Tuesday, September 7, 2010

New beginnings...

What the heck do I title this thing? Rather than dwell too long on semantics, I'll just opt to get into the meat of this new "blog chapter of my life". I'll try to get through the obligatory cliches as fast possible and settle right into the sole purpose of this posting and more importantly, this "blog" -- actually, from here on, let us just refer to this collection of postings and anecdotes as my "writings" (I still haven't quite caught up with, much less accepted, all the tech lingo out there these days).

I have long been an explorer -- and I use the term explorer with my own connotation in mind. In actuality, there's not much left of this beautiful earth to stumble upon as the first pair of eyes. But in localizing this definition to my experiences, I'd say there's vasts amounts of cool riverbeds, warm canyons, and gorgeous glacial formations left uncharted.

For many years I have held a love for the outdoors -- the kind of love that makes my Madre worry and my Pops chuckle. It's a crazed passion to experience, to live amidst, and to blend into the natural, often chaotic order of the wilderness. I was certainly not raised in this way, since most of our family vacations were directed at experiencing modern cultures in the forms of cities and townships, museums and exhibit tours. While I do not for one second regret the breadth of experiences I have been fortunate enough to collect throughout my childhood, in the recent years I started to develop a strong calling to explore the wilderness.

Over the time I have slowly shed the uncertainty and timidness towards nature and its elements that once defined my years as a lil' fella. Bugs don't really bug me anymore. Instead, I wish for encounters with wildlife. I hope to run across new, unique plant species. I long to get up close and personal with some of the amazing geological features that our loving Fella upstairs decided to carve out and shape in His hands. There's a definite closeness that I feel with our Creator, when I'm out in the backcountry, surrounded by the abundance of life; everything existing in micro and macro cycles, interconnected and fully aware of its place and fitting within the clockwork of the ecosystem.

I am an engineer by day, faced daily with the task of creating ideas, integrating systems, streamlining efficiency and minimizing waste. I believe my passion for seeing and understanding systems at work derives from the curiosity born in childhood for most, when we're all grasping for knowledge and awareness of our environment. Unfortunately, it seems as though many people lose the creative curiosity that lies deep in their core, as we become more "integrated with society". Believe me, I could run long into diatribes about our modern culture and how I believe there is more emphasis on teaching what to think (as obedient minds) instead of teaching how to think (as creative minds). To me, this push in society to bombard everyone with mind-numbing, cold data at blazing speeds takes away from the elegant details of the actual, concerned ideas. This is the double-edged side to the concept of streamlining and creating efficient systems -- what do we lose in the process? What about historical milestones, traditions, cultures? What is the significance of a particular piece of information?

Perhaps this social emphasis is what has driven me to explore the surrounding environment. I want to understand historical significance. I want to see progression and understand impacts of man's decisions and challenges. In my heart, the wilderness is the most boiled-down answer to who I am as a man. Upon shedding the stress of daily routines, disregarding desensitizing media, and dimming the focus on monetary needs and desires, does one begin to find clues directed at one's true essence. In this pursuit, I gladly flee to the wilderness!

In the recent weeks, I have decided that I am going to climb Mount Rainier in Washington. This has long been a dream that was always reserved off to the side with a special reverence, almost assuming I would eventually decide to pursue other interests in life. However, that lil' curiosity that I referenced earlier slowly molded what used to be an improbable hope into full desire. With the amount of experience, knowledge and the skill set I have acquired over the past three years, I truly believe I am now comfortable in pursuing this dream with confidence. This endeavor will nonetheless be met with extensive training and focus over the next ten months. These writings shall document this experience.



alf randell said...

great mission statement. I am pleased to run into others that like the outdoors, and applaud your desire to climb a particular mountain.

The Mountaineer Skeptic said...

Hi Alf, thank you for the kind words of encouragement. It's refreshing to find commonality among other stewards of our beautiful land. I find inspiration from your written work too -- I saw mention of the movie you are working on in one of your blog posts and can say I'm looking forward to hearing your storytelling.
All the best,