I'm skipping right over notes on our trip to "The Dash" last weekend to notes from yesterday ... a zipline-canopy tour.
I've wanted to "do" the canopy tour for some time now. I thought now or probably never as it will be less likely to come back to Georgia from Texas for something like this. IV was happy to join me for the adventure which was something like throwing caution to the wind. I say it that way because with all the safety measures securely in place caution truly didn't play a role ... I would never go to a place where someone might be seriously hurt, I wouldn't take myself there and I wouldn't encourage anyone I cared about to go there ... in that sense the dangers of "the zip line" are largely fantasy ... and that fantasy can be used as a re-boot for any number of "heartbreaks".
I have wanted to share experiences like this with a buddy ... doable things like walking The Trail, unlikely things like hang gliding around the Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio ... other fun things, places to connect, places where you don't feel ... alone or not understood ... not to be cynical, but I think it's true that we are largely alone and largely not understood for whatever reasons ... sharing what's really going on is hard, finding ways to face it yourself, to grasp it so that it might be shared is ... not easy work. Life keeps us too busy for the work of living. Sometimes I make myself busy so that I won't have to feel the messiness of life.
That's really what losing my brother is about to me ... you've got this buddy who really knows you, has known you all the way to the first memory of yourself ... and they know your stupid stuff and your better stuff ... . I think the important relationships in our lives are really, at best, shadowy outlines of what/how/who Christ wants to and is able to be to us. We have a place in our souls that longs for company/to accompany and we have trouble figuring out how to fill it. Well, I do. Even the most intimate of relationships with our "people" doesn't, can't fill that spot ... that sacred place. And ... I'm not sure that what I'm talking about is actually "fillable" in this physical part of a lifetime. I know people would argue that it's all about where you are spiritually ... I'm just saying that as long as I have a body wrapped around my soul that I doubt I will experience the "fullness" of that not full place. I have looked for ways to experience Immanuel ... I am open to God with Us ... I believe ... and life falls short. I really like life, I'm just saying, what I long for doesn't happen here.
I'm getting distracted from the story on this particular flight of the climb to the top of what is my own life ... the place were I get to step off in to eternity.
The zip line, Eco tour, rocked. It was really cool. Almost not scary at all ... I didn't go there looking for an adrenaline rush ... I went there to mark a passage to a different time. I went there to move through an actually experience, last year and the past several years in fact (not just the end of lives I loved, but other important life events) ... I wanted a day to mark the portal to what comes next ... what life experiences are still out there for me. Some people mark their skin with ink to record their journey. I save memories like snapshots, I hold them in my heart, sometimes I need to revisit them, some may be best left alone. It really surprised me as the day unfolded ... the chimney stacks (I should find a picture of them for here) reminded me of "a time" where even in the crazy fantastic messiness of life I felt perfectly joyful. I have remembered the feeling and recently thought to recapture it for just a brief second as one might catch the scent of broadleaf magnolias as they swoop over the full blooms ... no lingering ... one glorious whiff and zooming on by.
So, for me the zip line experience was about climbing to somewhere, stepping off in to the unknown, enjoying the glide (and it was magnificent) and going with it.
I also wanted to "do" the suspension bridges ... not because I thought I'd enjoy them as I expected to enjoy the zip lines, but because I want to demonstrate to myself that I didn't need to be afraid (because of my long history of suspension bridge themed anxiety dreams) of stuff that's not really that scary.
I wanted to celebrate what was and what is yet to be. I wanted to embrace "that".
Four and I started the adventure with two couples, one young engaged kids, the other, an old married couple, and our two well trained, personable guides. The kids were around my daughter's age and were "up" for anything the day might bring. They were celebrating his birthday she said. The older couple were friendly yet very quiet. She seemed like a person who really needed a big hug (to me). They didn't have a phone with them so I offered to take a few pics with mine and send them along later which I did. Here's her note back:
Thank you for the pics. I know y'all thought I was scared but there was more going on than that. I had found out that my husband had a go phone and had been texting a woman and it was our ***th wedding anniversary yesterday so my heart was breaking. Under other circumstances I would have really enjoyed everything. It was so kind of you to comfort me up in the trees. God bless you and thanks once again.
more going on then that
Isn't it true with life that more is always going on then that? "My heart was breaking". I don't know this couple, and I doubt that our paths will cross again. I feel fortunate to have been able to provide some small measure of comfort ... I feel fortunate that she was able to share her story, the story on this particular moment in the longer, bigger, stack of stories which have and will make up her life. I appreciate that she shared.
There's probably more I would like to say about the day ... It was a great day. Without exception I felt gratitude that I could experience the pleasure of what could be seen and the way it was being seen moving through the woods, over the steams, zigzagging on the zip lines ... . I am grateful to the people in my life ... to L for treating us, to C for coming along side on a big deal to me day, for strangers who in sharing their stories enrich my own.
This one was snapped right before I clicked on to the safety line at the top of the tower, that's the look of bravado because I know my legs were a bit jiggly
And this one is my favorite shot of the day ... this is the nothing to hold on to where it really feels unfamiliar, just you and the air and a decision which amounts to a leap of faith ... and those reminder towers distant right with a contrail overhead swirling in the flight levels ... I love it.