like a dictator. I never really believed in god at all but, perhaps a genderless, formless wisdom, a higher power that guides the flow of time like canyon walls to a river. Kind of like a universal destiny that plays a larger game; one that an individual could not see, fourth-dimensional chess if you will. Sometimes when I am completely by myself, surrounded by only the trees, rocks, water, earth and air, when I should feel utterly alone, I can feel a presence. Like the world around me is chattering amongst itself the way excited school children would. Like the world is in a conversation and I get to witness it. In this way, I believe that there is a greater spiritual flow to the universe. Do things happen for a reason? Or is history just a blip? They say that the world started in an abrupt burst of hydrogen atoms. Simply the interaction of random elements equally as unlikely to meet as we are to meet each other. I like to imagine complete black emptiness, and all of a sudden there is sound and light and gas, like an invisible switch triggered incomprehensibly by some random energy. People call this the big bang. Science is always proving itself wrong. Maybe as soon as tomorrow the exact theory of the origin of the universe from a scientific standpoint will again evolve. Some new secret will be discovered bringing us closer to understanding the true scientific origin story. The truth is like an ancient fossil hiding under many layers of dirt, knowledge is the brush that dusts away grime from the truth. Science tells us that we exist because of the coming together of prehistoric proteins that created a single-celled organism miraculously capable of self-replication. Over time its offspring evolved into multi-celled organisms and from there into plants and animals, insects, and eventually into the modern human. Science will never tell us the purpose of our existence. Today about 395,072 babies will be born. 395,072 pieces of reconfigured matter attached to a soul will be introduced to this existence that we like to call reality. Every day approximately 151,600 of those people die. The question is, what happens next? Does the soul continue? Does it exist on a different plane that we can't see? Does the life energy recycle into the universe the same way our bodies do? Maybe there is a place, a heaven of sorts that we go to after death. Maybe we stay on the planet that we know of as home and watch over what we’ve left behind. Maybe we exist afterlife only in the memory of those still alive, only there when they need us. Living on in a sense, through their eyes. Why do things feel as if every moment is fate, life or death? In the vast infinity that is everything, we are equally as significant as both an ant and the sun. In reality, one day everything will return to black stillness and there will be no memory to keep humanity alive. I think that even if there is no grander meaning, no universal calling and if eventually everything we know and love will be gone evaporated to gas and nothing, life has meaning. The challenge is finding it. So how in all this uncertainty do we find purpose? The thing is, while all this may be true, the world we live in day to day is very small. It consists of planet earth and its inhabitants. Nothing else. In order to be productive, It can be useful to focus on this world and this time; helping the world now. I don't know if humans can ever truly come to a conclusion as to what sparked time and the universe. I do know that in my life I strive to play my part in adding to the quality f this reality. I know that every life has a purpose and it only takes a question to start down the path to discovering it. At this point, I have presented you with many questions, I have asked you to wonder about your very existence and I have no answers for you. Curiosity keeps humanity moving forward, so I hope that you take these questions and bring them with you on your path. Maybe you will find some clarity on the way. I intend to.
A tsunami has come and pushed all the buildings around And now the streets are all curvy fallen trees in the path I walk over one, it points to the schoolhouse up in a tree high above the lowest branch, beyond my reach On another block I can see, someone trapped He got caught in this tsunami, Like me “Betrayal” he whispers I long to run To tell him that I’m sorry, “I didn't mean to hurt you it’s all going to be ok, wounds will heal” But the word betrayal builds up around me, “This disaster is my fault” my own opaque prison So I sit, drowning in the tone of that cry for help “betrayal” “How did this happen?”
“Betrayal” the word seeps through my brain a prison that isn’t there I am stuck in this place paralyzed guilt sticks my shoes to the ground like chewed chewing gum Wreckage drifts on the brisk winter breast It seems an eternity since the warm hand of summer swept away this old air
Fog lingers around a fallen statue A warrior no longer tall and strong lies on its side a cracked though strong & young He lies under it Burdened by its weight I wish I could lift that encumbrance Away from this world But the guilt on my shoes keeps me hard in place
My experiences in southern Utah have all been fantastic! One of my favorite places to boulder is Big Bend, it’s right outside of Moab. Once we went camping as a team out in the middle of the desert by big bend after a comp. We set up hammocks between two cars to sleep in. We ate dinner as a group of free passionate individuals with a common love of the rocky landscape and the adventures it had and would bring us. The sun went down bringing with the dark crisp air a new feeling of possibility. There were no butterflies in the stomachs of the explorative teem waiting for a free minute to break free; there was lightning in our veins. As the light grew dimmer and dimer we grabbed our headlamps, tied our sneakers, and headed out. We raced across a field full of short sharp grass to the base of a long ridge covered in boulders and crevices that called to our eager souls. I remember being so inspired by the people I was with, my teammates. They had all been climbing for so long and at that moment the confidence that oozed from our group was intoxicating. We ran at superhuman speeds leaping gaps that on any other night would be impossible, fueled by each other's excitement and passion. The air felt like it eas part of my lungs, there was no resistance as we flew over the rugged terrain. And when we were all truly satisfied and breathing harder than we realized we went back to camp. It was freezing the temp must have been 30 and because our sleeping bags were compressed they didn't keep us warm and none of us slept at all but the stars were incredible without any light poisoning. Billions of light stories high beyond my reach and understanding. Few things have the capacity to make me feel insignificant and small a mesmerized and grateful all at the same time. That night looking up from my ice-cube the grandeur that sprawled above me like a labyrinth did that and more. I could hear the peaceful sound of my friend's mentors and teammates breathing the cold night air around me. The adrenaline from the day dissipating with every exhale. I was exhausted and freezing and to be honest a little bit miserable, but, I am infinitely grateful that I did not fall asleep that night. It seems now that the experience I had peeping out of the crack at the top of my hammock that cold night broadened my perspective and caring to the with of that crack.
Sometimes I have words in my head that I don't hate; one line of a poem, a title, an idea, a feeling unattached to any comprehensible words. Sometimes I write them down: Happy little sparkles Unremarkable, Did I rattle your cage? At least you know it's there now, An empty room has so much potential Uncluttered, If highways were like hallways And classmates were cars and every brush was one with death I wouldn’t drive, Peel back the unimportant to find the unique, And then I'm stuck. Like standing on the edge of a very wide river that spans for miles. I can see idea fish swimming, flashing their illusive silvery scales as they pass through the water. I can see them darting about in the cool blue water but, I have no net with which to see them more closely and no boat with which to reach the other side. Words feel like delicate puzzle pieces that have faded in their box. Putting them together is a fragile art if you miss placing one the whole picture is skewed. Words have the power to alter reality, to create movement, to light up a dark room, to bring a thunderstorm on a sunny day, to build empires, and to tear down cities with the force of thousands of firey beating hearts. Writing words that stir, provoke, nurture these reactions from little sparks in someones head to wildfires in their soles, in their beings, is a task as big as the cosmos with untold ripples. Words can make you feel an ardent passion like the world is made of material potential, words can make you feel rage like your chest is going to erupt and plunging the world into a hurricane. Words can make you feel despair like you've been buried under all of humanities baggage and you will never see the sun again. Words can make you feel love, which has no comparison. Or words can be read and let go like a fish that's too small to eat. Words spin around me like elegant ballet dancers and thunder towards me like powerful wise elephants. Words are uncaged elusive and equivocal. They sometimes, if I am lucky, let me write them, or speak them to share them like a feast. Mostly though, words write me.
Fear is a silver shadow that morphs to reflect the inner pools of your being. I am afraid of the future, of being a disappointment, of not being good enough. I am afraid of loss, uncertainty, of pain. I want to live in the moment because if I weren't afraid of the future I could be engaged in the now. I want to be a professional climber and climb big walls all around the world and not worry about stability. I want to be an artist and live a life of expression un-burdened by judgment. I want to follow my dreams. The ultimate goal is to be happy whatever that may mean. With the courage to be ok with uncertainty, I could be a professional climber. I could own a gym and compete in pro-comps if I wasn't afraid of being not good enough. I'm afraid that if I weren't a good enough climber I couldn't get sponsored and own a gym which could lead to my not being able to make a sustainable life for myself and any hypothetical future family. I guess I'm also afraid of committing so much of my time to one thing when there is no guarantee of solidity. Investing so much time in one thing leaves so little time for the rest of life. The concept of time is such a slippery idea. On one hand there is a whole lifeful of time just there waiting to be used, but on the other hand, there are only so many hours in a day. I am afraid to have too many goals or spend to much time on one thing. I don't want to get older and realize that I'm not enjoying what I'm doing or that I haven't done what I want to. I'm Afraid Of Being Stuck. With the courage to face the unknown and not worry about the consequences, I could be an artist. I could express the world through my eyes. I'm afraid that the world is an ugly thing to express though. And I'm afraid that the world wouldn't like my expression or that it wouldn't be seen. A big part of my personal happiness is related to being a good friend. I am afraid of letting my friends down. I think in the process of coming to terms with fear understanding the origin is crucial. There is a difference between being involved and accomplished. I for example am involved: Friday show, student council, math club ice climbing, rock climbing. I participate in each of these activities, but, when I really look at everything I'm doing, I've got to admit I question whether or not all that matters. I am afraid of missing out, sometimes I wonder though, if I focused on less, if I would get more done? In the end, I don't strive to be fearless and I don't think that being fearless would help me accomplish my goals at all. Fear keeps me safe. It keeps me interested. I have more fun when I'm a little afraid, without fear life would be monochromatic. Fear helped me know my boundaries and it helped me push them. Fear is evolutionary, originally fear kept us running from predators and harm, like us it has adapted to modern life and it still keeps us safe. The key is to know when to listen to fear and how to use what it is telling you in a productive way.